If you continue to think that demos are really just like new cars, well great! Knock yourself out. And always buy demos at prices that are little off what you can get a new, non-demo for. The dealer has to sell 'em to someone.
Someone p*ssed in your Wheaties didn't they. Don't know where you get the idea that I think a demo is "just like [a] new car.." But Lotus and the dealers can certainly, legally, sell them as "new." Enjoy your rant. Demos are there to drive. It is the dealer's responsibility to assure that the Lotus is broken in properly, etc, or not. It is not the responsibility of the test driver/customer. If you were told "you can not drive this demo car over 5000rpm, no WOT, etc." you may be less likely to purchase the vehicle as you really haven't seen it perform, etc. And like BMW said above, that's what demos are for -- potential customers and MotorTrend/TopGear/etc to drive and see what they can do. Enjoy the rest of your day.