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Lotus did get exemptions. They had about 6 years to make changes to match US standards. They didn't. The safety czars will not give Lotus another exemption on the Elise and Exige. Now if they come up with a new car, like the Ecstasy, they might get another exemption for that model.
 

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Or they could just install some compliant airbags and sell it legally...
 

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What if you import and register as a kit car, would that work?
Once it has a valid VIN from the manufacturer this does work, they know it was built as a whole car.

Or they could just install some compliant airbags and sell it legally...
Well yes but they are costly, Pagani were struggling with adding the cost to the Hyuara

Lotus also had a bumper exemption that expired - The V6S does have different bumpers but I can't imaging Lotus designing them for the US
 

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What if you import and register as a kit car, would that work?

Isn't that kinda what Ariel does with the Atom? They send the pieces to TMI who builds it in Virginia. The biggest difference is that I think the frame is built from scratch at TMI, too, except all the pieces are pre-cut and pre-bent iirc


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Isn't that kinda what Ariel does with the Atom? They send the pieces to TMI who builds it in Virginia. The biggest difference is that I think the frame is built from scratch at TMI, too, except all the pieces are pre-cut and pre-bent iirc


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Lotus won't ship you a car in pieces.

If this were that simple there would be dozens of 'legal' V6 Exiges running around.
 

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Forget the kit car idea, now depending on how strict your state laws are you could take an Elise chassis and modify it to accept the entire V6 body, engine and suspension. As long as the original frame stamped with the VIN is intact, you should be fine.

I built an Evo 6 this way here in the US with a Mitsubishi Mirage chassis. Perfectly legal!
 

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Isn't that kinda what Ariel does with the Atom? They send the pieces to TMI who builds it in Virginia. The biggest difference is that I think the frame is built from scratch at TMI, too, except all the pieces are pre-cut and pre-bent iirc


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You beat me to it, just ship the car in pieces and build in your garage and Bingo was his name o!! I mean Exige S
 

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Lotus won't ship you a car in pieces.

If this were that simple there would be dozens of 'legal' V6 Exiges running around.
Buy the car from a local dealership, pay some local thugs to strip the car while you label the parts, shouldn't take more than a couple of hours :) then ship the parts...
 

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Buy the car from a local dealership, pay some local thugs to strip the car while you label the parts, shouldn't take more than a couple of hours :) then ship the parts...
The car has a Lotus Vin. Once the vin is issued it is a car that must meet fed requirements, regardless how many times you take apart/reassemble, where you do it, or who does it.
 

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Forget the kit car idea, now depending on how strict your state laws are you could take an Elise chassis and modify it to accept the entire V6 body, engine and suspension. As long as the original frame stamped with the VIN is intact, you should be fine.

I built an Evo 6 this way here in the US with a Mitsubishi Mirage chassis. Perfectly legal!
I believe the modification required for the Elise chassis is considerable.
 

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The car has a Lotus Vin. Once the vin is issued it is a car that must meet fed requirements, regardless how many times you take apart/reassemble, where you do it, or who does it.
Dam there goes my idea!!

I believe the modification required for the Elise chassis is considerable.
I don't know how in hell Lotus got an exception for safety, have you seen the Elise crash structure? I wouldn't want to be in a head on collision with a Walmart shopping cart -eek- :) I would have to sing Kiss' Detroit Rock city "I got to laugh cause I know i'm going to die, why?"
 

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this is as bad as the lotus submarine and the the sawzall elise.... every 6 months like clock work!

no you can not Fed vin a vin that is not fed, and lotus does not build non-vin's cars currently. and the "exemptions" are a lot more than just airbags. so thats why lotus can not get it fed'ed.

to compound the problem from a business case, as long as lotus can make sales without dealing with the fed, don't expect them too.
 

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I don't know how in hell Lotus got an exception for safety, have you seen the Elise crash structure? I wouldn't want to be in a head on collision with a Walmart shopping cart -eek- :) I would have to sing Kiss' Detroit Rock city "I got to laugh cause I know i'm going to die, why?"
Lotus didn't get any exemptions for safety, only for the 5mph bumper rule and headlight height. 5mph bumpers are for the insurance companies, not for safety. If you look at reports of actual Elise/Exige crashes, they're surprisingly safe.
 

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I think if you have deep enough pockets, you might be able to get it federalized. Similar to the F1.

I don't know who'd pay $200k for an Exige though.


 

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The exemption that expired, which made the elise illegal in the US, was for smart airbags. The difference is that airbags in the rest of the world are designed for crashes where the occupant is wearing a seatbelt. In the US, there are some tests required without a seatbelt. This requirement creates a need for 'smart' airbags, which have a two-stage deployment rate. The reason that NHTSA did not renew for Lotus was that they ruled that smart airbags no longer present a substantial economic hardship, as they have been on the market long enough to be available.

The cost of developing airbags from scratch is in the millions, but given that the Evora does have compliant airbags already, it should not be near that much to adapt that system to the weight and crash impulse of the Exige....

EDIT: OTOH, if they are really going to release an 'all new' elise in 2015, then it wouldn't be worth it. We can all just hope that what they come up with isnt as ugly as the concepts I have seen.
 
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