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Cars are now being delivered!


<img src="http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/attachment.php?s=&postid=65841">

Customer Chris Smith (zvezdah1 on EliseTalk) received the first Elise from Lotus of Atlanta.

I really forgot just how quick this car is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!! WOW!!!!!!!!! I was up over a hundred in the blink of an eye, engine wasn't even working hard and I wasn't close to the cams kicking in. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The run home was great, got lots of thumbs up and waves from people on the way home.
Link to PDF news release

Lotus Delivers First Elise

Dultuh, GA (July 19, 2004) - The first production Lotus Elise has been delivered to its owner, little more than six months after the car's official U.S. introduction at the 2004 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show. Lotus Cars USA CEO John English presented the keys to Lotus enhusiast and Georgia resident Chris Smith at the company's new, expanded headquarters here on Wednesday. Smith placed a deposit almost three years ago and purchased his car through Lotus of Atlanta, last year's leading Lotus dealership.

"It's an incredible honor to be the first Elise customer." said Smith. "I'm going to through the break in period and after that it's all out driving. I think the Elise has really recaptured the spirit of the original Elan and the Lotus Seven from the sixties and would make Colin Chapman proud." Chapman started Lotus in 1948 and was known for his Performance through Lightweight philosophy. Smoth has been a long time Lotus fan and owner of several Lotus cars, including a 1974 Europa, a 1991 Elan and two Esprits. "In 1991 I bought my first Esprit, a 1987 Turbo, which until now was the most exiting day in my life."

Lotus Cars USA CEO Joh English said, "We couldn't be happier for Chris and for everyone on the Lotus team who have worked so hard to make this day happen." He added, "we're looking forward to delivering more cars in the coming weeks and a very bright future for Lotus in the coming years."

First year Elise production will be between 2200 and 2400 units and the company has already exceeded that in customer deposits. At current ramp-up Lotus estimates it will have delivered 260 retails nationwide by end of summer with full production capacity reached by November. Lotus CARS USA director of sales and marketing Mark O"Shaughnessy forecasts existing order banks to be filled by the end of the first quarter 2005. Lotus currently has 39 dealers in 29 major markets.
Italics added by me.

Link to full size hi-res pic of car and Chris being handed the keys.

http://www.elisetalk.com/pics/lotuskey4.jpg
 
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