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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok it's a hypothetical question that I'd been curious of for a while and the other thread on the Europa reminded me of it.

So the new Europa is a quirky car, kinda too sporty to be a GT (ie z4/tt/cayman rival) and too 'refined' to be an true sports car like the elise. I know it was pointless for Lotus to federalize it as it wouldn't have sold in any quantity, however what if someone wanted one? How hard would it be to federalize one without using the show car loophole. The emissions should be easy as the engine is a turbo GM unit (that I'm sure is available in some form here) but what has me really thinking is the bumpers/crash testing now that it has become the Dodge EV (if it goes into production) would the bumper issue be covered by that:shrug:
 

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...i think the only real way to federalise a car less than twenty-five years old (discounting temporary permit loopholes) is by converting it to a kit car, and those rules vary by state...
 

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...i think the only real way to federalise a car less than twenty-five years old (discounting temporary permit loopholes) is by converting it to a kit car, and those rules vary by state...
Nah, the feds specifically rule out importing a car as a kit if it's identical or even substantially similar to an existing car unless the manufacturer submits the paperwork that states they intend for the vehicle to be sold as a kit.
 

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Nah, the feds specifically rule out importing a car as a kit if it's identical or even substantially similar to an existing car unless the manufacturer submits the paperwork that states they intend for the vehicle to be sold as a kit.
...how did eliseusa manage it with the series 1 cars?..
 

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...how did eliseusa manage it with the series 1 cars?..
They didn't get caught.

Back in the "old days" some S1 Elises were imported (illegally) and register in a couple of states. The feds didn't pay much attention. Then some guy down in Florida that was sneaking them in, got in a big street racing wreck. The feds started paying attention.

Some stories say the guy went to jail (technically for smuggling illegal cars in the US), others say that a deal was worked out. The feds tracked down and confiscated several of the cars that he imported.

About the same time, Sun International suddenly stopped with there "conversions". The story goes that the feds started looking into them, so they just stopped doing it.

Bottom line is that it's against Federal law to import a non-compliant car - you can't call one a kit either (unless is actually is a kit car like a Nobel or a Seven). The feds are much more careful now. The states many not care, but the feds do...
 

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Sun International Lotus Elise Type R - Specialty File/Specialty Files/Tuner Cars/High Performance/Hot Lists/Reviews/Car and Driver - Car And Driver

First of all in order to import a vehicle it needs to be on an approved NHTSA list.

Vehicle Importation Regulations

This is what the NHTSA say:
Importing a conforming vs. a non-conforming vehicle.
If the vehicle is less than 25 years old and was not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS, and/or was not so certified by its original manufacturer, it cannot be lawfully imported into the U.S. on a permanent basis unless NHTSA determines it eligible for importation. The agency makes those determinations on its own initiative or the basis of a petition from a registered importer. These are business entities that are specifically approved by NHTSA to import nonconforming vehicles and to perform the necessary modifications on those vehicles so that they conform to all applicable FMVSS. The petitions must specify that the vehicle is substantially similar to a vehicle that was certified by its original manufacturer as conforming to all applicable FMVSS and is capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards, or, if there is no substantially similar U.S.-certified vehicle, that the vehicle has safety features that comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with, the FMVSS based on destructive test information or other evidence the agency deems adequate. Import eligibility decisions are made on a make, model, and model year basis.

An additional requirement for the lawful importation of a nonconforming vehicle is that it be imported by a registered importer (RI) or by an individual who has contracted with an RI to bring the vehicle into conformity with all applicable FMVSS. A bond in an amount equivalent to 150 percent of the declared value of the vehicle must be given at the time of importation to ensure that the necessary modifications are completed within 120 days of entry. A list of RI's can be found on our web site at Vehicle Importation Regulations. You might want to contact one or more of the listed RIs to obtain their opinion on the feasibility of conforming the vehicle that you seek to import to the FMVSS, and the costs involved in petitioning the agency to determine that vehicle to be eligible for importation, as well as the costs for conforming the vehicle to the FMVSS.
 

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its really easy - thats why everyone does it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is what the NHTSA say:
The petitions must specify that the vehicle is substantially similar to a vehicle that was certified by its original manufacturer as conforming to all applicable FMVSS and is capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards,
In a summary this is what I'm wondering, if the Dodge is built, will the Europa automatically conform also, as it's the same car but with a federalized gas engine. :popcorn:
 

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Is so silly they make it damn near impossible. Bill gates could barely pull it off. Thank you goberment for protecting my safety!

My other car is a Grey market import, i think it was much easier in the 80s as there are lots of euro 930s in the states..
 

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In a summary this is what I'm wondering, if the Dodge is built, will the Europa automatically conform also, as it's the same car but with a federalized gas engine. :popcorn:
I think you would have an easier time convincing the feds that taxes should be optional
 
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