>>>I just went there and saw it. I was a little bummed to see it already had swirl marks in the paint, however I was surprised to see how you could barely notice the clear bra.<<<
One of my buddies always picks up his new cars with minimal prep. He removes the seat covers, that white plastic stuff they use on the outside of the car, etc himself. He does have the dealer do mechanical stuff like removing spring spacers and the like. Absolutely no cosmetic clean up or paint clean up. I don't think Lotus uses the white plastic stuff as they ship cars in covered transports.
For some reason many dealers use worn buffing pads or old materials or something when they detail a car. I've seen many cars swirl marked before they have gone around the block once.
I just got back from seeing the Newport European demo. I didn't have my digital camera with me unfortunately. I'll try to stop in again later in the week with my camera.
The Starlight Black is a nice color. The metal flake in the paint really does help make the subtle contours of the Elise's body stand out. If it were a straight gloss black, a lot of those features might be lost.
Ancient Wedgie is right... the trim is an argent color in the Starlight Black. I guess Lotus is using the argent trim with darker colors and black trim with the brighter colors.
I didn't notice any swirl marks, but they had just finished detailing the car and it looked great. I was there when another EliseTalker was there. (He's a lurker, but a registered member on our forums.)
The demo has the LSS suspension. The wheels are amazing looking in person. I've changed my mind (again!) and I will probably order the LSS. The tires are just impressive as hell! The look like the sport bike tires on my old CBR 600.
Test drive rules haven't been set yet. I guess the GM at Newport European is reconsidering. The demo already had 60 miles on it (mostly the GM driving it.) Dana (the salesman at Newport European) thought that next week might be a better time to see if a demo drive might be available.
The touring package interior is very nice. I liked the build quality and the stereo system sounded crisp and clear (but I didn't drive the car, so I don't know what it would be like with wind noise, etc.) Exhaust tone sounds pretty sweet and I doubt that I'll be swapping exhausts.