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Discussion Starter #1
What do we know?

Per conversations with Lotus, there will be a USA street legal Elise based on the MKII Elise body. It will not have any signifcant changes to the styling. It will have some changes to to meet USA federal crash requirements, airbags, etc.

It will come with A/C and a stereo too.

The biggest change was to the drivetrain. Rumors have flown around for a while around the internet that the drivetrain would be this or that.

According to a conversation I had with a Lotus exec a while ago, the next engine "would have significantly more than 150hp." Hmmm....

Rumors in March starting swirling around that the engine was chosen is to be a Toyota.

Here is the closest thing to an official report:

22nd March 2002
This weeks Autocar restates the rumour that a US Elise will be powered by the 190bhp. 1.8 litre Toyota VVTL-i engine. Apparently this was chosen from one of five contenders.

Excellent! The car, even with a tad bit more weight, powered by this engine will be excellent IMO. Great reliability. The ability to do some tweaks and mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Anticipated delivery will be Sept 2003.

Pricing will be $37-38.5k fully loaded.

Options will include a hardtop and some of the usual stuff.

Dealers have been selected and will be encouraged to not add markup over list price. According to a source "if you offer list, you should get the car."

The numbers will be limited. Anticipate 1500-2000 cars per year. You can probably get on a list at your local dealer. Some dealers are taking deposits (around $1000).

If I get a chance, I will scan in the model brochure.
 

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Now that we know what the motor is...will it be possible to order one without A/C? It's bad enough that they'll have to add airbags, but shouldn't we be able to keep it as spartan as originally designed?

-la
 

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Randy do you have a deposit down already? Who is planning on being a dealer? Are they going with any particular manufacturer, or just with dealers they like?

Chris
 

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I don't know if A/C will be an option, but I don't think it will be.

The local dealer in San Diego is Symbolic of La Jolla.

http://www.symbolicmotors.com/

They have a waiting list, but as far as I know are not taking deposits yet. Most dealers are taking $1000 deposits. According to Lotus, they will pressure dealers to sell at list price.
 

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Lotus of OC in Costa Mesa has been a great source of information...plus they have an old Lotus mechanic from Hethel named Harry. Very cool guy, knows the right way to keep them running and where to find the rare parts.
 

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Do you think there's any chance they'll allow that car in SS? I bet they bump it straight to ASP... Wouldn't want to piss off all of those Z06 owners.

Robert Puertas
 

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Robert Puertas said:
Do you think there's any chance they'll allow that car in SS? I bet they bump it straight to ASP... Wouldn't want to piss off all of those Z06 owners.

Robert Puertas
Based on my conversations with SEB members, that is a very good take on it. I think they worry about Lotus cars, look at SM2. No Lotus cars allowed. :(

But I won't care. I will have fun even if it's not competitive.
 

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Conemangler said:
What is the wheel size on the UK version?
I believe it is 16" front and 18" rear...but not sure.
 

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That's interesting that they would have such a dif front to rear.

In the review on Speedchannel I saw last year the UK version looked like it had really narrow tires. Not that it needs much as light as it is.

Probably not the car for a rotund guy like me. But boy did I stand and drool at the LA AutoShow. My friend kept trying to pull me away.
 

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Conemangler said:

Probably not the car for a rotund guy like me. But boy did I stand and drool at the LA AutoShow. My friend kept trying to pull me away.
I got to sit in both the blue and the yellow ones at the LA Auto Show. I wanted to make sure I liked the fit and all.

http://www.conecam.com/images/las-elise13.JPG
 

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I sat in the blue one, naturally I'm a bit too tall. Asked if it'd void the warranty if I took a tubing bender to the shift lever so it wouldn't ram my knee into the steering wheel. They just smiled. :(
 

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Larry Andrews said:
I sat in the blue one, naturally I'm a bit too tall. Asked if it'd void the warranty if I took a tubing bender to the shift lever so it wouldn't ram my knee into the steering wheel. They just smiled. :(

I was surprised at how well I fit in it. It was like it was painted to my butt. :)

Absolutely perfect. Symbolic has promised me a test drive soon.
 

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Lotus of OC :(

Went by Lotus of OC yesterday, chatted up the sales sleazeball...er um, guy...a bit.

He said that A/C is standard and not deletable. In fact, he basically said there's really no options for the most part, which isn't how I remember it. <shrug> To get a car at list, he wants three grand deposit, no interest, and no choice of color when it arrives. You take the car that's offered or you forfeit your money. Otherwise he won't take less than ten grand over sticker. He's doing a great job of talking me out of this.

Can't forget his comment about the 340R. "That thing brings me more business than anything else I've ever had here." Apparently he's sold a Mangusta and two Lambos in the last month to guys who came in to check out the much cheaper 340R. (then again, it's not legal so it's a much tougher sale)

At least we have Harry fixing cars up here.
 

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Lot of times with a car like this the car options are so limited anyway.... Unless you really have a preference.

10-15 years ago I'd only want a black or red car. Now.... I can never decide color. Wasn't the auto show yellow and blue? I really think I'd be happy in any color Elise. And if the no options thing is true, then it makes it easier to accept any car.

My father could never take that color gamble. He gets three new Bimmers a year. 89% have been black on black. 10% Silver with Blk interior, and 1% on temp loan until a black or Silver one becomes available. The silver is new. For 20 years it was black or nothing. Next month he'll have two Silver cars. First time ever without a black car in the garage.
 

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Latest

From a source that will remain nameless.

There is some company infighting regards to this project. Lotus is a bit short of cash and getting the Elise engineered and tested etc for the USA market will cost a bit. The buyer of Lotus, Proton, is balking at paying it's ownership share of the development costs. So the project is stalled.

Some resolution is expected by mid September. Hold on to your deposits and seat belts.
 

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Re: Latest

Randy Chase said:
Some resolution is expected by mid September. Hold on to your deposits and seat belts.
So have you heard anything about your car yet? I want to see that sucker at an event sometime soon this year (but it sounds very doubtful).
 

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Current rumors from Lotus USA say early 2004 delivery date for the Elise.
The Esprit goes out of production at the end of 2003...
 
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