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Discussion Starter #1
Why isn't this car available in the US? My understanding was that all they had to do to get approved for sale was add bumpers and tweak the lights a bit. With all the other design changes it would seem like a no brainer to do this. Did they just not bother? If that is the case it is a shame as that car is brilliant.
 

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Safety related.

I think it's more complex than just bumpers. IIRC it also included the airbag system and possibly other more non-trivial items as well.

Although I work in a different industry, I'm sure automotive is similar when I say safety certification in general is not a cheap or trivial task. While they certainly have the capacity to do it, it probably just didn't make financial sense. Too bad though, I really like it!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
THAT SUCKS! Safety regs are destroying cars. They are heavier thus slower and less environmentally friendly. In the Eighties Honda was making straight petrol cars that got 50mpgs and I saw an episode of Top Gear where they raced cars from earlier decades against their contemporary counterparts and a frightening number of new cars got smoked. The Nissan Z was one of the worst. The worst part is that some of these regs (air bags) were legislated with NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE! This is a subject that makes me fume.

All that aside (sorry for the rant) I still don't get why they couldn't upgrade things. Aside from the tub isn't the new Exige a totally redesigned car? Why not throw the safety equipment from the Evora in it?
 

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Lotus have never had much of a clue about how to maximise their advantages. IMO, if they wanted a V6 track car, they should have "Exiged" the Evora platform and sold it at a reasonable price point for track enthusiasts, unlike the GTE. A worldwide version should have been no problem from that base.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Lotus have never had much of a clue about how to maximise their advantages. IMO, if they wanted a V6 track car, they should have "Exiged" the Evora platform and sold it at a reasonable price point for track enthusiasts, unlike the GTE. A worldwide version should have been no problem from that base.
Yeah, that would have made more sense. Really tragic. That is SUCH a cool car!
 

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While I personally believe the V6 Exige won't get here as a street car, it wouldn't surprise me if it eventually did.

Remember, Lotus said for years the Elise would never come here. It did. It said the supercharged car wouldn't come. It did. It said it would never offer a supercharger kit, it did.

The fact is they can't give away Evoras, at least in the U.S.. If they want to stay in business, or stay in this they have to sell something. While an ongoing market for a 6cylinder Exige would be limited, they could probably sell 3 to 4000 over a couple of years as long as it was priced right.

Bumper and air bag issues are fixable and the math could probably work if they were confident in a few thousand in sales.
 

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Safety related.

I think it's more complex than just bumpers. IIRC it also included the airbag system and possibly other more non-trivial items as well.
As an owner of a Federal Exige in Europe I can vouch for that. I used to think that it is the same car, but the differences I have found so far include:

  • Fuel system (huge difference)
  • Spring rates (softer. No biggie but still)
  • Shocks (tied to spring rates)
  • Electrical stuff (various)
  • ECU
I am sure there are more, but those are the things I have fiddled with until now. I used to think "meh, it's the same car with extra marker lights in the fenders" but there is more, much more.
 

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Maybe Lotus's new owners and management will be more ambitious to sell their cars to a more wider market, and do the necessary tweaks to make the new Exige loved by all instead of just by Europeans.
Been noticing too many limitations with Lotus within the past while and I'm sure that's hurting sales. Hopefully the new brass within Lotus's walls see this and kibosh all of Bahar's previous stupidity. They really need to start pumping out cars and stop with the restrictions. They cannot afford to hold back if they want to have the company succeed. Market the new Exige to all, and hurry up with the Esprit already. I'd like to see the Evora GTE over here as well.
Just my $0.02
 

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The last time Lotus sold more than a 1000 cars in the US was in 2006 and that was a combination of both the Elise and Exige with a price tag of mid $60K's and under. Lotus will never get close to 1K for all of North America due to price and the fact that the niche market is simply too small. The only reason they had the success they had the first couple of years was due to people not knowing exactly what they were getting themselves into and price point was reasonable. You can put 1K HP in an Exige and make it legal but the most you can hope to sell would be no more than 100-200 at best. The best we can hope for is that Lotus gets bought out by one of the big auto manufacturers, they make the Exige V6 street legal knowing numbers will be slow, continue with the Evora and hurry up with the Esprit and possibly other models.
 

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+1 wishing the new Exige S was available stateside. After seeing it in person at Hethel, it's much more awesome than I expected. That said, after NHTSA introduced the new MY2011 crash tests, it's not surprising the 111 chassis cars can't be federalized even if Lotus were able to get more exemptions.
 

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It is very difficult to be light (under 2600 pounds) and meet crash tests. Just the 5 mile per hour (not to mention side impact tests) would require the Elise/Exige to be signficantly beefed up. The exemption was a one-shot deal, they won't get a second one. You have to submit several cars (for free) for them to crash test, with the limited market here, they would have to raise the price of the cars significantly to cover the cost of the destroyed cars.
 

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Lotus has only sold around 300 V6 Exiges in all of Europe. Obviously the business case works to do all the development and tooling etc for a low number of cars, so making modifications and sending a few cars to get trashed by the US regulators should not be a significant expense compared to the original development. Yes, it's a niche market, but that's what Lotus is all about.

Love my current Lotus Exige, and would definitely step up to the new V6 Exige. Lotus should have skipped bringing the Evora into the US...too much compromise and competition.

Oh well, if not Lotus, it's time to give Porsche a try.
 

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My understanding is that the bumper exemption expired. Of course there may be other reasons in addition.
Michael
It is very difficult to be light (under 2600 pounds) and meet crash tests. Just the 5 mile per hour (not to mention side impact tests) would require the Elise/Exige to be signficantly beefed up. The exemption was a one-shot deal, they won't get a second one. You have to submit several cars (for free) for them to crash test, with the limited market here, they would have to raise the price of the cars significantly to cover the cost of the destroyed cars.
The bumper exemption expired years ago. As I understand it hte current models comply with the regs (something about renaming the complete front clam to be the "bumper" - a Lotus "reading the regs" method ;))

Lotus has only sold around 300 V6 Exiges in all of Europe. Obviously the business case works to do all the development and tooling etc for a low number of cars, so making modifications and sending a few cars to get trashed by the US regulators should not be a significant expense compared to the original development. Yes, it's a niche market, but that's what Lotus is all about.

Love my current Lotus Exige, and would definitely step up to the new V6 Exige. Lotus should have skipped bringing the Evora into the US...too much compromise and competition.

Oh well, if not Lotus, it's time to give Porsche a try.
As has been posted above it takes a lot to get US compliance - getting a car through the European system is much easier (not any less safe, just easier!!) and thus significantly less expensive.
 

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If Lotus stays afloat, I'd bet the new Exige will eventually come here. Just a matter of time.
 

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Its smart airbags that will need to be fitted to the newer cars! A smart airbag is sensors in the seat cushion that reads how much the (passenger) weighs.. Then takes into account how much pressure to deploy the airbag.. That is the only thing from us customers getting the v6 Exige.. But what really chokes my chicken.. Is the evora gte with 444 hp.. If that gout put I the new Exige in the sport 260 fixings.. Omg that would be the best lotus ever made! And guess what.. Will they? For you and me I pray so!
 
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