Lotus Faces California Emissions Hurdle in Selling Emiras

    Lotus Emira First Edition: Why the Long Wait and What’s Next?

    Lotus enthusiasts in the United States have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Emira First Edition since its announcement back in 2021. However, despite the anticipation, deliveries of this British sports car have yet to begin. The reason? Lotus has encountered a roadblock in the form of emissions certification from the California Air Resource Board (CARB).

    The Emira’s delayed launch adds to the challenges faced by the sports car brand in recent years, particularly in terms of supply-related constraints. However, there is hope on the horizon. According to a spokesperson from Lotus, software updates have been made to the Emira’s powertrain to comply with CARB’s requirements. This process has been completed, but the final stamp of approval from the environmental regulator is still pending. For prospective owners, this means waiting patiently until the certification is approved.

    At present, numerous units of the Emira are sitting at dealer lots across the US, awaiting the green light from CARB. This delay has led to frustration among enthusiasts who had placed reservations for the highly anticipated car. Members of the Lotus Talk forum have even shared pictures of rows of Emiras with “Sold” signs, waiting for the certification to kick-start the delivery process.

    CARB’s emissions rules are followed by fourteen states, including New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. In these states, the Emira cannot be sold until it receives the necessary certification. The remaining 36 states adhere to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) vehicle regulations, which do not pose the same restrictions. Lotus has chosen not to sell the Emira in the EPA-regulated states to prevent potential buyers from flipping the cars in CARB-regulated areas, where the powertrain may not meet local statutes and therefore cannot be registered.

    So let’s talk about the Emira itself. The flagship version of this sleek sports car features a modest but capable Toyota 2GR-FE 3.5-liter V6 engine with an Edelbrock 1740 supercharger. Although it generates 400 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, it is actually less powerful than its predecessor, the Evora GT, which boasted 416 horsepower. The Emira’s rev limit has been set at 6,800 rpm to prevent valve float during vigorous driving.

    While the V6 engine is the current option for the Emira, Lotus has plans to introduce a four-cylinder variant in the US market. This version will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG, capable of producing 360 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. Although both versions can be configured on Lotus’ American website, there is no information available on when sales of the four-cylinder model will commence, or whether it too will be subject to CARB regulations.

    Despite the setbacks and frustrations surrounding the Emira’s delayed launch, Lotus enthusiasts eagerly await the moment when they can finally get behind the wheel of this highly anticipated sports car. Until then, hundreds of units remain patiently parked at dealer lots across the US, waiting for the final CARB certification to kickstart their journey to their rightful owners.

    The wait may be far from ideal, but as Lotus enthusiasts, we understand that perfection takes time. While we eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Emira, let’s celebrate Lotus’ commitment to delivering a high-performance sports car that adheres to stringent emissions regulations, ensuring its rightful place on US roads.

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