FE Deposit done but want to test drive before the final commitment...

SJR202

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Hi All
About to put down the 2nd deposit and Lotus have confirmed I can change my spec at 3rd deposit or even wait until I've driven it. But the reply was quite vague in how that would be handled. For example I dont want to commit to buying the car in Dec/Jan when I wont have seen a production model or driven it. Im happy to wait until cMarch when demo's might be in dealers but if I pay my 3rd deposit after the test drive in March/April does anyone know what happens to your waiting list place or any other useful information in waiting a bit longer before committing?
I've gone through as much of the forum as I can and havent found many people looking to hold off the purchase until they've driven one, I cant be the only person to want to try before you buy at £76k :)
All thoughts and known info most welcome
 

VL3X

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Everyone is getting different answers and I think it's up to the dealers and their allocations on how your place in line is handled. Here in the states, most dealers state your deposits are non-refundable after you spec and officially order. They're going to ask for our spec and second deposit in January, but we likely won't be able to test drive on until May/June at the earliest, so it's quite a gamble at this point. I expect journalists to start publishing reviews in Feb/March. Certain states have laws where buyers can get their deposits back up until delivery no matter what.
 

TXEMIRA

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FE should have an asterisk every time it’s listed. “First Edition” “badge”…

Those who get this vehicle will likely be making one of the most expensive decisions, with the least information, they’ve ever made. It’s a “badge” that’s kind of “earned” in that way.

I’ve come to terms with that based on historical information and a bunch of trust.

If we get more information, from whatever trusted sources we deem trusted - great. If we get to drive it - awesome. But pretend otherwise and still buy it. Earn it! :)
 

John 1963

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Hi All
About to put down the 2nd deposit and Lotus have confirmed I can change my spec at 3rd deposit or even wait until I've driven it. But the reply was quite vague in how that would be handled. For example I dont want to commit to buying the car in Dec/Jan when I wont have seen a production model or driven it. Im happy to wait until cMarch when demo's might be in dealers but if I pay my 3rd deposit after the test drive in March/April does anyone know what happens to your waiting list place or any other useful information in waiting a bit longer before committing?
I've gone through as much of the forum as I can and havent found many people looking to hold off the purchase until they've driven one, I cant be the only person to want to try before you buy at £76k :)
All thoughts and known info most welcome
The same issue here ,paid my 2k was about to pay the further 3k to spec but wanted to try the actual car prior to putting down the final and binding further 3k ; was told by lotus launch staff that without the full 8k paid your 5k is held by them and you drop off launch list but will be put back on the list when you have tried the car ,this will not be till demonstrator cars are available sometimes during April May .Those who pay up front will obviously be ahead of you and will get the car earlier , no mind that your 5k may well approach being held by lotus by coming up to twelve months.They feel that is fair ,i disagree , plus any part exchange will be valued by the we buy any car approach - a telephone call exchange of details mileage reg number etc and a value assigned as such , remember they don’t have a dealer network helping to value your part ex so your perhaps cherished and fettled part ex will be valued by cap!The dealers chosen to perform these duties will be paid a fee to facilitate the above but have no interest in your exchange or new lotus apart from there general hope they may be appointed a dealer at a later date . So having tried and perhaps liked the car you pay a further then none refundable 3k -8k in total rejoin the list and hope you may get one by back end of 2022 /2023 .Remember also there is no cap on first edition numbers so the first edition cars may be produced over quite a period , remember they are assuring you of a first edition that you perhaps specked 12 to18 months before ! Decided on that basis to just wait and pick up one of the cars at a later date when perhaps dealers will be on hand to properly value your part ex ,and there will certainly be no shortage of cars over the next year or three , until then will carry on enjoying my passion in cars so that I don’t just buy a re skinned present model !
 

scoates

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When I spoke to the representative on the phone my understanding was paying the next £3k up to £5k total would keep your position in the list, then they call you later to pay the remaining deposit up to 10% total and that confirms your spec and the car goes into build. At that point if you don't want to proceed yet either due to not having driven the car, or other reasons, then you drop down the queue and they call the next person etc. Once you have decided to go ahead then you get in touch with them, pay your final deposit and confirm your spec, and your car then goes into build at the soonest opportunity. Basically you only slip down the list as far as you want to, and can confirm at any time was my understanding. Again though, that was just the representative on the phone so could be different in reality!
 

Yachtie

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My understanding is that if you don't pay your third deposit to fix the build when they ask, you end up going behind all the people that do pay the deposit. So that could be a long wait for a car. Initially when I spoke to them at Goodwood they indicated that you could postpone for a certain number of months. But I think back then they had no idea of the demand that would be created so now they just want to set the production schedule with committed orders. With the demand they have I can see why!!
 

John 1963

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FE should have an asterisk every time it’s listed. “First Edition” “badge”…

Those who get this vehicle will likely be making one of the most expensive decisions, with the least information, they’ve ever made. It’s a “badge” that’s kind of “earned” in that way.

I’ve come to terms with that based on historical information and a bunch of trust.

If we get more information, from whatever trusted sources we deem trusted - great. If we get to drive it - awesome. But pretend otherwise and still buy it. Earn it! :)
Just buy an the gt 410 present model , lighter faster save yourself the risk , you can’t see the outside when driving it so as you say just pretend !
 
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SJR202

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When I spoke to the representative on the phone my understanding was paying the next £3k up to £5k total would keep your position in the list, then they call you later to pay the remaining deposit up to 10% total and that confirms your spec and the car goes into build. At that point if you don't want to proceed yet either due to not having driven the car, or other reasons, then you drop down the queue and they call the next person etc. Once you have decided to go ahead then you get in touch with them, pay your final deposit and confirm your spec, and your car then goes into build at the soonest opportunity. Basically you only slip down the list as far as you want to, and can confirm at any time was my understanding. Again though, that was just the representative on the phone so could be different in reality!
that does make the most sense. No hurry or desire to get the first in the UK and would rather buy the right car for me. So if that means waiting longer for it but removing concerns or worries then it’ll work out. 😊
The local dealer has been brilliant but said the purchase is with Lotus so they have very limited information as a dealer.
 

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When I spoke to the representative on the phone my understanding was paying the next £3k up to £5k total would keep your position in the list, then they call you later to pay the remaining deposit up to 10% total and that confirms your spec and the car goes into build. At that point if you don't want to proceed yet either due to not having driven the car, or other reasons, then you drop down the queue and they call the next person etc. Once you have decided to go ahead then you get in touch with them, pay your final deposit and confirm your spec, and your car then goes into build at the soonest opportunity. Basically you only slip down the list as far as you want to, and can confirm at any time was my understanding. Again though, that was just the representative on the phone so could be different in reality!
That's my understanding too based on chats with Lotus people. The exact mechanics of it haven't been defined from what I was told. But it should be that you can slip down the queue a defined amount based on how long you say you need, rather than going to the end of the line. Some people will wait for press reviews, others for test drives. They have target dates for those (Feb/Mar and Mar/Apr) and should be able to confirm at the time the 3rd deposit is required.

It hasn't been confirmed what the typical lead-in time is. It used to be 12 weeks prior to delivery date was when commitment was needed. But with everything going on with supply chains Lotus are trying to get people to decide things early so they can get long order items sourced. Some of the Final Edition Elise/Exige have been significantly delayed and they'll want to avoid that on the Emiras.

For non-UK folks, it'll be a different process - ask your dealer as it'll vary by country and dealer.
 

Mknight702

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I really need a test drive, I am beginning to waiver. My problem is that I like to drive a car that is raw and I fear that the Emira isn’t going to do it for me.

In the past (a long time ago!), I had a Westfield SE as my fun car, I sold it when I got married and replaced it with a Fiat Coupe Turbo that was supposed to be highly rated as a drivers car. To me it felt fairly dull in comparison.

More recently I had a Lotus XI replica that was an absolute blast to drive both on and off the track, I sold this and replaced it with an Ultima GTR, again I regretted it almost immediately as the Ultima was blindingly quick, but it’s limits were far too far away to enjoy on the road, especially after the XI that would dance round at sensible speeds.

My current toy is a Caterham 360R, that is a great mix of speed and playfulness and I fear that after this the Emira would be a bit of a disappointment.
 

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You could try test driving an Evora GT410 - about as close as you can get to Emira power, weight, torque, handling and size from the current Lotus models.

After a Caterham it’s going to feel big, but everything will!
 

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Not trying to put you off but I think the Emira is going to be far from raw, compared to focused track metal. At least until the stripped out models, if/when they arrive. They're making a point of describing it as 'asking nothing of you' compared to Elise, Exige and even Evora. It's like a modern day Esprit really.

I've booked a test drive in a GT410 Sport shortly to help confirm the Sport or Touring choice. I may know more then (haven't been in a Lotus since an S1 in 2006!)
 

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Not trying to put you off but I think the Emira is going to be far from raw, compared to focused track metal. At least until the stripped out models, if/when they arrive. They're making a point of describing it as 'asking nothing of you' compared to Elise, Exige and even Evora. It's like a modern day Esprit really.

I've booked a test drive in a GT410 Sport shortly to help confirm the Sport or Touring choice. I may know more then (haven't been in a Lotus since an S1 in 2006!)
I envy those who will feel the difference between tour and sport.

I’d imagine you’re the drivers Lotus is targeting. I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference until I’ve driven both for a bit.

There are folks who can feel it as easily as seeing the difference in SD vs HD TV! :) So awesome!
 

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So Westfield, Lotus XI, Ultima GTR, Caterham 360R.
You really won’t be able to put the Emira in the same category as those cars, they’re not remotely practical and rather extreme but I can guarantee you one thing, it will be a damn sight better than a Fiat Coupe Turbo !!

I‘ve looked at an Ultima RS but after trying every specialist insurance company I’ve had to back away, most are pulling out of offering anything at all, and any that will cover one want you to have had serious supercar or hypercar experience first. Due to the lack of driver aids and their performance level, they are viewed as beyond extreme and they’ve had a couple of very big claims. It was a good job I checked before placing an order for a kit……
 
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1500 GT

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Like the previous replies, I just don't think you can expect the Emira to give the same sort of seat of the pants driving experience as a lightweight Westfield or Caterham, they are a totally different animal. I sold my first Caterham and instantly regretted it, within 12 months I had bought another one despite also running a 997.1 GT3 at the time. The Porsche is a thing of beauty (until I saw an Emira) but just not as exciting or raw, especially at marginally acceptable road speeds. I try to do a couple of track days per month during the summer with the Caterham and as long as it's dry there is very little that goes past and even fewer that can keep up for more than 3 or 4 laps and still have tyres and brakes left, supercars included . My 997 GT3 has now gone, to be replaced by an Emira, which I am expecting to be softer and more refined, although obviously very capable and with a similar power to weight ratio I'm hoping for similar outright performance to the 997. Watching the Harry Metcalfe video it appears the Emira will have shorter gearing which will be a really nice bonus. I'll track the Emira occasionally but I'm not expecting something that will give me the thrill of a Caterham as you just can't expect a 1450kg sports car with all the creature comforts, practicality and useability of the Emira (and the looks) to also give that assault on the senses you get from the more track biased offerings. My opinion is that once you have owned and driven a Caterfield / Mono / Radical / Ultima / Extreme Exige type car then everything else seems tame by comparison.
 

Mknight702

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So Westfield, Lotus XI, Ultima GTR, Caterham 360R.
You really won’t be able to put the Emira in the same category as those cars, they’re not remotely practical and rather extreme but I can guarantee you one thing, it will be a damn sight better than a Fiat Coupe Turbo !!

Like the previous replies, I just don't think you can expect the Emira to give the same sort of seat of the pants driving experience as a lightweight Westfield or Caterham, they are a totally different animal. I sold my first Caterham and instantly regretted it, within 12 months I had bought another one despite also running a 997.1 GT3 at the time. The Porsche is a thing of beauty (until I saw an Emira) but just not as exciting or raw, especially at marginally acceptable road speeds. I try to do a couple of track days per month during the summer with the Caterham and as long as it's dry there is very little that goes past and even fewer that can keep up for more than 3 or 4 laps and still have tyres and brakes left, supercars included . My 997 GT3 has now gone, to be replaced by an Emira, which I am expecting to be softer and more refined, although obviously very capable and with a similar power to weight ratio I'm hoping for similar outright performance to the 997. Watching the Harry Metcalfe video it appears the Emira will have shorter gearing which will be a really nice bonus. I'll track the Emira occasionally but I'm not expecting something that will give me the thrill of a Caterham as you just can't expect a 1450kg sports car with all the creature comforts, practicality and useability of the Emira (and the looks) to also give that assault on the senses you get from the more track biased offerings. My opinion is that once you have owned and driven a Caterfield / Mono / Radical / Ultima / Extreme Exige type car then everything else seems tame by comparison.
This is my worry, I absolutely love the look of the Emira, but as a weekend special I'm beginning to think I would regret buying one. I have had similar doubts in the past when I have considered other potential weekend cars and always shied away, never before has a car grabbed me enough to actually place a deposit though.

I suppose an Exige could be a good compromise?
 

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It depends what you’ve got in mind for a weekend car.

I have an Evora and it will happily do dad’s taxi duties, pop to the shops and head to friends or a restaurant for dinner without my wife complaining about the basics of the interior. Plus it’ll do a long weekend away, a few hours cross country to relatives, a B road blast just for fun, Sunday morning cars & coffee with a long route there and back on quiet roads, or a track day. All while being a joy to drive, attracting lots of positive interest and having bearable running costs.

It’s not a “weapon” but cross country it’ll do a very brisk pace and on track I can catch and pass most non-V6 Exige and non-Cup Elise.

I’m expecting the Emira to be a similar all-rounder.
 

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I was a bit surprised when at the Silverstone launch Russell Carr described the car as a GT and not a sports car. This is what started my wobble.
 

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Did he say it wasn't a sports car? Because most people would consider a GT as being a type of sports car.
 

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I was a bit surprised when at the Silverstone launch Russell Carr described the car as a GT and not a sports car. This is what started my wobble.

This has been running around in my mind after test driving a GT410 Sport today. The objective was to confirm suspension choice. To get that out of the way first, for me and my guess is most committed petrol heads Sport is the way to go. It's firm but in no way crashy or too much. I'd driven there in a GR Yaris and they are spookily similar. I'd expected the Evora to be much harder but it wasn't. Maybe a touch but it was almost indistinguishable. I am now 100% staying with Sport (though the Emira won't be a daily, it'll be for having fun!)

IMG_5327.jpg


Back to the GT sports car conundrum. Driving the Evora made me realise in buying an Emira I am buying my first big car. I think in part because of the tan interior but my first thought was 'this is a luxury GT car' (though definitely a sports car.) When I got back to the showroom I sat in an Exige and thought 'this is what I want, it's a proper hardcore Lotus'.

On the drive home I almost convinced myself too. In the end as has been said before, it's really what you want the Emira for. I'd love to have the racecar excitement of the Exige but on the road I think it would be just a bit too intense. Or maybe I'm just getting old!

Nb. this was the first time I've driven any car with flappy paddles. I really don't get it on the road. Once I'd done it a few times I found it a bit boring. On track I can see it, for shaving down lap times but for engagement and driving enjoyment it's manual all the way for me.
 

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