..,... 'came out of the womb with a Lotus brochure in their hand?'I believe the dealer opened their first new car dealership in this location in 1961 but I'm not sure when they became a Lotus dealer. I know it's been at least 25 years because there are indications online regarding customers buying Esprits from them. My salesperson has been there for at least 15 years, I don't know the exact number. But does it matter? Why is it even relevant? I don't care if a salesperson came out of the womb with a Lotus brochure in their hands, they aren't going to have any meaningful access to timely information about production that's any different from the folks on this forum.
I don't share that perspective, because I've seen the car in person at dealer events on 3 different occasions, two of which were with my own dealer, and I test-drove it twice. Like many others on this forum, I've had my deposit down since the original launch, and have been working closely with dealers to get the opportunity to see and experience the car ever since. Your impression that there are "so few" demo events may be a symptom of the latecomer flu.
Well, good in the sense that they don't have to comply with the same exact emission limits as standard manufacturers, but they are still on a requirements schedule that is more stringent than what the last version of the Evora was able to achieve. I believe the fleet average limit for SVMs for NMOG+NOx for 2022-2027 is 0.51 g/mi.Looks like low volume manufacturers are good until 2032 in USA from what I can understand.
Reading some of the "informed" comments lately on this forum makes me laugh. Where do some of these posters come up with this stuff. Not worth even responding to.Can you please, PLEASE stop with the wild speculation and "my dealer guy knows things" and such talk? We've been obsessively analyzing every single piece of information available globally for over 2 years now and I guarantee you your "dealer guy" has next to zero unique information.
In fact, as a dealer, he's likely kept more in the dark by Lotus than the average person who happens to schedule a tour at Lotus HQ in Hethel and then chats informally with the tour guide.
The things you've said here about production, about Toyota discontinuing production of the 2GR-FE, and other comments, are almost entirely unsupported by hard facts. Please stop speculating, or at least if you're going to speculate please moderate and qualify your comments clearly so people can tell the difference between what's actual information and what is a wild-ass guess.
No Offence....Why would the most "senior" person tell you anything? I worked in automotive and the high ups kept a tight lip on everything. What would the benefit be for them to tell you this sensitive information. You think they would want to keep any negative information away from the competition and public. Unless Lotus executives are more incompetent and moronic than some people think already.The most senior person at Lotus USA told me directly that the US certification process wasn't started until after UK and EU approval was complete. Now, the reasons WHY they delayed the start of that certification process are unknown... I have a speculation that it's a strategic delay to hit EPA Tier 3 fleet averages with a combined first year simultaneous V6 and I4 build plan, but I don't have any direct evidence of that. It's an inference I'm making based on the specific numbers achieved by the same drivetrain in the Evora for the MY2021 EPA certification process.
I just simply don't believe that Lotus, as professionals, somehow didn't anticipate how much time it was going to take to get through EPA and CARB process, and the suggestion that that is the root of the whole delay... well, it just doesn't pass the sniff test for me.
You mean other than the Exige, Elise, Esprit, Elan, and every other car that's been homologated by Lotus for US sale in the past 30 years? This isn't a new set of hoops to jump through, the process hasn't materially changed. The primary thing that has changed in the past few years is the numeric targets for the emissions criteria.
The same submission engineers are involved, it isn't a new team. Ian Cawdron is still the Principal Homologation Engineer and in the past has been the lead engineer for Type Approval. He's the same guy that's been on Lotus EPA submissions for more than the past decade. He keeps getting new bosses, but the guy has staying power. His old boss was Simon Wood, the Chief Technical Specialist and head of Type Approval, but Simon retired in July of 2021 and I believe he was replaced by James Eccleston who came over from Aston Martin in October of 2021. Eccleston was hired as Chief Engineer, Type Approval and then progressed to Head of Type Approval, which matches the title that was used previously by Simon Wood.
The Principal Engineer on the ICE vehicle development side is Mark MacDonald, some may remember him from the A New Dawn documentary. He's the guy responsible for all the ECU and TCU calibration for Lotus ICE cars, including both Emira V6 and Emira I4. He's also a listed EPA/CARB liaison together with Ian Cawdron, and participates directly in the homologation process.
Hope this helps.
 Adding some more details to keep it in one place... there's also someone at Lotus UK named Sarah Way, who has a role called "Lead Engineer - Legislation". It looks like the structure of the team moved around a bit with Simon Wood's exit, because she was promoted from Senior Legislation Engineer to her current Lead Engineer role in Oct of 2021, just a few months after Simon Wood's retirement, and at some point in the past few years Ian Cawdron's title also changed from Lead Engineer to (now) Principal Homologation Engineer. There's also a second Principal Homologation Engineer named Brian Hope, who seems to be focused on homologation for new gen products like the Evija, and a Lead Engineer for Type Approval named Richard Clough (formerly at Williams) who also worked on Evija compliance. I don't know whether all four of these people are simply colleagues within a department or if there is a reporting hierarchy, but I suspect that they all report to James Eccleston. From what I'm able to tell, "Principal" is a director-level title at Lotus, and seems to be senior to a "Lead" designation.
I also suspect that Sarah Way is the same person listed as "Sarah Stewart" in the NHTSA database as the US Reporting Engineer, because Sarah Way's LinkedIn indicates that she previously held a role at Lotus called "US Certification/Reporting Engineer", and she has been at Lotus (with a 6 year break elsewhere) for a cumulative 17 years.
Any way you look at it, Lotus has a very experienced, very competent homologation team, staffed with people who have been doing this same process repeatedly for many years. There is just no way (in my opinion) that there is an ignorance gap at work in this process.
We were having a freewheeling conversation about a bunch of other things. If you prefer that I not share it with you, that's fine, but I tend to err toward frank transparency wherever possible.No Offence....Why would the most "senior" person tell you anything? I worked in automotive and the high ups kept a tight lip on everything. What would the benefit be for them to tell you this sensitive information. You think they would want to keep any negative information away from the competition and public. Unless Lotus executives are more incompetent and moronic than some people think already.
Congratulations!! I am also thinking mist white. Would be great if we eventually get some real pictures of colors!Boom! Spoke to my dealer. I am FE 2.0! I have until September 20 to lock in my spec. In order of preference I am DV, Vivid, and Mist.
He said he was just in New York for the Lotus event and was told production is estimated for Feb 2024 which means my car should be here April/May. Exactly 6 months as @eriegz predicted.
I am in baby!
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