Lotus Emira V6 First Edition finally being delivered to customers

In July 2021, Lotus revealed the Emira, its final ICE-powered sports car before flipping to an all-electric lineup. By the time we got to drive it in December 2023, our Zac Palmer wrote, “you can’t spend $105,900 on a single car that would be more fun than the V6 First Edition I drove. There just isn’t another option out there that drives like the Emira, putting it in a class of its own for the enthusiast who wants the most unfiltered experience possible.” The problem for Emira buyers reading that — the ones sitting on reservations more than two years old — was that none of them had their cars. Last March, Gator Motorsports’ franchise Indy Lotus in Indianapolis sent a letter to reservation holders explaining the holdup as U.S. certification, specifically certification by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). At the same time, CarBuzz reported that Emira V6 First Edition units destined for the U.S. would land here last summer but wouldn’t be released to customers until between mid-October and mid-December.

Except Lotus dealers then had to explain to buyers in January of this year that cars here were getting a software update, likely for certification purposes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had given the Emira its blessing, but Lotus didn’t want to deliver units that couldn’t be registered in the 14 states that adhere to CARB mandates, so it held all of them (and perhaps prevented some car-flipping). At the end of last month, the Californians approved of what Lotus had done with its engine programming, freeing the Emira to head to good homes. At one point, Lotus planned to have cars here in time to get into the 2022 model year, now it’s a 2024. On the Emira Forum, in a thread about USA and Canadian delivery that’s grown to more than 500 pages, someone posted the CARB approval on March 2, page 461 of the thread. The first response from a forum member in Stage 4 of the Five Stages of Grief — mentioned just four posts earlier — was, “Is this legit? This isn’t something you did as a joke on the forum?” It’s no joke, other forum posters are reporting that they are receiving their cars.

Nay, twas not a joke. What’s also serious is a higher price for the eventual entry-level trim, the Emira First Edition powered by an AMG-sourced turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s not here yet, but getting in line for one means paying $99,900 before delivery and options instead of the $85,900 price announced with the coupe’s introduction in March 2022. The Emira V6 First Edition rose as well, going from $93,900 to $105,400, a slightly smaller delta than foisted upon the four-cylinder trim. The jump in the entry trim’s price means that the non-First Edition trim is almost certain to cost more than the $74,900 declared in October 2021. This 360-hp AMG mill will eventually replace the 400-hp Toyota six-cylinder as the only Emira on sale to the end of its run. The good news, though, is that the regular run of V6-powered models, the ones that can be had with a manual transmission, should get a nice discount once Lotus works through the First Editions.

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