Emira Sales Halted as Lotus Fails California Emissions Approval

U.S. Customers Still Waiting for Emira’s Debut Almost Three Years After Its Reveal

Lotus unveiled the Emira First Edition for the American market back in 2021, yet the highly-anticipated British sports car has yet to hit the streets. Despite hundreds of units already in stock at dealerships throughout the US, deliveries have been delayed due to Lotus’ pending emissions certification with the California Air Resource Board (CARB).

After several years of facing supply-related challenges, the launch of the Emira has been postponed, disappointing sports car enthusiasts. However, there may be hope on the horizon. In a recent statement to Automotive News, a representative from Lotus revealed that the brand has implemented software upgrades to the Emira’s powertrain in order to comply with CARB regulations. While this process has been completed, the official certification is still pending from the environmental regulator. As per Lotus, interested buyers must now exercise patience until the final approval is obtained.

At present, fourteen states uphold the emission standards set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which include popular locations such as New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. The remaining 36 states abide by the guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for vehicles. For this reason, Lotus has decided against selling their Emira model in the states regulated by the EPA because potential purchasers might resell the cars in CARB-controlled regions where the powertrain of the vehicle would not comply with the local laws. Consequently, these cars would be ineligible for registration.

The new Emira model does not boast a particularly unique engine, as it utilizes the Toyota 2GR-FE 3.5-liter V6 engine. However, with the addition of an Edelbrock 1740 supercharger, this powertrain is able to produce an impressive 400 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Surprisingly, this is slightly less powerful than its predecessor, the Evora GT, which also utilized the same Toyota engine with forced induction. The Emira’s maximum rev limit has been set at 6,800 rpm, compared to the Evora’s 7,200 rpm, in order to prevent valve float during intense driving. In theory, obtaining CARB certification for this engine should not be a difficult task, given that it has already received it in the past.

Lotus has not limited themselves to just the Toyota V6 for the Emira, as they have plans to also offer a four-cylinder version in the United States in the future. This variant of the car will be equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG, which boasts an impressive output of 360 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. While customers can currently configure both versions on Lotus’ American website, it remains uncertain when the four-cylinder model will officially go on sale, as it may also be subject to holdups due to compliance with CARB regulations.

As expected, members of the Lotus Talk forum are expressing their dissatisfaction with the current state of the Emira, given that many of them had made reservations as early as 2021. Several users have shared images of numerous cars adorned with “Sold” labels, eagerly awaiting CARB certification in order to kickstart deliveries. A quick search on Autotrader reveals a total of 186 Emira listings in the US. However, it should be noted that some of these listings are marked as “Sale Pending,” indicating that the actual number of available cars may be slightly lower. The prices for these listings range from $94,062 to $109,150.

Source: Automotive News

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