Fans of Lotus supercars should run to the nearest dealership and place their orders, because it looks like that will soon be impossible. Like the Lotus Elise and Exige, the Lotus Evora could soon be banned from U.S. dealerships because it fails to meet smart airbag guidelines.
It seems like the logical thing to do would be to simply meet the smart airbag guidelines, even doing a sort-of recall to install them on past sales. But the more likely reality will be that the cars are removed from the showrooms because of the costs involved with meeting the standards. The company recently announced plans to downsize a quarter of its global workforce, indicating possible financial woes.
Will it become increasingly rare to see a Lotus out on the streets or at a car meet? That can only be presumed with the last model left being pulled from the U.S. market.
It seems that the Lotus Evora cars were permitted here due to an exemption, one that has now expired. That leaves Lotus with the option to either bring the airbags on board or stop importing the cars Stateside. These guidelines only affect street legal models, so the track-only ladies will remain available.
The models already here should be permitted to remain, and it is not like they sell rapidly. Not everyone can afford the likes of a brand spanking new Lotus, so there should be plenty to go around for the next couple of years. That said, with a new CEO at the wheel, Lotus is rumored to be toying with new avenues. There is chatter of potential Lotus sedans, SUVs, and perhaps lower priced options.