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Emissions regulations: The Lotus Emira can finally be delivered in the USA

Emissions regulations: The Lotus Emira can finally be delivered in the USA

Imagine driving down a US highway in a Lotus Princess car. Not just any road, but California's Interstate 1, which runs from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Out back there's 405 horsepower from a supercharged 3.5-liter V6, the muscular tires eat up the curvy strip of asphalt and on the right side the Pacific waves crash. There really are worse scenarios, right? The problem: Until now this journey remained just a fantasy, but in reality this journey was not impossible.

It wasn't the famous highway and it certainly wasn't your fault. More like California, but primarily due to a disastrous combination of the manufacturer, its products, and US emissions regulations. This mixed situation has been the reason why Lotus has so far been unable to deliver its last combustion-engined sports car – or rather unwilling to deliver it. This is despite the fact that the sports car has been part of the regular Lotus portfolio for almost two years.

Mixture emission regulations in the USA

The manufacturer wanted to wait until the situation was fully clarified. And it was difficult. The Lotus Emira could easily have been registered in 36 US states. Non-stringent nationwide EPA emissions regulations apply here, which the sports car therefore meets. But there's also the California Air Resources Board (CARB), California's counterpart to the EPA. Traditionally, CARB makes emissions regulations more stringent than the EPA, which incidentally leads to much higher hurdles for automakers, and not just in the western US Golden State. 13 other US states also adhere to CARB rules.

© Lotus

Lotus princess i4
End of combustion with AMG power

Due to this patchwork of emissions regulations in the US, Lotus has reluctantly decided not to deliver the Emira in the US for the time being. The Brits, who now belong to the Chinese group Geely, wanted to prevent an Amira that was first registered in an EPA country from ending up in a CARB country and not being registered there after being resold. This led to the ridiculous situation in which dozens (according to the American media, even hundreds) of new cars with flat tires were sitting on the lot, despite having a clearly readable “SOLD” sign on their windows.

Update the software as a solution

But merchants will soon have more space on their properties than before. As Lotus confirmed to, the Emira has now received long-awaited CARB approval. Accordingly, a recalibrated engine control system was approved on February 29, which finally enables Amira to comply with stringent emissions regulations. Now customers can finally take delivery of their long-purchased vehicles, which cost about $100,000. Enjoy worry-free driving on California's Highway 1.


Lotus found itself in trouble with the emirate in the United States. Due to strict emissions regulations, especially in California, many sold examples of the sports car were never delivered. However, a software update has now helped and paved the way for the cars already sold to be delivered soon.

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