We recently brought you rather somber news that Lotus was essentially pulling out of America as it was pulling the Evora — the brand’s last road-going model — from America in the 2015 model year due to its lack of smart airbags. All this would leave Lotus is a few track-only toys to sell in America. It seemed a sad end to a company that has been trying to pull itself from a death spiral for the last few years. Now, according to a confirmed report from Jalopnik, the loss of the Evora will only be temporary.
In a Lotus Forum post, there was a rumor that the Evora would return as a 2016 model year, but the report was simply hearsay. At least it was until Lotus North America CEO Arnie Johnson emailed Jalopnik to tell them that this rumor was, in fact, true. Johnson is quoted saying “Lotus is committed to the North American market and will indeed produce a 2016 Model Year Evora that will be fully U.S. compliant.”
This begs the question of will Lotus simply revise the current, slow-selling Evora to meet U.S. regulations, or will this be an all-new model with all the latest gadgetry America requires? I am thinking more of the latter because one of the issues is the fact that Lotus did not want to retrofit the current Evora due to its lack of sales; an all-new model would likely sell much better and would be easier to engineer with the airbags as a part of it.
This also leads to the question of how can Lotus dealers survive a full model year with only leftover 2013 and 2014 Evoras on showroom floors and a few track-only model? This shouldn’t be a huge issue as seeing a Lotus-only dealer is a rare sight. Typically they are a part of a dealer group that sells other exotic rigs that will help keep the doors open. Additionally, we only have four months before the 2016 model year can begin, so it could only be a matter of months before the updated Evora hits dealers.