August 11, 2021
By: Richard Roe

Lotus Emira: The Deposit Process

> Cyberpunk 2077 taught me not to pre-order games - so I've pre-ordered a car instead.
Tags: emira, lotus,

How do you pre-order a car?

The Lotus Emira reveal was something I was excited about - so much so, in fact, that I actually watched the livestream on one monitor while I got some work done on another. It's not the greatest car ever made, but I am absolutely in love with it. I'm still going to go test-drive one of those new Corvette's, as I've heard a lot about them - but so far, I'm pretty sold on the Emira. Only one thing - Lotus mentioned deposits, but there was no clear indication of what that process would look like. I emailed the nearest major Lotus dealership, but after two days, I hadn't heard anything concrete. Checking Reddit, r/lotus also didn't have a lot of information, since multiple users had conflicting information. So, when Saturday rolled around, I decided to drive to the dealership and ask in person instead.

How much is it?

The dealership I went to was accepting refundable deposits of $5000, with a signed guarantee that the first 100 orders would only be sold at MSRP, as pricing was (and is still) unknown. I haven't chosen any options, other than a tentative decision on whether I'd want the Mercedes based i4 engine, or the Toyota v6 in manual or automatic - I've tentatively chosen the manual v6, but I'm a bit interested in the Mercedes engine. Using their configurator, I'm leaning towards some options, but I still haven't even seen the car in person to see what the colors and interiors will actually look like - but I'll hopefully be able to do so around November from what I've heard. I wrote the check, and now I'm 20th in line with my dealership. I'm glad I went in, too - they were so busy with the process, they hadn't even had the chance to process anything electronically, all deposits were driven by door traffic for the first 3 days after the announcement.

I'm really loving the green with yellow accent. Too Lotus?

How are the vehicles allocated?

I spent some time at the dealership talking about Lotus cars - past, present, and future. I viewed some of the Evora GT's that were in the showroom, and started asking questions about dealer allocation. So, this is what I've learned:

  • 60% is based on the number of 2021 Evora GT's sold. My dealer had in the double-digits of on-site Evora GT's available, and seemed very confident that they'd be able to sell them.
  • The other 40% based on "market potential" - being in the Bay Area, I'm pretty sure my dealer will be allocated a good amount of units.

What next?

Who knows? I received an email from the Lotus representative at the dealership letting me know that they were going to be out of office this week for the US launch of the Emira at Monterey. As an aside: that's really close to me, being less than a three hour drive away, and I was incredibly tempted to drive down to see it for myself in person. I'll have to wait to hear back from the dealership to see what information Lotus has for them, and try and find out when I'll be able to see one in person myself. I'll try and take pictures when I do.