Lotus Europa S is a GT type two seater automobile designed to complement the very successful Lotus Elise sports car and its derivative, the Exige. The name is borrowed from the legendary Lotus Europa of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Europa S is a light weight car of 995 kg (2194 lb) with a 149 kW (200 hp) 2.0 L engine. It uses an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis with composite body panels and front crash structure.
The Europa S is more “relaxed” than the Elise/Exige with a larger boot, greater soundproofing, and easier cabin access due to the lower chassis sides, and higher roof line. It also includes luxuries such as air conditioning, custom stereo sound system, leather interior, and plush interior carpeting as standard equipment in keeping with European Grand Touring (GT) auto tradition.
The car was originally planned to be manufactured at parent company Proton’s factory in Malaysia, allowing for a significantly lower sale price, but ultimately the company chose the Lotus Hethel factory for its production.
Delivery of the Europa S began in September 2006 from the Lotus factory at Hethel, Norfolk, UK. The car is not expected to be offered for sale in the United States or Canada at first, as the Opel/Vauxhall-built turbo is not currently certified to meet emissions requirements for those countries. MSRP is projected at approximately £33,000 (€49,000, $63,000).
The Europa S is a derivative of the Lotus Type 111 Elise and Exige cars only in that they sport variations of the same bonded aluminum chassis, the Europa bears a separate Lotus model designation (Type 121) due, in part, to its longer chassis and completely new body type.
The mid-engined two seat coupe sports a 2.0 L turbocharged GM Ecotec engine producing 147 kW (197 hp/203 PS) at 5400 rpm. The torquey 272 N·m (200 ft·lbf) engine allows the car to reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in around 5.6 seconds, and 100 mph (161 km/h) in around 13.8 seconds. Maximum speed is 143 mph (230 km/h).
Initial reviews of the Europa S have not been in line with the sister models Elise and Exige, The Sunday Times noting that while introducing a lower revving engine (General Motors 1998 cc, 4 cylinder turbocharged) creates a more comfortable level of sound, the performance is noticeably different from the higher revving Toyota engines, and with a heavier body shell, the performance isn’t in line with the Elise or Exige. It has the same wheelbase as the Vauxhall VX220, which is longer than that of the Elise.
Jason Plato, from British TV show Fifth Gear, tested the car and generally didn’t find it good enough to be a proper GT car because he thought that the car needs to be more comfortable.
However, respected performance car magazine Evo gave the car a generally positive review after being given the chance to test a production model in Belgium’s famed Spa-Francorchamps circuit, saying that the car was a “refreshingly mature and desirable sports car.” During the same session, Evo group tested the Porsche Cayman S, BMW Z4 M and Nissan 350Z GT-S and “couldn’t resist” comparing the Lotus to these three decidedly more expensive coupes. While the Lotus was slower than the three cars, Evo concluded that at around £33,000, it would be a very good match for the three cars lower spec versions.
2006 Lotus Europa S
Engine & transmission
Type: I6, turbo
Layout: Mid Engine / RWD
Displacement (cm3): 1996
Power (bhp): 200@5400
Torque (nm): 263@4200
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 5.6 sec
Acceleration 0-200 km/h: n/a
1/4 mile: n/a
Top speed: 225 km/h
Dimensions & Weight
Weight: 995 Kg