Lotus Europa S

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Lotus Europa S
Lotus Europa S.JPG
Manufacturer Lotus Cars
Production Late 2006 - Early 2010
Only 456 built with 48 being SE specification
Body and chassis
Class Sports car (S)
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout Transverse mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Related Dodge EV
Proton Lekir
Engine 2.0 L Z20LER I4 (turbocharged petrol)
Transmission 6-speed Getrag M32 manual
Wheelbase 2,330 mm (91.7 in)
Length 3,900 mm (153.5 in)
Width 1,850 mm (72.8 in)
Height 1,120 mm (44.1 in)
Kerb weight 995 kg (2,194 lb)

Lotus Europa S is a GT-type two-seat sports car, designed to complement the successful Lotus Elise and its derivative, the Exige. The Europa S is a modern version of the Europa line of the 1960s and 1970s. It bears the internal number Type 121.

The Europa S is more "relaxed" than the Elise/Exige with a larger boot (trunk), greater soundproofing, and easier cabin access due to the lower chassis sides and higher roof line. It also include luxuries such as air conditioning, a sound system, leather interior, and plush interior carpeting as standard equipment in keeping with European Grand Touring (GT) auto tradition.


The Europa S is a light weight car of 995 kg (2,194 lb) with a 149 kW (203 PS; 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 a derivative of the Lotus Type 111 Elise and Exige cars to the extent that the cars have 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 has a 2.0 L turbocharged GM Ecotec engine, the Z20LER, producing 147 kW (200 PS; 197 hp) at 5400 rpm[1] using the M32 6-speed transmission. The torquey 272 N·m (201 lb·ft) engine allows the car to reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in around 5.5 seconds, and 100 mph (160 km/h) in around 13.8 seconds. Maximum speed is 143 mph (230 km/h).

Europa SE model[edit]

2010 Lotus Europa SE
2010 Lotus Europa SE interior

As the Europa S model was not a sales success, Lotus engineering director Roger Becker took charge of the car’s development programme and created the Europa SE model. The SE model has the following upgrades -

ENGINE: The Europa SE uses the same General Motors supplied Z20 LER 2.0 litre engine unit as used in the Europa S, but is fitted with a revised turbocharger featuring a high output compressor, a re-calibrated engine controller, and a set of colder grade spark plugs. These changes provide a smoother, more linear, and enhanced torque characteristic for readily accessible engine performance, and result in a power increase to 225 PS, with 300 Nm of torque.

WHEELS & TYRES: The new, cast alloy 15-spoke roadwheels are increased in both width and diameter. They are fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 tyres in 195/45 R17 on the front (increased from 175/55) and 235/40 R18 (from 225/45 R17) at the rear. This equipment, in combination with revised suspension tuning (see below), provides higher levels of both longitudinal and lateral grip and results in improved handling, balance and braking performance, especially in very wet conditions, whilst maintaining ride comfort and refinement.

SUSPENSION: The front and rear spring rates have been increased, and the internal valving of the dampers revised. New front damper mounting brackets are fitted together with a softer front anti-roll bar. These changes, in combination with the revised wheel/tyre equipment, provide a nose down rake and slightly lowered ride height, and produce the driving characteristics described above.

BRAKES: In order to provide greater braking performance in conditions of repeated high speed use, larger single piece front brake discs (308mm vs. 288mm) feature curved and handed internal cooling vanes and cross drilling. 4-piston, light alloy, A.P. Racing front callipers utilise Ferodo DS25HP pad material, also fitted to the otherwise standard rear brakes, and a re-calibration of the ABS software ensures that the greater braking potential of the new wheel/tyre/suspension package is fully utilised, with intervention occurring only at the threshold of grip.

INTERIOR: The Europa SE comes as standard with the Luxury Touring Pack (optional on the 'S') and features re-styled trim panels in soft, lightweight, high grade leather.

Lotus stopped production beginning of 2010 due to new emission standards. Only 48 of the Europa SE model were built. It is the rarest production road car ever built by Lotus.


The car was originally planned to be manufactured at parent company Proton's factory in Malaysia, allowing for a lower sale price, but ultimately the company chose the Lotus Hethel factory for the car's production.[2]

Delivery of the Europa S began in September 2006 from the Lotus factory at Hethel, Norfolk, UK. The car was not offered for sale in the United States or Canada, as the Opel/Vauxhall-built turbo was not certified to meet emissions requirements for those countries.[citation needed]

The Europa S body and platform was also used by Chrysler for their Dodge Circuit EV electric car concept.[3]

Press reaction S/SE model[edit]

New 2006 Lotus Europa S

Europa S

Reviews of the Europa S were not in line with those for the sister models Elise and Exige, The Sunday Times noting that while introducing a lower-revving engine (General Motors 1998 cc, four-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.[4]

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. Jeremy Clarkson remarked on Top Gear, "we won't even play [the review film] because it was such a dreary car."

However, Evo magazine gave the car a generally positive review after being given the chance to test a production model in Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps circuit, saying that the car was a "refreshingly mature and desirable sports car."[5] 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.[6]

Europa SE


  1. ^ "Lotus Europa S Statistics". carautoportal.com. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  2. ^ "Lotus EUROPA S Review". review. Yahoo Cars UK. 2005-12-19. Retrieved 2006-12-08. 
  3. ^ Riswick, James. "Dodge Circuit EV Revs Up Chrysler's Electric Initiative". Edmunds.com. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  4. ^ Frankel, Andrew (2006-09-10). "Lotus Europa S". review. Times Online. Retrieved 2006-09-18. 
  5. ^ Meaden, Richard (November 2006). "Lotus Europa S". review. Evo. 
  6. ^ Meaden, Richard (November 2006). "Lotus Europa S". review. Evo. 

External links[edit]