Lotus has announced a new, more civilised GT car that revives the Europa name
8 December 2005

Lotus has at last revealed its rival to the Audi TT, Nissan 350Z and Porsche Boxster, the 140mph Europa S. Described by the Norfolk sportscar brand as ‘business class by Lotus’, the new grand tourer uses the same turbocharged, 200bhp 2.0-litre Vauxhall engine fitted to the VX220 Turbo.

The new model takes Lotus into a new sector of the market for in contrast to the more extreme Exige and Elise models, it features comparative luxuries like carpet, full leather interior and airbags for driver and passanger all as standard. Lotus also promises that access to the cabin will be considerably easier than the notoriously tricky Elise.

Despite its larger size, the Europa still follows the principles honed on the Elise and Exige. Its chassis is made from extruded, bonded aluminium and it features composite body panels and a composite front crash structure.

As a result, it weighs 995kg, considerably less than its market rivals, and boasts a strong power-to-weight ratio (201bhp per tonne), allowing it to accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.5sec, and 0-100mph in 14.0sec.

Lotus has yet to confirm an on-sale date or pricing, but the car will start production next July and the firm states that the Europa should cost around £33,000. It will be available in all Lotus markets, with the exception of the USA and Canada.

Read Steve Cropley's full story on the Europa S in next week's magazine.

Our Verdict

Toyota Verso

Appealing to some, thanks to a fine balance of quality, space and refinement, but rarely thrilling to be in

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out