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Lotus Europa


simonb

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The recent Europa seems to be the territory that the Elise 2015 is aiming for - drive to work in a suit type of motor. When raced they can be the fastest Elise derivative, and they look pretty good (even seen one on the road)

but they did everything but sell.

is it a niche that does not work (which would be a worry for the Bahar Elise) or is it just that a publicly "proton" design and a tarted up VX interior were just not good enough. Interior put me off, but I never got the "must have one" vibe that the Alfa 4C has given me

Dont get it yet on the future Elise, but i think it may evolve a little

http://www.evo.co.uk/news/evonews/270142/new_lotus_sports_cars_photo_gallery.html

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Back in 2006 we had 200 people visit the factory and drive the Europa, most of them from an Esprit background. Nearly everyone thought the car was great, no-one bought one!

With all sports cars, they're never a sensible or practical purchase but I think you're right about the niche. It's too soft for a sports car, too sporty for a tourer, a car in a market that doesn't exist. The new Elise will be in the market of the current car, sports orientated I think, not an attempt at a small and sporty GT.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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I am not so sure the 2015 Elise is in the current market Elise rather than the "Europa" market though. I am not the target market, as I have stuck with the S1, but would be tempted by a 2-11 with a windscreen. I think the Europa (as the VXR) could be made into a sportscar that could eat the Elise for breakfast, but it just did not get developed that way (I suppose Lotus really did not want to promote the fact that the VXR was a better car than the 111R, so reskinned it was still played down.

Maybe it is the niche, maybe it is the car itself (and I feel Lotus loved the Europa like a ginger stepchild). Trouble is I think the Alfa 4C is in the same niche (sporty little tourer) and I want one! I think it is maybe the look of the Alfa that does it. Have not seen the 2015 Elise in the flesh, but it is a bit generic in pictures. I think this is a heart not head purchase, and a bit more wow is needed

However put this interior into the Europa

car_photo_451549_25.jpg

And you would be half way there, maybe a different front on the 2015 Elise and it would get there (it looks a bit ford / mitsubishi / toyota / kia / renault / anyone else with a new modern spoiler / bumper to me from the front at the moment)

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I dont believe it had the wow factor personally. Nice car but bland and if you ever bought and wanted to sell it on, who would buy it?

Caught between a rock and a hard place in a catch 22 situation, So its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Your damned if you do, but your damned if you don't so shut your cock!!!!!!!!!!!

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For me I'd love an Elise or better yet an Exige but size is an issue, I just don't fit comfortably, more about getting in and out when my back is in spasm, so for me the EuropaS would look a better bet. If I were smaller or didn't have a spine problem would I want an Europa over an Elise or Exige? No, I'd be content with the other options, and I think that's the issue. Whilst tall people with bad backs are not the only market, it is a limited market of those for whom the Elise/ Exige isn't big enough or comfortable enough but want the Elise/ Exige style of character.

If you look back the late 1970s and 1980s there were people going into the Lotus dealerships for Esprits and leaving having purchased Eclat/ Elite/ Excel models. Why? Because they wanted the Esprit character but found the compromise of handling Vs comfort less easy in the Esprit than in the sister models. I think that if the Elise/Exige models were less comfortable and less easy to drive daily the EuropaS would have taken off really well but Lotus got the Elise & Exige so "right" that any model would have struggled.

It is a pity Proton din't run with the EuropaS, I know it's different to the current core market but look at Hyundai. Hyundai do some great small cars and family cars, not "top end" but having driven them as hire cars I'm happy to say that if somebody offered me an i30 or an Astra, i'd plump for the i30, but they have a sister model the coupe. that coupe is a great sports car, not too pricy, not too radical in terms of handling, it's comfortable, it also breaks Hyundai away form just being a manufacturer of economical good value for money family & small cars. I think the EuropaS would have beocme that car for Proton if only they'd gone with it.

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Porsche built a better alternative. And I like the Europa.

Edited by red vtec

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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For me it was simply that the Elise platform is too small and other than a short session on track or back roads I dont want to drive along with my shoulder pressed hard up against the person next to me. That was my overwhelming memory of my factory test drive in the Europa! Other than that - love the GT idea and even know someone who agreed with me and tried to buy one second hand. He couldn't find an SE and bought a 911 instead so the Porsche alternative carries some credance with me even though I wouldn't want one of them for myself either.

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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Bibs, how manny of the 200 mostly Esprit backgrounded (-in second hand?) guest where aible to buy one of the Europa-cars offered in that time ..?

As i would guess that most of the Esprit owners now and in the past are there in this range for a reason:

the traditional Esprit fits the monthly pocket and offers still good road speed and cabin space.

**

From my impression the traditional well known Opel engine alone would be the first good point, to qualify it for a future collectable

-as engine parts for an Porsche are not so common, as we know. Several tuning options for the Opel are available, used parts on every corner .. thousands of salvagable Opel cars sold in Europe. So the Europa should nowadays just be as good for a light weekend-racer as the Opel-speedster still is overhere

Edited by Günter

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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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Unfortunately the Europa was fully developed and released when MJK took over.

In my opinion it was too close to the Elise, which was cheaper, and not close enough to the GT market it was aimed at. As Bibs said, it was a half way car.

However, with the money spent and not wishing to kill something that has just been released MJK set about getting it up to standard. I saw the plastics and rubber increase tenfold in quality from the first car to the one sent out to its first customers. And to be honest, those that have them like them!!

I do think, in future people whill ask why more weren't built and sold as it really is a good car and for me, looks different to the Elise to be a viable option for my next car.

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I really like the Europa, but could never understand what/ who it was aimed at. Elise = sports car Exige = Track car Europa =??

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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As one of the people who test drove one at the Factory Day, my opinion was it was more expensive than an Elise with no significant advantages. It wasn't that much roomier inside (and I've driven S1 and S2 Elises so can compare).

It was really nice to drive though, and I'm sure when the second hand value drops low enough they'll become something of a cult classic.

Regards

Mat

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I have a friend who bought one after he sold the elise to me. It has had a few mods and puts out 179kW. It is quick on the track! The Elise out corners it but it just hauls me in on the straights, massively fast. And the Inside looks alot more comfortable though. I tossed around the idea of getting one when i first started looking but the Elise looks better and i was hooked on the Elise's handling.

I always thought the Europa was aimed at the TT, Z3 and SLK drivers but none of them took the bait really.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been looking at these and they do appeal but the extra 150kg over the Elise must dent the performance. Having said that the extra go from the 200hp or 225hp in S form should make up for it. I prefer it in practical terms to the VX as the fast back is better but the VX has the same power, less weight and handles better for less money. What would be nice is to mod one a little. Lower would be a good start and another 50hp easily available. Anyone done it/got pics?

Trevor.

I'll get around to it at some point.

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http://www.hofmannsofhenley.co.uk/

Randy (Chris Randall) of Hofmanns knows pretty much everything there is about tuning a Europa.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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I only joined here to be cheeky and put an advert in the classifieds (that I can't see). But saw this thread so thought I would post.

I have had a Elise S2 ST for 3 years, then a Elise S1 for 3 years and I have now had my Europa for 6 months and I can say without a doubt the Europa is not only the best Lotus I have owned its one of the best cars I have owned. If like me you can no longer live with the raw edge everyday of a Elise then the Europa makes sense (I only run one car you see), its still got the handling of the elise, I think evo said it was 1 second slower than the 111R round the track test bit they do and I think if you stuck a good set of dampers and wheels on it, you would show a 111R a clean set of heels.

Yet its so much more than the 111R for me, it is refined like dare I say a "real car" if you get me? It feels as though you could do that drive to Germany and back without any problems unlike the feeling I used to get from my Elise's. I disliked the Toyota engine and I was looking at other cars like a Z4M and the Boxter but all are missing that "Lotus factor" that I assume we all love. The Europa is quite, quick and refined, it drives so differently to the 111R / Exige due to the power plant, it's got just so much torque!

I am selling my Europa as I am moving on to try something else, but when I do return to Lotus it WILL be a Europa I will be looking for.

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http://www.lotusforsale.com

:)

What are you getting next? TT-RS? :lol:

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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From my perspective, sitting here in Switzerland, but even considering a more general Europe perspective, the UK seems to be a very unusual market for Lotus where cars (and to a lesser degree any sports car) are used on a daily basis. If I look at second hand Lotuses it seems that most do somewhere between 5000 and 8000km a year, with many below. It's quite easy to pick up an early S1 Elise with 30,000km on the clock. Even Boxsters are probably doing mostly in the 8000km range a year. These cars are second / third cars for occasional use. As noted before, the Europa seems to have targeted a market which was never really there.

The Elise platform cars are probably too small and awkward to make good 'go away for a long weekend cars' for most. They make excellent sunday morning drivers. I've never wanted my Elise to be more practical. When I ever wish I had bought something else for the type of drives I do it would be a 2-11, something without the Elise compromise.

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I liked the Europa basic design but I didn't like the fact that they never finished the job! The front end and rear end looked like they had run out of budget and had to fit whatever part they could land their hands on! The interior was nice but still way to close to the Elise/Exige and the engine was somewhat disappointing especially considering that the Astra VXR and other hot hatches had more powerful engines! I never understood how it never got more than 220 bhp!!! Europa was supposed to be a mini grand tourer but was too limited it could have been an alternative to the Cayman but it seemed like they did not really try!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am fortunate to own an Elise S1 (Elise Trophy spec) Elise Sports Racer and an Europa S. I have owned a Lotus since 1987. The Europa is the best Lotus I have owned and Trish agrees it is her favourite. If the Sports Racer wasn't effectively an Exige with an Elise body, Trish would also have bought an Europa.

I'm sure that Chris Randall is on the lotus management's "wanted list!"

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