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New Europa Trashed.....

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By Andrew Frankel in the Sunday Times - not different enough, to expensive, engine crap, not involving enough, no idea who it is aimed at, go buy a Boxter instead. He admits the Elise S and Exige S are two of the best cars on the planet but he has no idea what the Europa is for. Two stars out of five. Oh dear.

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honestly, the look of the Europa is not appealing

I think its sales in HK market will be disaster, too. :)

**Lotus cannot just extend the length of the Elise and call it a new car. :)

(and I mentioned before, no one wants anything from OPEL in ASIA)

Edited by esprithk
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Hmmm, couple of instances I thought I saw a Europa the other day and it was the new Hyuandi coupe - thats like saying the Exige is no-good becuase it's not different enough from the Elise :)

Go and buy a boxster well considering this is the kinda market he's answered his own question about who it's aimed at :)

Fact is you see boxsters left right and bloody centre - nothing against them but they're more common than Ford Focus's at the moment - this would be targeted at the potential Porsche owner who might want something different ?

As for the engine being crap, haven't driven it but it'll still easily beat the base boxster to 60 (then again most sports cars can heheh, amount of silly boys who try and race the Elise), it takes the Boxster S with 2.7l V6 to keep up with the Europa so it's not all that bad eh ? It'll see of a Coxster too :)

My only 2 beefs are the interior and the price - was chatting to a dealer about options, the Europa has almost none, as within the price it's all thrown in, not sure thats what people want but we'll see.

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I thought when I read the thread title that someone had had an accident in one of them already! :)

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OK it's not identical but a quick glance and it's not too far off from the front.

I think the appeal will come when you drive the thing with the Lotus ride handling we all know and love. Yes it looks 100x better in the GRP.

I've chatted to loads of people about Elises and what not when selling mine (even 'virtually' sold one at a dealer on their open day LOL, I showed them around it and they bought it the next day). What always struck me was the fact people have said...needs a bigger boot, engine is too racey, I want a hard top, easier to get in and out of and come comfort....the Europa is that but still maintains some of the excellent handing characteristics of the Elise.

People still buy the touring pack Elise at just under 30 grand to get somewhere close to the spec which the Europa now provides so I think there is a market (hopefully not from their own cars !) and the car's not going to be made in HUGE droves anyways from what I have read - I dont think they have much to lose on it if you ask me.

Can't wait to have a test drive :)

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As others have said and Frankel observed, it will not appeal to the Elise/Exige driver but he does answer his own question about the market its aimed at. Lotus are going after the Boxter/Audi TT crowd. As my own dealer obesreved, for every Elise/Exige he sold last year (a record year for him) he lost 2 or 3 sales as the punters wanted more space/luggage/easier access etc etc. He had more deposits than his 06/07 Europa allocation and if that stops the "business class" buying Porsche/Audi then thats no bad thing.

Anyhow, they are aiming to produce around 600/year compared to over 3000 Elise/Exige - I think we may be surprised how well it does. Remember, Lotus estimated Elise production at 800/year and thats what their business case was based on. Lets hope they have underestimated demand again and all that lovely revenue gets ploughed into the new Esprit development fund!!!

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I did some filming with a new Europa about a month ago.

I thought it was a good looker, especially from the back - which hopefully is where most Porsche owners will view it from..

Looks good in dark blue with tan interior.

Not slow off the mark either - and it has a reasonable boot. I got a couple of large camera cases in it.

I believe Lotus had sold 150 out of the first batch of 350 at that time.

There's a big wide world out there.


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its just like your fruit cake mold!

Oh you mean the jelly mould! :)

I have been trying not to post it lately, as the mere sight of it seems to send some of the Stevens owners into a blue fit :):(:)


I think we all decided the Europa had Acura RSX headlights and that rear engined Audi showcar back end . :)


Edited by WayneB
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Seen it at the factory

Sat in it

Liked it very much......

In person it looks more like a complete car, more finised inside and out, less kit car esque!!

Love the elise & exige, but for a daily drive i love the Europa also..

If I was in the market for one I'd buy it, even over the elise/exige i think.

U guys need to see it in the flesh to appreciate it.

Saw one on the road in Cardiff last week with trade plates on, didnt think it looked like anything other than an Europa... obviously the local dealer staff on a jolly


Chunky Lover

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have booked my test drive for this coming saturday at chris neils,, so will have to wait and see..

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

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I think they totally botched the styling. The headlights are Asian car copied, and the front valance is 100% fast-and-furious ricer. I don't really like the tail light styling, but the front is what kills it for me.

That said, I *do* get the car. I think their big mistake was not making it for the North American market. I love the Elise, for all its rawness and purity, but I want a hard top, full carpet, a nicely finished interior, and a *little* boot space. The Elise -- with roof installed -- is the new all-time champion of "difficulty in ingress and egress", thanks to that super-high sill. What the Europa S is is an Elise made livable. I get it. I want a pure race car that is street legal, but even if I became a regular weekend racer, I would ultimately put 100x more miles on the road than on the track.

Non-car people can't handle an Elise. This means that your passengers other than your car buddies or very loving and patient wives will be distraught at having to ride with you when you go somewhere. The Europa S addresses this; this is a Lotus that won't offend "normal" people -- this is a pure Lotus that can fit into your everyday life, unlike the Elise which is your getaway mistress.

The Cayman is too soft. It is too heavy, too luxo-barge. I want a mid-engine car that is pure and sporting and not too far removed from its racetrack roots, but comfortable enough to use in the real world. Right now the S1 fills this gap. I would be in the market for a Europa S if it were sold in my market. Too bad they killed the styling. Otherwise I'd be all over it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .

Here's something else to think about, although this pertains more to the North American market:

For many years, there were mid-engine cars at two extremes of the market, but nothing in the middle. We had MR2s and X-1/9s and Fieros in the at one end (cheap and slow), and Ferraris, Esprits, and Lamborghinis at the other end (uber expensive and uber fast), but there was very little in the market for people who wanted a real, credible performance car. There were plenty of "upmarket" sedans and front-engine sports cars that were not super-expensive or super-exotic, but nothing mid-engined for a while. We had the Europa until 1974/75. We had the 914, which could handily overtake a Beetle, and that's about it. Then came the drought. There was the Lancia Scorpion (Montecarlo) from 1976-77, which was a failure in the States because of the emissions-strangled engine. Then North America had nothing mid-engined and mid-range upmarket until the Boxster in 1997 or so. TWENTY YEARS we went where mid-engine meant cheap slow car or super-expensive exotic.

I know that the rest of the world had a somewhat better Montecarlo, Matra Murena, and a few others along the way, and I don't know how well the mid-engine market was covered for all of you. But in North America, there has been a huge void in the market for a long time.

Enter the Boxster. Well, not exactly. The Boxster is better known as a roadster than a mid-engine car. It was part of the "roadster revival" of the 1990s. As "baby boomers" got older and began to have disposable income, these cars met their lustings, as they are a revival of the Austin Healeys, Triumphs, 356s, MGs, and E-types they dreamed of when they were young.

But the baby boomers are getting old, and they've all bought their last-ditch-shot-at-youth roadsters. Meanwhile, the generation that followed them ("Gen-X"?) are starting to make money. These are people roughly between ages 25 and 45 today, maybe more like 28/29-early forties. These are the people who dreamed of low-slung mid-engine cars as kids. These are people who wanted BBi's, Testarossas, ESPRITs, and 037s when they were young. These are the kids who had a poster of a Bora, Countach, or Testarossa on their walls as youths.

Not all of them will be able to afford Ferraris. And a lot of them (myself included) can't stand roadsters. Roadsters represent "old" to them ("us"). To us, "real" sports cars have roofs. Roadsters are not aerodynamic; sports cars are supposed to be aerodynamic, and have as low of a center of gravity as possible. Even if that means sacrificing easy entry/exit, or other comforts. And the engine belongs where God and Newton intended: in front of the rear axle. If it belonged anywhere else, then every F1, Lemans, Indy, etc., car would have it somewhere else! :)

Enter the Cayman. Just as the children who grew up in the 70s are becoming able to afford a better car, Porsche delivers: Mid-engine, two-seat, fast, pedigree/racing heritage, hardtop. Porsche has the market cornered. Toyota goofed with their boxster-wannabe MR-2. I'd be all over it if it had a roof and looked sleek rather than stubby. . . and were not a friggin' convertible. Right now, in North America, the Cayman and Boxster are the ONLY sub-$100k mid-engine sports cars available other than the Elise. There is nothing in the "affordable" range, and Porsche has the mid-upmarket range covered because the Elise is really only for the hardcore purists. The Noble is loved and squeaks in to the States somewhat illegitimately, but is too obscure to count.

So where is the Europa? I'd be so all over it if it were available here. The Cayman is too tall and too heavy. The Europa delivers where the Cayman gives way to fat pampered bottoms; The Europa is lighter, lower, more nimble, more interesting, delivers hot performance, and gives legendary Lotus handling. But it is civilized enough to appeal to people who may want to use the car a lot more for other things than just track/club events, like a night out with a lady in a dress, or a cross-country trip.

I get it. I get the Europa. Now fix the styling (don't make it look toyota-ugly like the new Elise, either!) and sell it in North America.

Edited by Tony K

Tony K. :)


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Autocar this week are not to keen on the new Europa but love the green Exige






I am going for my test drive this weekend so will reserve judgement until I have seen it in the flesh and driven it

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche

find me on Tripadvisor


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Europa makes a whole lot more sense as a road car than either Elise/Exige.. just as the Elan 2+2 was imho a better can than the S1 or Sprint.

Looks-wise it looks like a new Lotus.

We have to leave our non-pop-up prejudices in the

Edited by M Blur

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Lotus doesn't need this bad press. I guess the car has a few problems (or is being misunderstood), but the Europa article strikes me as very negative and could put people off the car. Lotus will undoubtedly develop the car. I hope the Europa gets some better press. I don't want to hear of more 3 day weeks at Lotus :blink: .

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I have "mentioned" my own opinion on the Europa before, however, I must stress that this was prior to seeing and driving the little buzzbomb.

1. It is not an Exige, but it's acceleration is still very rapid.

2. I could actually hear the stereo, but open the window and you realise it's just the insulation as it still "burbles" at low speed and "screams" at higher speeds.

3. How can anyone knock the styling when that's the more "understated" market it's aimed at. You want girlie understatement just look at the Audi TT!! The Europa looks better and drives like a real sports car not like the girlie "push me hard and I'll let you down" TT.

4. This is Lotus's attempt at breaking into the GT market and right now YOU (yes YOU) are biased as you are Esprit owners. Put the TT against it and I'm sure the Lotus would win on performance, ride, handling and desireability (prob not on boot space, but who cares when it puts a grin on your face).

5. As I stated previously it looks great in the flesh, aggressive, but definately more "useable".

That test in Autocar and the Times just points towards the tester thinking he was getting an Elise derivative when this should be looked at as a new car and the market it's aimed at understood. Make your own minds up rather than being influenced by on line images and reports.

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Lotus should be able to hit a much bigger marked than they advice.

600-800 cars a year???In my opinion the marked for the Europa is much bigger than for the Elise.

If this is a car that can compete in comfort and quality with other brands in the same leage they should aim at much higer production numbers.

Lotus have a very sporty image and are known to produce the best handling car in the world.

I think the factory people are aiming to low.

May be they are trying to do a slow start so they get feedback and are able to make a "upgradet edition" that gona hit the marked better?

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Having said that the old Aud TT was a s**t car yet everyone bought it :o

I agree on most but the fact is the entry new TT will be a shed load cheaper and that could be an issue for this car. Personally I like it but tbh if I had

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I agree with Kimbers. We should make up our own minds. I'm quite excited by the new Europa. It's will meet the needs of drivers who want a sports car with a little more comfort, practicality and the prestige of the Lotus badge. It's unfair to compare it with the Elise/Exige which are out and out sports cars. I say well done Lotus. Film, restaurant critics and car magazine testers don't always get it right. Let the customer decide.

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When I first saw it, I thought it looked a bit like an old 1990's Hyundai Coupe. This pic makes it look a bit better.


I really hope it sells well, Lotus needs all the help it can get at the moment:

AutoExpress have given it 4 stars out of 5. and don't think Lotus will have a problem selling all that they intend to manufacture. Yes it appears expensive. However the shape is growing on me.

I think there is more riding on the car than is believed and than Lotus is letting on.

I truely hope it's a major success?

Darryl & Sue

Proud to drive and own since new a true British supercar the Evora GT430

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