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Europa - did anyone NOT like it ?


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I really enjoyed the Europa I drove.

I didn't think they had hit the spot with interior but that upgrade looks the nuts. That's way more like it needed to be considering what market they are aiming at. 10/10 to them for listening! (Common sense marketing imho)

I hope they have addressed the issue of the sloping elbow (not) rest on the door card but it doesn't look like it - This pissed me off INSTANTLY! It continued to annoy me the entire time I was driving it. It's fine if you're driving hell for leather and in "F1" pose but that's not what this car's about - In cruising mode you NEED at least one arm rest (not least as there's no centre - for obvious reasons) So I found it hugely frustrating to have one there which was simply styled in such a way that my elbow slipped off it all the time. It was like it was chucking me off saying "Try it - go on try it.... NOPE! you can't rest that here! :P " ;)

I wasn't keen on the vagueness of the gearchange either - I'd have preferred something more positive like my Esprit but I know I'm in a minority to everyone else and the ghey motoring press on that!

Every corner or roundabout I went into, I came out of saying to myself "I could have done that faster!

I got out grinning and really annoyed it was over so soon, I wanted at least another 30 minute ''go'!

[EDIT] Start Button!! Is that new?

"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."


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Wow, that is one hot looking leather treated interior. OH can you imagine the smell of it as soon as you open the door. That is a great improvement from the looks of it and I really do hope this helps it in the sales department to sell everyone they build.

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Yeah Fishy, I just noticed the start button as well.

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Sure the 111R has a start button ?

Ohhh the weight increase, the horror of it all :P

Looks good but as Robin says and I also found it an arse was the cruising aspect needs an arm rest. The thing that has always dogged me about the comfort / Elise layout is the fact you sit ontop of each other with the small cabin size.

I reakon there are some stinker Europas out there, the one I drove was the total opposite of what you reported. I thought the whole thing was very tidy I really really liked it. Haven't driven a coxster yet, I looked in one and thought better of it, can anything be that high + loungy and still be a sports car ?

I've always been tempted to take the competition out for a drive but never really been bothered for a number of reasons.

Kudos for actaully going out and 'doing it' though, I still think if you're in the market for a car like this from Lotus, buy an Esprit ;)

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- Handling: Understeer and I mean horrid understeer. This isn't in comparison to my Exige this is in comparison to my Audi diesel. Felt heavy at the rear, light at the front, washed very wide at roundabouts.

I always find this statement interesting when people who mention they drive a front engined AWD or RWD car talk about understeer on a Mid Engined car.

Some Esprits suffer from bad understeer, especially the early Stevens cars like the SE. Some of that can be fixed with alignment settings 9Lotus admitted they were too conservative), but alot of it I think has to do with people not being used to driving a Mid Engined car!

A mid engined car (and thi applies to a FWD car as well) requires a fairly large shift of weight forward to initiate turn in. it's a fact of physics. You have to move weight over the front wheels to provide enough grip.

I find the cars respond better the faster you drive them, approach a corner with much more speed than you think you should, apply the brakes in a way that transfers weight forward, and then begin to turn in.

here watch this

I would love to find out how much experience you have with a mid engined car?

Edited by Vulcan Grey


Vulcan Grey 89SE


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Have owned an S2 Elise and still have an S1 Exige. Is that enough experience with mid engined RWD cars, especially Lotus ones? ;)

I did ask about geo settings and wider front tyres but was told that's how they come out the factory. Dealer seemed to think that's how it was supposed to behave. Shame it wasn't more neutral with a tiny bit of understeer when really pushed, for road driver safety.

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In fairness to Lotus, I think they've been forced into making the new generation of cars suit a much wider auidience than the chassis engineers would like, simply because there is a much broader spectrum of buyers with varying degrees of ability wanting to get behind the wheel nowadays.

The early Elises were well known for their pinsharp dynamics, but they also started to get a reputation for entering the scenery backwards at the mere hint of a lift off. Classic driver error crashes, but unfortunately it forced the factory to alter how the later cars behaved in an attempt to make the cars more useable for the lowest common denominator.

This will of coures upset driving gods like us, but your friendly dealer/specialist should be able to fiddle with the geo to make the car respond to your tastes. I would assume that the Europa is just as tweakable, certainly Plans Motorsport have been throwing spanners at their demonstrator with good results.

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I wonder how carefully and frequently the dealers check and set the tire pressures of their demonstrators. Low front pressures will spoil the handling no end.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE


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New piccies of revised interior, fresh off the Geneva press:



What's this -- a LHD car with a "3rd brake light"? . . . do cars have "center high-mounted stop lights" in Europe, too, or is this a foreshadowing of a North American version?

That new interior is gorgeous! :P

Tony K. :)


Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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  • 2 years later...

The Exige S engine is much racier and revvy, it begs to be screamed at and thats not what daily drives are about.

One of the noicable thngs about the engine I picked up on was how slowly the revs die in neutral - the engine has bags of torque or a heavy fly wheel where as the Exige S does not and almost goes back to 1000 rpm if you take a a second more on the gear change. It also goes from every angle, the turbo is an assist, not a kick up the ass like the Supercharged car or the Esprit.

This makes the Europa a great car to lazy drive but it will also good for daily and non-rev limiting drivers, dunno what the US markets are going to have - dont Vauxhall still ahve a huge GM influence ? If so i would expect this wouldn't be a problem exporting this model.

A very heavy flywheel!

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