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Europa - did anyone NOT like it ?


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Going to go down to the dealers sometime this week and have another go on the roads I know to try and confirm what I thought about this car.

I've driven pretty much everything Lotus has to offer over the past 10 years from Elise S1, Esprits, Exige/S, Elise S2/S/R and I must admit this was the most impressive new Lotus I have driven.

The ride was just sublime, the steering, noise level, engine, gearbox, accelerator etc was just spot on.

3 probs were the middle console not large enough to stop you from playing footsie with the passenger and the brakes, whilst great the pedal was a bit on/off for my liking (anyone who's driven a S1 Elise will know what brakes should feel like cool.gif )

OK it might not have the styling to everyones tastes (I think it looks SUPERB, anyone see the white one in the factory :lol: ) but as a drivers Lotus it is amazingly good - Even the Exige S did not impress me as much as this car, I was expecting it to ride similarly to a 111R Elise but it was nothing like it - it reminded me more of the Esprit for impeccable high speed stability, agileness and ride.

Great to see Lotus going from strength to strength with their cars, nice to see all the negative hype was wrong as well. If this is anything to go by the new Esprit will take your breath away.

Like to see what the Coxster is like, tbh I prefer the look of the Lotus to anything else in it's class but the Coxster will be it's nearest rival imo.

Oh the final Problem is....I bloody want one !! :lol:

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Blimey !!! The company needs more people like you and it'll be alright. Your views are rather contrary to some of the reviews that have been written of the car. Nice to hear a different, more positive point of view!!!

I might be tempted to show the brake engineer your point of view.......light the blue touch paper and retire!

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I can echo Jon's comments, thought it was great!

Loads of Torque, so easy to drive, and a real step up in the everyday car practicality from the Elises.

The shape is SO much better in the flesh, the white one did look particulary good, although I do think the shape is rather dull and boring, its as if they were trying to appeal to everyone, and not put anyone off.

Also for

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Nice to hear a different, more positive point of view!!! I might be tempted to show the brake engineer your point of view.......light the blue touch paper and retire!

Well the S1 has no assistance to the pedal so it is beautifully linear and progressive, my Esprit has a shot accumulator so the pedal feel is all over the place as there is variable pressure in the boost chamber, depending on how many times you've used the brakes in the last minute and when the pump has been running gives you a different feel ! So my day to day is from the sublime to the rediculous....

One of the major things I didn't like with the Exige S was the very loose throttle pedal (perhaps it was that car ?) - I prefer stiff, positive pedals and whilst the Europa delivers with the accelerator, the brakes (like the other new Lotus') seem to have an initial non-progressive feel, I remember the 1st drive in an assisted Elise nearly sent us through the windshield !

The brakes themselves are great and pull the car up very nicely - just need to get used to the pedal - not necessarily a down point, most modern cars are the same, but coming from driving perfection in the S1 Elise you tend to judge everything by it, in the same light I think I will be judging sports cars on the Europa from now on.

On the other reviews written on the car, I feel they have been judging Lotus as a 1 trick pony on the Elise chassis. You've got natural progression from the S1 and it's variants all the way to the Exige Cup and all of the sudden this comes along which is based on an Elise, some say it's the mark 3 Elise (heard that a few times toay) but it drives, behaves and gives a driving experience nothing like the Elise / Exige does.......what struck me striaght away is how can this car wth the same chassis come off the same production line and be so totally and utterly different to drive, when, as I say, there is a natural progression with the previous product range.

Wierd people diss the engine too - I thought it was bang on, the turbo was not intrussive to the ride (ie neck breaking on the Esprit as it kicks in) and the RPM was slow to decline on lift off unlike the Elise which has a much quicker reving lump....this lends for much smoother / lazy gear changes and an extremely pleasent driving experiance which day to day people are going to want.

I think these reviews have completely missed the point of this car, when you drive the Elise/Exige you need to feel the acceleration, the cornering and the road holding to make your heartbeat race - the exilleration of the experience totally forgives the bootspace, the cabin noise and the ride stiffness.

The Europa you have to treat as a new/different vehicle (just as you would comparing the Esprit to the Elise), you can't do all of the above expect it to behave like an Elise, it is a much more balanced car, in some strange ways the feeling of the drive reminded me of the Esprit which was SO strange being in an Elisey environment (ie cabin), I've never been in a car of that size that journeyed over bumps in the road that well - I was seriously relaxed in that car but in the same way when I wanted some fun it totally obliged, the only other car to deliver that is an Esprit which is why I would never sell mine.

I await further reviews on it but I trully believe this is a gem of a car, I can't wait to drive one again !

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Well I for one enjoyed the test drive. Until the weekend, all I had seen of the Europa, was pictures. Not my cup of tea me thought.

However. The car is not very photogenic me thinks. The pictures I have seen, do it little justice. In the flesh, I liked what I saw. Great lookin car.

Great drive in the car. Very reponsive with a lot of feedback. Was not overkeen on the gearbox. The Europa I drove was overtly notchy with a long throw. Mind you, when its run in this will most probably be less of an issue. Oh, and i prefer the black leather to black and tan combo.

Colour wise, I will have the Aubergine please :lol:

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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Well done Lotus this is surely one of the best handling striaght from the off cars you can get in and just drive!

Both Maria and I thought it was so easy to drive hard from the off / being in the drivers seat for just seconds, the engine pulled well from low down and boy did it stick to the tarmac through those bends between the A11 and the factory 50 mph speed limit not in the S well over the (speed) limit and well impressed.

Can't imagine doing 200-300 miles on a trip in an Exige but can't wait to drive down to Maria's parents house in Malta in the Europa. Can't see what all the negative reports (Autocar 13/09/2006) are about, fixed head less than £35K that goes as well/handles as this does. I think if the new Esprit is going to cost twice as much as the Europa it must be one hell of a car?

I honestly believe Lotus have got the Europa S spot on. Can't wait to take one round the track it must be awsome?

Maria I WANT ONE, ("it's no good stamping your feet Darryl shouting I WANT ONE you'd better sell your Fireblade") guess what Maria blade's going! cos I WANT ONE :lol:

Darryl & Sue

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

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Guest Troy Halliday

The Europa does look good in the flesh with some very interesting lines and some nice styling cues. But the interior is to plain to appeal to the market it is trying to sell to. I feel with some crative work inside it could do well. At the moment it is way to close to that of the Elise/Exige inside.

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I really enjoyed it!

Fun!

Every corner I went through I came out of it thinking "I could have done that WAY faster!"

I wish I'd had 2-3 times as much time to really get more of a chance to begin to get to grips with its capabilities (never having driven an Elise)

The turbo is still a little laggy- NOTHING compared to mine - I couldn't help thinking "what would this be liek out of the corners in an NA package" (ie and Elise or Exige?!) but that's looking at the car from a mad-hooners point of view which is not what it's about :D

Again, I thought that given the market they are going for, the interior wasn't quite plush enough - screw losing 0.5sec on the 0-60, cram it full of padded leather and keep the Z4 / Boxster defectors happy!

Chatting with the guy escorting me was very interesting... The target market is not really direct Z4/ Boxster buyers - people who NEARLY bought an Elise but bottled it... It's people who HAD an Elise and then bu99ered off to a soft car because they couldn't quite deal with the rawness on a day to day basis - It's about customer RETENTION more than attraction :D ...but anyone who had not driven an Elise could not help but grin stupidly at this imho!

Very cool... Very fun :D

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.. the test driver scared the crap out of me in the first 300 yards, at which point I realised there was no way I was going to explore the capabilities of the car on the road - I wouldn't (and didn't) even get close!

It rode a little softer than I expected, but the turn in is sharp and it remains composed, all the contols felt nicely weighted. It's the first of the elise derivatives that I've driven so can't compare it to any of them ... The exhaust note was too quiet and a little bland although this is probably dictated by the nanny state, sports exhaust option please!

Overall it's a good car, pretty quick too, but not for me, I'll keep the Excel so I can throw the kids in the back!

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One of the best test drives I've had in ages and I've driven pretty much everything Lotus has to offer atm.

The ride quality was the most impressive thing for me - gonna go and drive another one today :D

Great car, people who diss it are just - wrong.

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I really enjoyed it!

The turbo is still a little laggy- NOTHING compared to mine - I couldn't help thinking "what would this be liek out of the corners in an NA package" (ie and Elise or Exige?!) but that's looking at the car from a mad-hooners point of view which is not what it's about :D

Very cool... Very fun :D

Makes one now wonder what it'd be like with the Exige S motor, nice and torquey, better for a daily driver. Plus, it's a powerplant now certified for the US market which would give US a taste!

The color suits the design well. Kimbers has good taste. I suppose that's his daily driver until the Civic Type R comes out! :D

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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.

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I liked the drive but more everyday than weekend hoon. As with other comments the interior requires more work to compete with other sports coupe/roadsters and also to seperate it from Elise. A sports exchaust is also a must as the only audiable sound above the wind and road noise (apparently a problem with the car I tested) was a slight turbo whistle.

I'm sure given greater oppertunity to test and with interior refinments (more than the optional extra hair net on the firewall) I could love it id downsizing from the Esprit. As it stands I dont see the difference is significant enough to warrent one over an Elise.

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My only complaint personally - and I already KNOW that this is the total opposite of what virtually everyone else on the face of the planet seems to want, so don't bother bitching.....! :D

...Was that the gearshift was too light. I really missed the weighty positivity of mine. It felt like my mate's Vecrtra GSI (maybe the same or an iteration of the same box?)

I know that since the dawn of time journos have whined about heavy gearshifts and clutches etc - You have only to watch James May drive a Countach to realise he's now a miserable old man! :D :D but I like a bit of 'substance' and I felt like it was floating around a bit and was therefore hard to 'feel' where I was going. I think I personally would have liked some spring loading or something.

"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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Great stuff! Keep 'em coming, please.

Does this mean we like the Europa now? :D/quote]

Well I loved it, despite previous comments to the negative. I could definately live with it day by day I was soooooo upset at handing her back I have started saving for one! Yes I know I should have an Esprit but I WANT ONE AND I WILL HAVE ONE SO THERE! :D

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Darn you, Lotus! You're just about to cost our bank balance 30k. Louise LOVED it. The car is aimed squarely at people like her and she's been totally smitten by it. She's previously owned MR2s, M100s etc and enjoys her everyday driving enough to want something more 'special' than a Porker/Z4 etc.

Oh gawd.... :D:D

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While I can agree with very nearly all of the positive comments on here - fast and nimble, easy to drive quickly straight away, surprisingly refined, and great fun - I'm probably alone in NOT wanting one. I know I'm a bit lardy, but I'm not that big and the simple fact is that I didn't really fit in the car comfortably enough to consider living with it. I couldn't use 5 and 6th easily cos my leg was in the way next to the steering wheel, and although Scot wasn't all that big, we rubbed shoulders throughout the drive, even on the straights. If Lotus want to move me on from Esprit, M100, Carlton, they will need to build something big enough for me to sit in - and I guess that means not on the Elise/Exige/Europa floorplan - great though that is dynamically.

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

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Thats the killer - always maintained the car is not big enough inside for GT-ing 2 people, you are very shoulder to shoulder but thats the limits of the chassis and for what they want to sell of it they weren't about to re-invent the wheel.

Thats what I still like about the Esprit is that you have a nice arm rest / partition inbetween you - having done many 2 man trips in the Elise (same seating arrangement) I can confirm when your passenger starts to figit on long journeys it can be very annoying for you both.

However if you sacrafice the comfort you sacrafice that chassis - depends how many times you passenger I guess.

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I loved it!

I'd buy one if I had 30 grand to spend. Great day car, saving my Esprit for those special occaisions.

Well done Lotus.

Graham.

Wing Commander Dibble DFC<br /><br />
North Midlands Esprit Group<br /><br />
NMEG "the formidable squadron"<br /><br />
"probably the most active Esprit group in the world" Andy Betts, Castle Combe May 2007

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Darn you, Lotus! You're just about to cost our bank balance 30k. Louise LOVED it. The car is aimed squarely at people like her and she's been totally smitten by it. She's previously owned MR2s, M100s etc and enjoys her everyday driving enough to want something more 'special' than a Porker/Z4 etc.

Oh gawd.... :D:D/quote]

Graham,

See my PM.

Edited by USAndretti42

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Nope - I too thought it was a fantastic car. When Bibs & Kimbers pottered gently into the Little Chef car park :PI couldn't believe how much better the Europa looked in the flesh than in the photos we've seen before. It's very colour-dependant - I wasn't keen on the purple, or the dark red metallic, as they seemed a little fat, but the navy blue, silver, and pale blue metallics all looked gorgeous.

I didn't find the gear change a problem - in fact I was immediately comfortable with it, reminding me of the MK3 MR2 six-speeder - light action, well spaced ratios, intuitive and effective. The steering was wonderful, and I felt right at home with the handling; great power and smooth delivery from the engine, have to admit it felt significantly quicker than my na Esprit :D

I liked the black/tan interior too, it did look smart. It's snug, but that's the way it is - the lower sill is much easier to get past. Whereas careful research has proven that I need to be drunk to be able to get into an Elise whilst the roof is on, with a little pactice I could see myself slipping in and out of the Europa with ease.

Dan

"He who dies with the most toys wins..."

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So it gets the official 'Esprit Boys/Girls thumbs up' then ?

It's not perfect but for me it was the closest thing to being in an Esprit but not being able to believe it :D

It was all about the ride handling for me - felt like driving on air.

My local dealer and I are going to swap cars for the day at some point, he was saying how there wsa no interest in it at the moment but it hasn't had any big / good public reviews - can't wait to see what TG make of it.

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So it gets the official 'Esprit Boys/Girls thumbs up' then ?

Sorry to be a poo poo :D

For me i liked it no more in the flesh than in the pictures. I'm glad it's

going down well though and i hope it sells like hot cakes and does the

company proud, the guys/gals on the factory floor all looked like a very

happy bunch of people and deserve a demand for their work.

For me the Esprit sits in the garage for fun use only. I'm uninterested

in a practical sportscar for day to day use, so given £30-35k and told

to buy a hand built british sportscar this would not be on my list. The

Exige sure as hell would be though, i'm not anti new!

For £30k you can now buy just about ANY model esprit ever made.

Sport 300's when they rarely appear have been sub this figure, as

have Sport 350's, so without the need for a practical day car then

i'd be sniffing round these used wedges for a new toy instead.

:D

Soz Jon

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