If by calling its new sportscar a Grand Tourer, Lotus has you thinking of overweight luxury coupes that excite by dint of their monstrous drivetrains, Colin Chapman's corps have something they'd like to show in a Europa S.

The British concern's latest 'less is emphatically more' proposition adds a film of practicality and refinement to their Elise and Exige. Weighing in at just 995kg (under 2,200 lbs.), the Europa makes use of Lotus' extruded and bonded aluminum chassis and composite paneling.

Despite a curb weight that's sure to have the Olsen Twins stuffing hoagies down its high-octane gullet, the mid-engined Europa brings a full leather interior, airbags, power windows/locks, sat-nav and... wait for it... full carpeting-- to the table. Motivated by a 2.0-liter force-fed four (good for 200 hp and 194 lb-ft.) tied in to a six-speed gearbox, the Europa S rocks to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and does the ton in 14, on its way to 143 mph.

The Europa S will be sold in all Lotus markets... except for the U.S. Those with about £33,000 (@ $58k USD) are advised to contact their nearest Lotus dealer now, as production starts in July.

(Click through for more photos and Lotus' release and spec sheet)

 

The New Lotus Europa S - ‘Business Class by Lotus’

Overview

The new Lotus Europa S, a Grand Tourer (GT) inspired two-seater, will provide Lotus
customers a spectacular sportscar with significantly enhanced levels of touring and cruising
capability, as well as higher levels of practicality and refinement to complement the simplicity
of the Lotus Elise and Exige models.

The Europa S follows the core Lotus philosophy of performance through light weight, enabling
this refined and high-performing GT car to weigh a mere 995 kg, making it class- leading in
this respect. This low weight has been obtained through the clever use of advanced and hightech
materials including an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, composite body panels
and a very advanced composite energy absorbing front crash structure.

When compared to the award-winning Lotus Elise, the Europa S has a larger boot / luggage
compartment and easier cabin access, resulting from lower chassis sides and a higher roof
line. Combined with a full leather interior, Satellite Navigation, driver and passenger airbags
and carpets all as standard, Lotus has created a “Business Class” driving experience which
remains true to the Company’s design philosophy.

The new mid-engine coupe will deliver high levels of performance from a high torque (263 Nm
or 194 lbft at 4200 rpm) 2.0-litre turbo engine producing 149 kW (200 hp or 203 PS) at
5400rpm.

The Lotus Europa S achieves around 90% of its maximum torque at only 2000 rpm to give
class-leading levels of acceleration from low engine speeds, propelling the car from 0 – 96
km/h (60 mph) in around 5.5 seconds, and 160 km/h (100 mph) in around 14 seconds.
Maximum speed is approximately 225 km/h (140 mph). Being a Lotus, the Europa S has a
competitive power to weight ratio of 201 hp / tonne (204 PS / tonne or 6.68 kg/kW).
The introduction of a GT-inspired car, represents both an important and unique addition to the
Lotus product range, as Clive Dopson, Managing Director of Lotus Cars, explains: “The launch
of the Europa S re-affirms our position as an innovative player in the highly competitive sportscar marketplace. It allows Lotus to extend its product appeal beyond our traditional customer base, and provides yet another demonstration of the key Lotus brand attributes and high levels of quality for which we are particularly proud.”

Trevor Houghton-Berry, Head of Commercial Operations for Lotus Cars explains further the
positioning of the Lotus Europa S: "No longer will the outrageous fun and exhilaration of
driving a true Lotus require Lotus customers to make such significant compromises when it
comes to the practicality of living with their 'pride and joy' on a daily basis. The purity and
simplicity of the Lotus Elise and Exige ranges is now perfectly complemented with the arrival
of the new Europa S - a car which stays true to the Lotus philosophy of 'Performance through
light weight', but recognises that for some, the Elise and Exige experience may sometimes
prove just a little too 'extreme'!"

Full production of the Lotus Europa S is scheduled to commence in July 2006 at the award-winning
and world-class Lotus manufacturing facility at the Lotus Headquarters in Hethel,
Norfolk, UK.

The project and testing programme

The Lotus Europa S went from concept to production in just 28 months. This rapid
development was down to the capabilities of the Lotus Engineering and Lotus Manufacturing divisions. Extensive testing was conducted around the world in hot and cold climates, high humidity, city
and urban environments as well as on the freeways and autobahns around Europe. Also used
was the demanding 4 km (2.25 mile) Lotus test track and the roads around the Hethel
headquarters – regarded by many as some of the world’s most demanding with an almost
unique variety of surfaces and conditions.

However, engineering a vehicle is only one of the challenges to developing a successful
product. The Europa S was developed for manufacture by the team responsible for what is
regarded by many as the finest niche vehicle and low volume manufacturing facility in the
world. This manufacturing facility, based at the Lotus Headquarters in Hethel, England
currently produces 4000 to 4500 cars per year (with the Elise and the Exige). The Europa S
will reach maximum volume rate in late Summer 2006 after a steady volume ramp up starting
in late Spring 2006. Volumes are expected to be in the order of 500 cars per year but this
figure is flexible and volumes can be rapidly altered to meet demand when required.

Lotus Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Lotus uses a worldwide network of high quality suppliers who not only have excellent products,
but are also willing to work with Lotus to produce components specifically designed and
developed to meet the exacting requirements of a Lotus vehicle. With the Europa S
programme, special attention has been paid to broadening this supplier network in South East
Asia, resulting in the body panels for example, being produced in Malaysia through a new
partnership between Lotus and a leading local aerospace manufacturer. Such activity has been strongly supported by Proton, the parent company to Lotus, who
continue to provide assistance in this region.

Lotus remains committed to using environmentally friendly high solids water based paints, and
each car is carefully inspected to ensure an “A1” class finish.

Each car goes through a number of quality checking stages before being delivered to the
customer – these quality standards are world class - Lotus was the first vehicle manufacturer
and engineering consultancy in the world to be awarded the prestigious QS9000 which is
linked to ISO9001/2000. It is this attention to detail that lead to Lotus to be awarded the prestigious ‘World Class. Manufacturer of the Year’ award in 2005. Each Europa S will take about 3 ½ days and 130 man-hours to build.

Tony Shute, Head of Product for Lotus Cars explains the concept behind the new product:
“The Europa S has allowed Lotus to exploit its extensive capabilities in developing a
sophisticated GT-inspired car which successfully complements the range of existing cars. The
‘Grand Tourer’ concept underpinning the Europa S provides the driver with a refined
environment, incorporating innovative styling features which do not compromise the superior
performance and handling that is synonymous with the Lotus marque.”

Chassis

The market and customer requirements for a GT-inspired car are quite different to the current
range of Lotus cars, the Elise and the Exige. Therefore the challenge for the Lotus engineers
was to design a car that could be constructed around the extruded and bonded Aluminium
chassis - similar to that used in the Elise and Exige – but which also incorporates significantly
enhanced levels of practicality, refinement for the occupants and increased touring and
cruising capability.

The chassis for the Lotus Europa S weighs just 68 kg while maintaining high levels of stiffness
and strength. To make access to the cockpit easier for driver and passenger, the sills, when
compared to the Elise and Exige have been lowered by 40 mm (1.6 inches) and reinforced to
maintain chassis stiffness. Again, when compared to the Elise and the Exige, the door glass is
50 mm (2 inches) higher giving a total door opening access for the driver and passenger of an
additional 90 mm (3 ½ inches).

The engine is mounted to a lightweight and strong, galvanised steel subframe. The lightweight
steel wishbones are also mounted to this steel assembly.
The Lotus vehicle dynamics team were set a tough challenge to produce a ride and handling
package for the Lotus Europa S that combines compliance and comfort with the legendary
Lotus agility, responsiveness and handling.
Steve Swift, Head of Vehicle Engineering explains the relationship between ride and handling
for the Lotus Europa S: “"The Europa is a true GT concept and the ideal companion for a long
journey home.”

Elegant and lightweight 17” diameter wheels front and rear are shod with bespoke Bridgestone
Potenza tyres (175/55 R17 on the front and 225/45 R17 on the rear).

Brakes

The light weight of the Lotus Europa S contributes to the high performance braking capability
through Lotus/AP-Racing twin-piston fixed aluminium alloy brake calipers at the front and
Brembo single-piston sliding calipers at the rear. The 282 mm diameter ventilated discs are
linked to a servo-assisted, 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

Interior

First and foremost, the Europa S is a car that is the Lotus take on the GT concept. As a high
performing sportscar it needs the driving tools to help it be a leader in its class. The driving
position is the same as in the Elise and Exige, a small ergonomically shaped steering wheel is
located to hand and the lightweight steel and extruded aluminium pedals are positioned to
make heel and toe changes easy. ProBax seats help to significantly improve the postural
position of the driver and passenger by maintaining the natural curvature of the spine, so
improving comfort and improving the body’s blood flow.

The interior of the Europa S is a luxurious environment for a Lotus. A leather interior (black or
black with tan) comes as standard. This leather interior extends not just to the seats, and
steering wheel but also the centre console and door inserts (perforated leather). Carpet lines
the floor area and part of the chassis’ sides – in fact the only area where carpet or leather is
untrimmed is on the footplate just forward of the seats.

Other standard interior equipment includes driver and passenger airbags, air conditioning, a
Satellite Navigation system with CD/MP3 player with the speakers mounted in the rear bulk
head and on the top facia panel, central door locking and electric windows.
Furthermore, as the Europa S is so highly equipped there are no additional cost options, other
than premium paint or custom colours.

Safety systems

The key aspect to enjoyable driving is safety. The chassis is very strong and stiff, creating a
safety cell around which are clad lightweight energy absorbing composite crash structures and
body panels. The front crash structure is made from an advance lightweight composite
material which is 3-4 times more energy absorbing than the equivalent structure in steel.
Coupled with the driver’s and passenger’s airbags, the Europa S has tried and tested active
and passive safety systems.
The light weight of the Europa S is significant in reducing occupant injury. By being so light,
there is less energy to dissipate in the event of a crash, when compared to a much heavier
sportscar.

But of course the best way to remain unhurt in an accident is to avoid the accident in the first
place. Like all Lotus cars, the Europa S has high levels of grip, predictable, responsive
handling, incredible ABS-assisted braking performance and almost peerless feedback to the
driver about how the car is behaving in a variety of driving conditions.

Styling

Russell Carr, Chief of Design for Lotus led the design team in producing an elegant, beautiful
and sophisticated GT-inspired car.
It was important that the essence of current and classic Lotus products be captured in the
design of the Europa S.

Describing the Europa S, Russell Carr, Chief of Design for Lotus says: “The form of a design
should reflect the spirit of the car, and the Europa S is no different. Where the rebellious trackfocused
personality of the Exige is characterised by shrink-wrapped athletic forms
communicating agility and power, the Europa S has a more fluid, understated language
reflecting its more sophisticated persona.”

Carr continues: “The Europa from the late 1960s and early 1970s was a great design in its
own right - elegant, purposeful and effective. However, we did not set out to bring the classic
Europa design up to date, but instead started with a clean sheet to produce a characterful car
worthy of being called a Lotus.”

Engine and powertrain

The new mid-engine coupe will deliver high levels of performance from a high torque (263 Nm
or 194 lbft at 4200 rpm) Ecotec Z20LER 2.0-litre (1998 cc) turbocharged engine producing 149
kW (200 hp or 203 PS) at 5400rpm. A bespoke engine management system completes the
engine unit.

The Lotus Europa S achieves around 90% of its maximum torque at only 2000 rpm to give
class-leading levels of acceleration from low engine speeds, propelling the car from 0 – 96
km/h (60 mph) in around 5.5 seconds, and 160 km/h (100 mph) in around 14 seconds.
Maximum speed is 230 km/h (143 mph). Being a Lotus, the Europa S has a competitive power
to weight ratio of 201 hp / tonne (204 PS / tonne, 6.68 kg/kW). An aluminium 6-Speed gearbox joins the engine to an open differential.

Heritage

The first Lotus Europa was first introduced in 1966 and by the time it finished production in
1975, a total of 9887 examples had been built. These Europas used a Renault engine in the
early versions and the later models (the Europa Special) used the Lotus Twin Cam engine
producing up to 126 hp. The Lotus Europa was regarded as one of the finest handling
sportscars of its time and was Lotus’ first mid-engine road car.

Market position

The Lotus Europa S is a key vehicle in the Lotus product portfolio. Enthusiastic and keen
drivers for whom performance and track day competitiveness are the most important criteria
are likely to venture down the Exige route, where as those drivers who are willing to sacrifice
the extra 5% of track day performance for a more GT type drive, extra space and more luxury
are likely to opt for a Europa.

Pricing and Timing

The Europa S will be sold in all markets where the Lotus brand is present, except for the USA
and Canada.
Final pricing and full specifications will be announced closer to the on-sale date, but the price
is expected to be in the region of £33,000 (49,000) depending on individual market taxation.
The Europa S is expected to go on sale in the UK in September with other markets from
November.

Predicted Performance figures:
Target acceleration
0 to 96 km/h (60 mph): 5.5 seconds (approximately)
0 to 160 km/h (100 mph): 14.0 seconds (approximately)
Maximum speed: 230 km/h (143 mph) (actual)
Satellite Navigation note:
Individual market availability is dependant on CD mapping

Lotus Europa S Specifications and Technical Details

Vehicle Description Technical Specifications
Powertrain Mid-mounted, transverse, 1998cc turbo charged DOHC engine, with a 6-speed
transmission.
Max Power 200 hp (149 KW) (203 PS) @ 5400 rpm
Max Torque 194 lbft (263 Nm) @ 4200 rpm
Power to weight ratio 201 hp/t (149 kW/t, 204 PS/t )
Specific power output 100 hp/ (75 kW/, 102 PS/ )
Emissions control Euro IV emissions compliant with full On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)
Suspension Fully independent sport suspension utilising unequal length wishbones, Bilstein monotube
gas damper, Eibach coaxial coil spring at each corner and front anti-roll bar.
Chassis Lotus designed lightweight structure of epoxy bonded aluminium alloy extrusions and
lightweight steel rear subframe.
Steering Solidly mounted mechanical rack and pinion steering box with 2.8 turns lock-to-lock.
Brakes Servo-assisted, 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Lotus/AP-Racing twinpiston
fixed aluminium alloy front brake callipers, Brembo single-piston sliding rear
callipers and 288 mm diameter, 26 mm thick front and rear cast-iron ventilated discs.
Wheels Unique lightweight wheels (17” front and rear)
Tyres Bridgestone Potenza 175/55 R17 (front) 225/45 R17 (rear)

Performance Figures
0-60 mph 5.5 s approx
0-100 mph 14.0 s approx
Maximum speed 140 mph (225 km/h) approx
Fuel consumption –
extra urban
38.9 mpg (7.26 l/100km)
Fuel consumption –
combined
30.4 mpg (9.29 /100 km)
C02 emissions 220 g/km
Fuel tank capacity 43.5 litres ( 9.6 gal (UK))
Luggage capacity 154 litres - 50 kg
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2330 mm
Track 1457 mm (front) 1490 mm (rear)
Length 3900 mm – approx
Width 1714 mm (1850 mm, door mirrors included)
Height 1120 mm
Weight distribution 38% Front - 62% Rear
Vehicle mass - unladen 995 kg (running order, full tank of fuel)

Interior
Specification ProBax design leather trimmed seats (Black or Black and Tan)
Driver and passenger airbags
Leather interior
Black plain leather sun-visors
Black perforated leather, gear-lever and handbrake gaiters
Electric windows
Central door locking
Polished aluminium heater control knobs, handbrake handle and air vent trims
In Car Entertainment Satellite navigation unit, CD/MP3 player and radio
Security Immobiliser and remote activated alarm
Other Auxiliary front lights (standard)
Protection Front Bumper paint chip protection film