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Lotus Cars announced today the launch of the new Lotus Europa S, a GT model positioned above the more spartan Elise and Exige models.

In resurrecting the Europa nameplate, Lotus remained faithful to the original's lightweight performance philosophy, bringing the new Europa in at less than 2200 lb through extensive use of composites and an extruded and bonded aluminum chassis.

In keeping with Lotus' "Business Class" theme for the new Europa, the car is more sophisticated and understated than the more in-your-face styling of the Elise. Fortunately, the higher level of sophistication is accomplished without sacrificing the kind of performance we've come to expect from Lotus - 0-60 mph in about 5.5 seconds and 0-100 in around 14 seconds.

Unfortunately, the Europa will not be available in the U.S. and Canada.

More pictures and full press release after the jump.
[Source: Group Lotus]

Lotus Europa 2006 45 pr photo
Lotus Europa 2006 45 pr photo
Lotus Europa 2006 45 pr photo
Lotus Europa 2006 45 pr photo
Lotus Europa 2006 45 pr photo
Press Release:

The new Lotus Europa S, a Grand Tourer (GT) inspired two-seater will
provide Lotus customers with a spectacular sportscar with significantly
enhanced levels of touring and cruising capability. It will provide drivers
with higher levels of practicality and refinement to complement the
simplicity of the Lotus Elise and Exige models.
    The Lotus Europa S follows the core Lotus philosophy of performance
through light weight enabling this refined and very high performing GT car
to weigh just 995 kg. This low weight has been obtained through the clever
use of advanced and high tech 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. Coupled with luxuries such as
full leather interior, driver and passenger airbags and carpets all as
standard, Lotus has created a ?Business Class? driving experience.
    However, the Europa S is not a derivative of the Elise or the Exige
and has been allocated a separate Lotus type number of Type 121 - the Elise
and Exige are both Type 111.
    The new mid-engined 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 ?super car? 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 phenomenal power to weight ratio of 201 hp / tonne (204 PS / tonne
or 6.68 kg / kW).
    Tony Shute, Head of Product for at Lotus Cars explains the concept
behind the new product: ?The Lotus Europa S has allowed Lotus to exploit its
extensive capabilities in developing a sophisticated GT 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.?
    Describing the Lotus Europa S, Russell Carr, Chief of Design for
Lotus says: ?The form of a design should reflect the spirit of the car, and
the Lotus Europa S is no different. Where the rebellious track-focused
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.?
    The introduction of a GT 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.?
    Production of the Lotus Europa S is scheduled to commence in July
2006 at the award winning and world leading Lotus manufacturing facility at
the Lotus Headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, UK. 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 the region of ?33000
(49000 Euros) depending on individual market taxation.

    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:        225 km/h (140mph) (approximately)

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