Geneva 2008: Lotus adds Europa SE for 2008

Click above for a gallery of the Lotus Europa SE.

As we reported earlier, Lotus has a new range of Europas for 2008, at least in their eponymous market. Still not coming to the States as far as we've heard, but with the "Eagle" already soaring, we think we can wait. Not that the Europa is a bad car, but the new model should be even better. Until the Eagle lands, however, the European market still has the perfectly adequate Europa and a new Europa SE. The Europa SE is here in Geneva and it has some spiffy new wheels, 17-inch in front, 18-inch out back. It's painted in a sort of monochrome fashion that makes us think of the '80s for some reason too. There's also a real (for Lotus at least) interior that is swathed in leather. The idea was to make it a bit more comfortable for the few people who are thinking of purchasing one. The car's 2.0L turbo four remains basically the same, but here it's tuned to 225 hp and 221 lb.-ft. of torque. Expect a 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and a top end of 143. While the new entry level Europa will start at £27,950 / €37,500, the SE will command £32,995 MSRP / €41,500. Like we said, not a bad car, but even with the touch-up, we'd hold out for the Eagle.

Press release is after the jump.
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2008 Lotus Europa Range

Group Lotus plc unveils a new updated and significantly enhanced range of Europa's at the 78th annual Geneva International Motor Show. The new entry level Europa is priced at £27,950 MSRP / €37,500, with the range topping Europa SE available for a competitive £32,995 MSRP / €41,500 (Euro prices are without taxes, delivery & other related costs).

These new Europa variants have been designed and developed especially for European customers and will be sold exclusively across Europe from June 2008. The Europa is now available to a larger target audience with the entry level car providing a more accessible way to own a Europa and the SE designed to appeal to those who are even more style conscious and want increased levels of performance.

Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus plc commented: "As the true driver will know, this Europa range, offers access to Lotus' unique DNA for those who perceive the Elise and Exige as a little too uncompromising for everyday use. The new Europa SE sits at the more refined end of the Lotus spectrum, providing a terrific mix of performance, agility and style, but incorporates Lotus's values and heritage".

The Europa has a mid-mounted 2 litre turbo charged engine, tuned in the SE with an all new calibration to 225 PS and with 300 Nm of torque to offer effortless cruising capability. Even though the Europa is engineered with more relaxed driving characteristics it provides amazing performance, with 0-60 mph in the SE dispatched in 5.5s (0-100 km/h in 5.7s estimated) and the sprint to 100 mph (160 km/h) taking just 13.0s (estimated). Given the legal opportunity to stretch its legs, the Europa SE will hit a top speed of 143 mph (estimated).

The Europa now offers increased levels of comfort over the Elise and Exige whilst enhancing the focused driving experience that you would expect from a Lotus. These models are both equipped with race car derived double wishbone suspension to give an exceptional driving feelwith Lotus DNA. The sleek Europa body work, together with the assistance of the flat underbody, generates positive downforce to provide balanced handling at speed.

The Europa SE has attractive and light weight new wheels, which are shod with wider, high performance tyres, for increased levels of grip. These new high performance wheels are larger with 17" rims up front, and larger 18" rims on the rear. The new wheels house high performance AP Racing four pot brakes and larger (308 mm) diameter discs.

The SE interior has been updated by Lotus Design with a stylish new design that works in harmony with the premium avant-garde Ice White of the Geneva Show car. The interior is finished using 4 hides of soft, lightweight high-grade leather, to ensure that every surface has a luxuriant tactile feel.

As with all 2008 Lotus road cars, the Europa and Europa SE come with driver and passenger airbags and an engine start button as standard. The Europa interior is furnished with leather sports seats and comes as standard with a high quality stereo system.

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