Lotus Europa S


Lotus Europa S
The new Lotus Europa S
was released earlier this week
at the 2006 London Motor Show.

Click the image for a larger view

21st July, 2006

The new Lotus Europa S, a Grand Tourer (GT) inspired two-seater, will provide Lotus customers a sports car 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 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 Lotus Elise, the Europa S has a larger boot and easier cabin access, resulting from the 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 produced 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 (272 Nm or 200 lbft at 5,000 rpm) 2.0-litre turbo engine producing 147 kW at 5,400rpm.

The Lotus Europa S achieves around 90% of its maximum torque at only 2,000 rpm to give class-leading levels of acceleration from low engine speeds, propelling the car from 0 – 100 km/h in around 5.8 seconds and 160 km/h in around 14 seconds.

Maximum speed is approximately 230 km/h. Being a Lotus, the Europa S has a competitive power to weight ratio of 198 hp/tonne (148 kW/tonne).

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 sports car 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'!"

Production of the Lotus Europa S is scheduled to commence this month at the 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 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 4,000 to 4,500 cars per year (with the Elise and the Exige). The Europa S will reach maximum volume rate in late northern summer 2006 after a steady volume ramp up starting in July 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 being awarded the prestigious ‘World Class Manufacturer of the Year’ award in 2005.

Each Europa S will take about 3½ 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.”


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).


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).


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 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, providing 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 to 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 sports car.

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.


Russell Carr, Chief of Design for Lotus led the design team in producing an elegant 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 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.”

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 (272 Nm or 200 lbft at 5,000 rpm) Ecotec Z20LER 2.0-litre (1,998 cc) turbocharged engine producing 147 kW (197 hp or 200 PS) at 5,400rpm. A bespoke engine management system completes the engine unit.

The Lotus Europa S achieves around 90% of its maximum torque at only 2,000 rpm to give class-leading levels of acceleration from low engine speeds, propelling the car from 0 – 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds, and 160 km/h in 13.8 seconds.

Maximum speed is 230 km/h. Being a Lotus, the Europa S has a competitive power to weight ratio of 148 kW/tonne).

An aluminium 6-Speed gearbox joins the engine to an open differential.


The first Lotus Europa was first introduced in 1966 and by the time it finished production in 1975, a total of 9,887 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 sports cars 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. An Australian release is anticipated by early 2007.

Performance figures:

0 to 100 km/h: 5.8 seconds
0 to 160 km/h: 13.8 seconds
Maximum speed: 230 km/h

Satellite Navigation note:
Individual market availability is dependant on CD mapping

2006 Lotus Europa S
2006 Lotus Europa S
Click the image for a larger, clearer view

Other Lotus news: here.

More news:

Touareg's little brother is called Tiguan
21st July, 2006
Although it is still 2 years away, Volkswagen has announced that it will call its new compact SUV the Tiguan. Not only the vehicle, but also the decision on the name is a brave journey into new terrain ..... more

Mitsubishi Refreshes Grandis People-Mover
21st July, 2006
Mitsubishi has refreshed its Grandis people-mover line-up with the renaming of its entry model, and the introduction of a new VRX model ..... more

Holden Announces Pricing For New Commodore
19th July, 2006
Holden has released pricing for the all-new wagon-less VE series Holden Commodore range ..... more

Volkswagen Joins Clean Energy Partnership
19th July, 2006
Volkswagen has joined the Clean Energy Partnership. The world’s most versatile hydrogen demonstration project for emission free mobility ..... more

Renault Launches the New Clio Campus
19th July, 2006
On sale now, the Clio Campus is priced from $18,990* for the five-speed manual version and $21,490* for the automatic transmission ..... more

Ford Unveils Coolest Car At The London Motor Show
18th July, 2006
Ford today celebrates the success of the Ford Focus – the UK 's most popular car – with the unveiling of a unique new model sure to melt the hearts of show goers ..... more

Peugeot Introduces the 407 ‘SV’ HDi
18th July, 2006
The 407 SV HDi, a new top-of-the-line model (available as a sedan or ‘Touring’), features the ground breaking 2.7 litre twin-turbo V6 diesel that recently debuted in the stunning 407 Coupe ..... more

Holden Shakes Up Commodore Range
17th July, 2006
The all-new VE Commodore sees a realignment to Holden’s large passenger car range ..... more

Mitsubishi Revises Colt Range
16th July, 2006
Mitsubishi has revised the Colt range with the release of a manual transmission across all models. Colt now offers exceptional value from money from just $15,990 (RRP) ..... more

Nissan to Introduce New Family of Global Cars
14th July, 2006
Nissan has announced it would release a new family of global cars over the next two years with sales of the first variant to start in China in late 2006 ..... more

One Millionth Ford Focus For London Motor Show
13th July, 2006
Sales of Britain's top-selling car have broken seven figures, with car number 1,000,000 scheduled for display at the London Motor Show next week ..... more

One Million Renault Scenic IIs
13th July, 2006
The one millionth Scénic II has rolled off of the production line in Douai, France – less than three years since its launch ..... more

Caparo T1 For London Motor Show
12th July, 2006
The Caparo T1 will join a showcase of exotic vehicles in a ‘Super Car Paddock’ feature area at the London Motor Show later this month ..... more

London rules with world's fastest car
11th July, 2006
Currently priced at Euro 1.1m plus tax, the world's fastest car is powered by a W-16 1001 hp engine, it is capable of more than 250mph ..... more

Mitsubishi Continues To Improve Its Market Position
10th July, 2006
Mitsubishi Motors has continued to improve its market position, with the release of the June sales results showing a 35% sales increase over the previous month ..... more

Falcon & Territory Head Ford June Sales
10th July, 2006
Sales of Ford's locally manufactured large car family – Falcon, Territory and Falcon Ute – have performed strongly during June, heading up a solid finish to the second quarter for Ford Australia ..... more

Suzuki Grand Vitara Sales Break Record
10th July, 2006
Suzuki vehicles continue to experience unprecedented growth as the popular Japanese manufacturer and its latest model line-up win over Australian motorists ..... more

Saab Record Sales Result - Locally and Globally
10th July, 2006
Saab has become the fastest growing premium car brand in Australia this year ..... more

Small Cars Drive Half Yearly Vehicle Sales
10th July, 2006
Strong sales of small cars have helped the automotive industry to an encouraging sales result in the first half of 2006 ..... more

Mégane Phase II: Safety for All
4th July, 2006
Renault has released the latest generation of its Mégane range in a choice of three body types - Hatch, Sedan and Coupé-Cabriolet, plus the high performance Mégane Renault Sport versions - all of which feature a distinctive, individual personality and an increased level of safety equipment ..... more

All-New Triton Tough One-Tonne Ute
3rd July, 2006
Mitsubishi Motors has released its all-new Triton four-wheel drive utility onto the Australian market with the promise that it retains all the attributes that the brand has been known for over the last 27 years - toughness, reliability, and the ability to "get the job done" ..... more

Peugeot 307 Hybride HDi Diesel
23rd June, 2006
Peugeot has extended its diesel hybrid technology programme, applying it to the popular, stylish and versatile 307 CC Hybride HDi, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in February ..... more

Mitsubishi 380 Tops Its Class
21st June, 2006
Mitsubishi's sporty and agile 380 sedan has topped its class in the two topics of most interest to today's motorists - safety and economical running - in the last two days ..... more

New Ford Territory Turbo
21st June, 2006
"The Territory turbo range of vehicles continues the innovation and groundbreaking development associated with the original Territory programme," said Ford Australia President, Tom Gorman ..... more

Holden Astra Diesel Arrives
19th June, 2006
Australia ’s biggest-selling European imported car, the Holden Astra, is now available in two turbocharged diesel five-door hatches ..... more

Astra SRi Turbo Roars Back Down Under
16th June, 2006
The new generation of Holden’s four-cylinder performance hero, the Astra SRi Turbo coupe, will roar into Australian showrooms later this month ..... more

Suzuki APV Receives Significant Upgrade
12th June, 2006
Suzuki's APV has received an upgrade further contributing to the versatility and appeal of the commercial van, making it an ideal choice for small business ..... more

Changes For Mitsubishi Outlander
12th June, 2006
Mitsubishi's Outlander compact AWD wagon has had some specification revisions as part of its final upgrade before the new model arrives later in the year ..... more

Volkswagen Caddy Life
9th June, 2006
New Caddy Life is the ingenious people mover built on Volkswagen's acclaimed Caddy platform. Caddy Life can seat up to seven adults comfortably with ample headroom ..... more

The Top Drive of 2005!
OF 2005!

Review content by Marque/Manufacturer:

Aixam  Alfa Romeo  Aston Martin  Audi  Bentley  BMW  Bugatti  Cadillac  Caterham  Chevrolet  Chrysler  Citroen  Dacia  Daewoo  Dodge  Elfin  Ferrari  Fiat  Ford  General Motors  Holden  Honda  Hummer  Jaguar  Jeep  Kia  Lamborghini  Land Rover  Lotus  Maserati  Maybach  Mazda  Mercedes-Benz  MG  Mini  Mitsubishi  Morgan  Nissan  Noble  Opel  Pagani  Peugeot  Pontiac  Porsche  Proton  Renault  Rolls Royce  Rover  Saab  Saturn  Seat  Skoda  Smart  Subaru  Suzuki  Vauxhall  Volkswagen  Volvo 

Other news:

Antonov  Caparo  Connaught  FPV  Freestream  HSV  Jayco  Sprintex  Tempest 

Receive an automotive news summary periodically and more by e-mail,
SUBSCRIBE to our free newsletter here.
Simply send a blank e-mail to lodge your subscription.

Click the logo for our home page

E-mail Next Car Pty Ltd

Next Car Pty Ltd   (ABN 47106248033)
Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.