Geneva '08 Preview: Lotus updates the Europa  

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Two years ago Lotus used the Geneva Motor show to launch its new “Grand Tourer” model and it is using this year’s event to launch a refreshed version. Essentially a modified Elise, the Europa aims to address the shortcomings of the Elise. The Elise is a no compromise 2 seater driver’s car. It comes with few creature comforts in the view that comfort generally equals added weight, and weight is something the little Elise doesn’t have much of. This lack of weight is a crucial design element which is key to “Eliseness”, aiding the cars sublime performance and road holding.

So the Europa is Lotus’s answer to those that require a little more luxury and practicality. It shares much with the Elise and its close cousin, the Vauxhall/Opel VX220. The glasshouse is instantly recognisable as being derived from Elise and the engine is taken straight out of the VX220. For this years refresh, the 2.0L Vauxhall/Opel turbocharged 4 cylinder unit has been tweaked to provide and extra 25 bhp bringing the total to 225bhp in SE form. Torque is up too, at 300Nm.

Acceleration times are impressive with a 0-96kph sprint coming in at 5.5 seconds and a top speed of over 225kph. Lotus will be keen to stay in the spotlight ahead of their forthcoming Lotus Eagle headline model which is scheduled to be revealed at the British Motorshow in July of this year.

Press Release

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 feel with 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.
Source: Lotus Media

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