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Lotus Europa S Review: Lotus Poked’us

The chassis on the Europa S came from the Opel Speedster, which took its platform from the Elise. Why has Lotus gone one big circle, just to end up trying to make an old dog perform some new tricks? More importantly, has it worked?
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
11 May 2007

Most importantly, has it lost what would probably be the defining characteristics expected from a Lotus? Well, no. It still is excellent fun to drive around, and the handling is about as sharp as claws, and it will still keep you gripping even as you accelerate through the bends.

Understeer would be its first response to some overly-spirited turn-ins and it also would be a bit of a challenge to get its rear to step out even as you work its throttle.

So Lotus have admitted that the Europa was somewhat compromised, sacrificing what founder Colin Chapman’s vision of what their cars would have been like, and have made this “Grand Tourer”. Yes, it will bring you from point A to B without you losing your hearing, but it still isn’t quite a proper GT.

Sibling Rivalry

For its price tag of $275,000, it does baffle us as to why Lotus has placed this so closely to its unwavering, no-nonsense, Exige brother, or even that much above the $238,000 Elise R.

You could spend $239,888 on a Cayman and still be more pampered than in the Europa. It will handle beautifully, but it isn’t quite a Lotus. So here’s a dilemma.

The Cayman is slower, but also a lot cheaper and would be much easier to live with, whereas the Europa is geared towards blazing round a track, with that minimal level of comfort while you’re on your way up to the circuit.

It seems like they are all sort of sitting on the fence, but then again, the Europa does feel like it has got both sides of the grass covered.

Credits: Text by Andy Hum, Photos by Amery Reuben and Andy Hum

Cars in this article
Lotus Europa S 2007

Lotus Europa S 2007

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