Lotus' new GT unveiled

Lotus Europa S
Lotus Europa S

Lotus' new GT is (almost) here -- the company has released details of its much-rumoured forthcoming GT, the Lotus Europa S, which goes on sale next summer.

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According to Lotus, the mid-engined GT-inspired two-seater "will provide Lotus customers with a spectacular sports car 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."

Sticking with the Lotus philosophy of performance through lightness, the GT weighs just 995Kg, achieved through the use of advanced and high technology materials, including an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, composite body panels and a very advanced, composite, energy-absorbing front crash structure.

Compared to the Elise, the Europa S has a larger boot / luggage compartment and easier cabin access as a result of its lower chassis sides and higher roof line. It also includes full leather interior, driver and passenger airbags and carpets as standard, to create what the Hethel company called 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 coupé has a power to weight ratio of 201bhp / tonne and will deliver high levels of performance. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine produces 200bhp at 5,400rpm and 194lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. It achieves around 90 per cent of that torque at a low 2,000 rpm, helping to propel it from 0-60 mph in around 5.5 seconds, and 100mph in around 14 seconds while remaining flexible. Maximum speed is about 140mph.

Product head Tony Shute said: "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."

Design chief Russell Carr said: "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, said Lotus Cars boss Clive Dopson. He said: "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."

Production of the Lotus Europa S is scheduled to commence in July 2006 at Lotus' manufacturing plant in Norfolk and it'll be sold in all Lotu's current markets, 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 about £33,000, depending on taxation regimes.

Comments (304) Join the discussion on the forum

  • klassiekerrally 07 Dec 2005

    I have to get used to the styling...
    Don't instantly think: 'WOW! What a beautiful car'.
    Have to see it in the flesh...

    >> Edited by klassiekerrally on Wednesday 7th December 11:35

  • littleblue 07 Dec 2005

    i like it and i'm glad i already have my order in.

    suprised they ONLY got 200hp from the 2 litre engine, i thought they would have wanted 230-240, but this may be available with a bit of tweaking.........

  • Marki 07 Dec 2005

    Summat wrong in the roof area ,, and it sits too high

  • Ravon 07 Dec 2005

    Look truely awful to me, huge dissappointment, surely the straight topped side window glass and the domed window apperture can't be the finished article ? I loved Lotus cars since I was a small boy, and I'm now past the half centuary, this has to be the worst piece of Lotus styling ever, please, please bring back someone of Julian Thomson's calibre to head up styling, thought the "Track Day Car" was pretty awful as well, guess it's from the same hand.

  • pentoman 07 Dec 2005

    Well it looks horrible so let's hope it's great to drive!

    Russell

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