Complete Lotus Europa lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

2006 Lotus Europa S - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2006 - 2010 Lotus Europa CoupeEuropa S1 Trim 203 Hp 1971 Lotus Europa - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1970 - 1976 Lotus Europa CoupeEuropa1 Trim 106 Hp

The Lotus Europa is a car nameplate used on two mid-engine GT vehicles manufactured and marketed by the British car manufacturer Lotus Cars from 1966 to 1975. The Type 121 Europa S, a sports automobile manufactured from 2006–2010 and based on the Lotus Elise, brought the name back into use. From 1966 until 1975, Lotus manufactured the original Europa and several versions, designated Types 46, 47, 54, 65, and 74.

History of the Lotus Europa

Lotus Europa (1966–1975)

Because of its odd rear end, this coupe stood out among the crowd back in its day, albeit not in a pleasant manner. The concept of a car with an engine in the middle is not new; it has shown to be a winning combination in motorsport, particularly in Formula 1 cars. Because of this, Lotus introduced the Europa in 1965.
Lamborghini introduced the Jalpa, another mid-engine supercar, the year after. Lotus slid a 1.5L Renault 16 engine into the space behind the passenger compartment. Later, the British automaker produced the Renault 12 Gordini engine, powered by a 1.6L unit capable of producing 128 horsepower and coupled with a five-speed manual transmission. In the past, only four-speed manual transmissions were available.

Series S1

The first Europa cars, also called the Lotus Type 46, were shipped to France in February 1967. Since the Volkswagen Group purchased the rights to the term "Europa," the car was marketed and sold in Germany under the name "Europe." The S1 was equipped with a 4-speed transmission and a 1470cc Renault 16 engine that generated 82 horsepower.

Series 2

It wasn't until April 1968 that the Europa Series 2, also known as the Lotus Type 54, was released. The S2 was built around the same mechanical framework and Renault engine as the Series 1. Electric windows, carpeted interior, adjustable seats, and a polished hardwood fascia for the dashboard all contribute to a relaxing environment rather than increased performance due to the redesign. In the first months of 1969, the S2 received wider door handles and supplementary front indicators. Lotus manufactured 4,294 S2 Europas.

Twin Cam and Special

The Type 74 Europa Twin Cam debuted to the public in 1971; it had a reworked bodyshell that increased rear vision and a 105 horsepower, 1,557 cc Lotus-Ford Twin Cam engine. After shipping 1,580 Europa "Twin Cam" vehicles, Lotus shifted to a "Big Valve" engine variant that produced 126 horsepower. The Big Valve "Europa Special" sold in Europe and elsewhere was powered by a Dell'Orto carbureted variant of the same engine. To celebrate Team Lotus's 1972 Formula One World Championship victory with John Player Special as a partner, the first hundred Lotus Europas were badged and painted as "JPS Specials" in September of that year. Black with a gold pinstripe to mirror the GP cars' livery, the initial Specials included a five-speed transmission with a Big Valve engine and a unique JPS dashboard emblem. These Lotus automobiles marked the beginning of mass production of the John Player Special. The last touch that set off the first 100 JPS cars from the rest of the black Europa Specials was a numbered plate on the dashboard.
Out of 4,710 Type 74s, 3,130 were designated as "Specials."

Lotus Europa (2006–2010)

The Lotus version of a GT car was the Europa from 2006. Sadly, its interpretation fell short of what a GT owner would hope for in a long-distance vehicle. A well-known brand in the automotive sector was Lotus Europa. Production of the first model lasted from 1966 to 1975. It was a compact, agile automobile with the engine in the center. The lightest model, weighing only 1,570 lbs (710 kg). It was an actual sports automobile, and Lotus Cars produced 9,230. However, it wasn't a GT, and the sequel wasn't released until 2006. The Esprit, which was more akin to a GT vehicle, replaced the classic Europa.


For the last model years, 2006 to 2010, Lotus retailed the Lotus Europa with a starting MSRP of £29,113 for the base model, rising to £34,882 for the top-of-the-line model.

  • Base - £29,113 (£44,117 or $50,194 in 2022)
  • Top-spec Variant - £34,882 (£52,860 or $60,141 in 2022)

You could expect to buy a used Lotus Europa with a price range of £11,115 to £28,340, depending on the model's condition, mileage, and model year. 


Exterior Features

The Elise and the Europa both used the same lightweight platform for the 2006 model year Europa. There were rumors that it was a GT, even though it was a closed coupe. The automobile manufacturer claimed that it improved the accessibility of the cabin by raising the roof and lowering the side sills to create more headroom. The Elise's headlights and taillights were used as a comparison, although they had a distinctive appearance. The engine bay featured a side air intake similar to the one on the Elise.

Interior Features

There were leather seats, climate control, and soundproofing equipment inside. Elise did not provide such conveniences to keep weight to a minimum. The interior, while not quite a premium coupe, nonetheless seemed somewhat basic. In contrast to the Elise, it had a larger trunk, making it ideal for road trips.

Specs and Performance of the Lotus Europa


  • 2.0-liter GM Z20LER Ecotec turbocharged I4

The Lotus Europa SE's 2.0L engine delivers 222 hp (165 kW) at 5,700 rpm and 221 lb-ft (430 Nm) of torque. Lotus Cars marketed the Europa SE as a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle, and it was available with a 6-speed manual M32 transmission. The Lotus Europa accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 kph) in 5 seconds, with a top speed of 154 mph (248 kph). Dimension-wise, the Lotus Europa measures 3,900 mm (153.5 in) long, 1,850 mm (72.8 in) wide, and 1,120 mm (44.1 in) high. Its wheelbase measures 2,330 mm (91.7 in) and has a curb weight of 2,194 lbs (995 kg).

Release Date

The Lotus Europe was originally released from 1966 to 1975. The carmaker revived the nameplate as the GT version of the company from 2006 to 2010. It was called the Lotus Europa S, with 504 units produced.