Evidently there may be a large number of keen anticipation round the Lotus Emira – as there must be; new Lotuses actually do not come round all that regularly. The brand new automotive is promising what so could have been hoping for in a twenty first century Lotus: the famed trip and dealing with panache, with enough usability to make common riding viable. And now not a undertaking perfect deliberate upfront. One thing alongside the traces of the Alpine A110, in truth. Albeit with a guide gearbox, and a V6 choice.
However the Emira is not Lotus’s first strive at combining what makes its vehicles nice to force with a automotive that is simple to make use of. Bear in mind the Europa? Introduced 15 years in the past, its premise used to be so easy it is unusual to assume it had taken Lotus 10 years to conjure up. The Europa thought used to be to make use of Elise structure to make one thing virtually as excellent to force, however equip it with further convenience options – in addition to a torquier engine – to make it extra appropriate as an on a regular basis prospect.
What got here out of Hethel used to be lavishly praised. In spite of wearing greater than 100kg over an Elise and with a GM turbo 2.0-litre quite than a screaming supercharged Toyota engine, the Europa used to be nonetheless tangibly a Lotus product – it drove superbly. It nonetheless weighed slightly below a tonne, it nonetheless had fabulous steerage and it nonetheless flowed down a street higher than just about anything.
From a riding viewpoint, it used to be task jobbed – as same old. However as an on a regular basis proposition the Europa used to be incorrect, the platform now not actually lending itself to the remit of simple get entry to, low effort sports activities automotive. There used to be extra sound deadening and leather-based and a greater stereo, however the Europa used to be nonetheless beautiful uncooked by means of the factors of the category. And should you sought after a uncooked British sports activities automotive, why now not have an Elise or Exige?
In any case, in spite of an progressed Europa SE arriving in 2008, Lotus made simply 500 Europas, that means treasured few are round in this day and age. In line with HowManyLeft, simply 145 Europas stay on UK roads, and only one – one! – Europa SE. Which, as a secondhand acquire, would possibly neatly paintings within the Europa’s favour.
Rarer than a modern Elise, higher to force than all of the opposition and nonetheless lots speedy sufficient – the previous 15 years has most certainly served to improve the Europa’s attraction, quite than diminish it. And values are reflecting that: after we featured a 50,000-mile automotive in January 2020, it used to be on the market at £20,995. Now a similar car is on be offering at £27,450, stated to get pleasure from a complete carrier historical past and “an improbable situation all through”. The upgraded tan leather-based internal undoubtedly elevates the internal atmosphere above an Elise and the situation turns out commensurate with cautious possession during the last 14 years. This case may be about part the cost any Emira shall be. In all probability now, a decade and a part after release, may well be the Europa’s time to polish…
SPECIFICATION | LOTUS EUROPA
Engine: 1,998cc four-cylinder turbo
Transmission: Six-speed guide, rear-wheel force
Energy (hp): 200@5,400rpm
Torque (lb feet): 200@5,000rpm
Recorded mileage: 51,202
First registered: 2007
Worth new: £32,995
Yours for: £27,450