Lotus Europa (1966-1975)
The 1960’s were a fantastic decade for cars. Manufacturers were just beginning to introduce vehicles that looked a little more intriguing as they were getting a better idea of what worked and what didn’t. Technology was also quickly advancing, forcing the industry to adapt. One awesome vehicle produced during the decade was the Lotus Europa. Launched in 1966, the coupe sported the familiar Lotus aesthetic, however its intriguing styling and unique shape have made the car truly one of a kind.
Based on drawings by Ron Hickman, who was the director of engineering at Lotus at the time, the vehicle was originally meant to be the brands bid on the Ford GT40 project in 1963. Unfortunately, the contract for the GT40 went to Lola Cars and the designs were recycled in 1966 on the Lotus Europa.
The Series 1 of Europa came with a modified Renault 16 1470 cc inline-four engine capable of producing 82 hp (61 kW). It could achieve a top speed of around 121 mph (195 km/h). The coupe was quite light, thanks to its innovative design, which made the vehicle a joy to drive. It was rather fast and easy to navigate, which is all you can really expect from a vehicle of this type.
Only 296 units of the Series 1 Europa were ever produced, making it one of the rarest generations of the model.
What made it unique was the fact that it sported a number of unusual features. It had no door handles, its side windows were fixed and so were its seats. Only the pedals were adjustable, however tools were needed in order to do that.
The series 2 of Lotus Europa was launched in1968. Although the car has kept its Renault engine, a number of changes were made to the vehicle. Door handles were added as well as adjustable seat and electric windows.
A number of changes had to be made to the vehicle due to stricter safety requirements. The car’s bug eye headlamps had to be raised, due to them being too low on the previous version. Its seatbelts also had to be modified.
The Europa’s styling remained the same for the most part, with its aesthetic still standing out.
Although the production of the Europa has ended in 1975, the vehicle has made a return in 2006 in the form of the Europa S.
Based on the Lotus Elise the car had little to do with the original Europa apart from a slight resemblance that it sported. It remained in production until 2010, however only 456 were ever built.
The Europa will forever remain a part of Lotus’ history and although it’s no longer in production today, it’s still admired by thousands across the globe.
Are you a fan of the Europa? Would you purchase on if you had the money? Let us know and don’t forget to come back soon for more fun articles about awesome cars. As always, if you have any interesting ideas or suggestions drop us a quick like as we love hearing from our readers.
- Published On : 2 years ago on March 14, 2016
- Author By : James
- Last Updated : March 14, 2016 @ 10:00 am
- In The Categories Of : History
- Tagged With : Lotus Europa