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Lotus Europa
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Cascais Classic Motorshow, Cascais, Portugal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


ManufacturerLotus Cars
Numbers produced:
Series S1: 296
Series S1A/S1B: 342
Series S2: four,294
Series Twin Cam: four,950

AssemblyHethel, Norfolk, England
Body and chassis
ClassSports automobile (S)
Body style2-door coupe
LayoutLongitudinal, Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
1470 cc Renault A1K I4
1565 cc Renault 807 I4
1557 cc Lotus/Ford DOHC I4


Wheelbase91 in (two,311 mm)
Length157.25 in (3,994 mm)
Width64.5 in (1,638 mm)
Height42.5 in (1,080 mm)
Curb weight1,350 to 1,570 lb (610 to 710 kg)

The Lotus Europa name is utilized on two distinct mid-engined GT coupé cars constructed by Lotus Cars. The original Europa and its variants comprise the Lotus Kinds 46, 47, 54, 65 and 74, and had been developed between 1966 and 1975. The second vehicle is the Sort 121 Europa S, a Lotus Elise-derived design made from 2006 to 2010.

EUROPA (1966-1975)

The Europa concept is believed to have originated throughout 1963 with drawings done by Ron Hickman, then director of Lotus Engineering, for Lotus’a bid for the Ford GT40 racing auto project. When that contract was lost to Lola Cars, Chapman chose to use Hickman’s highly effective aerodynamic design, which had a drag coefficient of only Cd .29, as the basis for a new mid-engined production model initially intended to succeed the Lotus 7.

By the mid-1960s, the mid-engine car configuration was nicely-established as the optimal design and style for Grand Prix automobiles, nonetheless almost no road cars yet employed this arrangement. Lotus planned the Europa to be a volume-created, two-seater mid-engined sports coupe constructed to reasonable expense, quite an ambitious purpose for the time.

Like all Lotus automobiles of the era, the Europa was created and constructed following Chapman’s oft-stated philosophy of automotive design: &quotSimplify, then add lightness&quot. To this end, a number of ingenius design approaches have been made by Lotus to allow it to economically overcome the many challenges presented by the novel mid-engined arrangement.

Production of the original Lotus Europa ceased in 1975, with a total of 9,230 cars of all models obtaining been built.

Style Attributes

Lotus Europa S2 interior (1968 black-badge model).
The Europa employed a lightweight, folded &amp welded &quotminimalist&quot boxed-steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass moulded body, a mixture that was first utilized by Lotus founder Colin Chapman in the Lotus Elan launched in 1962. Earliest versions of the Europa had the physique totally-bonded to the chassis for maximum structural stiffness, nevertheless this was soon changed to a bolted-on physique to let normal chassis and physique repairs to be created.

As opposed to the Elan, the Europa had no front-mounted engine or gearbox to accommodate, and so the Europa’s principal chassis member ran straight forward to intersect a large box-section cross-beam operating across the car amongst the front suspension points. At the rear, the chassis split into a &quotY&quot shape behind the cabin to accommodate the combined engine, transmission and final-drive components, and to support the rear suspension.


The sourcing of suitable engine, gearbox and final-drive components was regarded critical to the achievement of delivering a low-price mid-engined automobile. Chapman was keen to diversify beyond the Ford elements heavily used in earlier Lotus vehicles, and settled on using the engine and combined transmission/final-drive transaxle units not too long ago released by Renault for their Renault 16.

The 1470cc Renault engine was a light and contemporary design and style (if somewhat pedestrian in the Renault), while the matching Renault 16 transaxle seemed nearly ideal for the Europa project. In the Renault automobile, the transaxle sat ahead of the engine, driving the front wheels. By relocating the combined engine/transaxle unit to the rear of the auto and rotating it 180 degrees in strategy, Lotus could obtain a ready-made contemporary mid-engine configuration – albeit 1 with four reverse gears! By repositioning the differential crownwheel within the final drive assembly, the path of rotation of the output shafts was reversed, as a result correcting this &quotshortcoming&quot.

The Renault 16’s engine’s design and style was well-suited to Lotus’s needs. It utilized an aluminium block with cast-iron cylinder liners, which saved appreciable weight compared to the cast-iron blocks a lot more widespread at the time. It’s overhead-valve design and style had the camshaft situated higher-up in the block, resulting in a compact valve-train nicely suited for higher-rpm operation. Most importantly, all the engine ancillaries (water pump, belt-drives, alternator) have been driven off a v-belt pulley fixed to the transaxle end of the camshaft instead of getting driven by the engine’s crankshaft. When fitted to the Europa, this pulley location place all the engine’s ancillaries at its rear face giving straightforward access for maintenance, rather than them being positioned tough against the vehicle’s bulkhead as-for most standard engines.

For Lotus use the Renault engine was given a quantity of crucial improvements, like a higher compression ratio (ten.25 alternatively of 8.6), larger inlet valves, revised valve timings, dual valve springs and a twin-barrel carburettor. These alterations lifted the engine’s power by 30% from 63 bhp @ 5000 rpm to 82 bhp @ 6000 rpm.

For US export, a de-tuned 1565cc version was used giving 80 bhp @ 6000 rpm.

Later Europa models have been fitted with the same Ford-based Lotus Twin Cam engine utilized in the Lotus Elan range because 1962. This was a sophisticated, twin-overhead-cam, eight-valve higher-efficiency motor making 105 bhp in original kind (later lifted to 126 bhp in &quotbig-valve&quot kind), and it was reported that Lotus initially delayed its introduction in the Europa till they had been confident in the strength of the Renault transaxle. The twin-cam engine 1st appeared in the Europa in 1971.

When Renault released their most effective 16 TX model in 1973, it included a strengthened 5-speed transmission. Lotus rapidly offered this gearbox as an selection in the Europa, along with their Massive Valve twin-cam engine.


The Europa’s four-wheel independent suspension was also typical Chapman pondering. The front utilised lightweight pressed steel upper and reduced wishbones with a clever coil-more than spring-damper arrangement, all connected to the wheels using off-the-shelf front uprights, ball joints and trunnions. The steering gear was solid-mounted rack and pinion employing Truimph Herald elements.

The rear suspension was a heavily modified version of the Chapman strut, initially developed for Chapman’s earlier Formula racing automobile styles and utilised in the Lotus Elan. In the Europa, the vertical &quotstrut&quot element pivots on the wheel hub at its reduce end and doesn’t control wheel camber angle as-in earlier Lotus styles. Wheel place and alignment is controlled as an alternative by interaction between a fixed-length, articulated driveshaft top hyperlink, a easy tubular decrease hyperlink, and a massive box-section radius arm operating diagonally forward to the chassis.

These radius arms played a critical part in providing the precise tracking and handling desired, as the Chapman Strut’s use of the driveshaft to resist lateral forces was compromised by the rubber engine and transaxle mounts necessary to isolate vibrations from the auto body. A careful compromise in between the radius arm mount’s stiffness, isolation and automobile handling was needed, culminating ultimately in a sandwich bush that was flexible against shear but stiff in compression and tension.

The car’s subsequent resulting handling prompted automotive writers to describe the Europa as the nearest factor to a Formula car for the road.

Series 1[edit]

Lotus Europa Series 1 (Variety 46)
The Series 1 or S1 Europa (also identified as Lotus Type 46) was announced for sale to European markets on December 20, 1966. The first vehicles were delivered in France in February 1967. Volkswagen owned the rights to the Europa name in Germany, so vehicles for sale in Germany had been badged Europe rather than Europa.

The S1 was fitted with a modified Renault 16 1470 cc inline-4 engine and a four-speed gearbox. The engine was a unique 82 hp (61 kW) version (as opposed to the 52 hp (39 kW) generated in standard type). Lotus adapted the affordable but lightweight Renault engine and gearbox to the revolutionary Europa longitudinal mid-engined layout, inverting the gearbox’s crown wheel on its pinion gear to avoid obtaining 4 reverse gears. The S1 weighed 610 kg (1512 lb). Autocar magazine achieved a prime speed of 121 mph (195 km/h), and did 0–60 mph in 9.3 seconds. Of particular note, in excess of .9 g (eight m/s²) lateral acceleration was regularly accomplished by Car magazine on road tires of that era.

Only 296 examples of the S1 had been manufactured (chassis numbers from 460001 to 460296). These are the rarest on the marketplace. These vehicles had incredibly light and minimalist building, with fixed side windows, fixed seats (adjustable pedals needing the use of tools), no door handles, no internal door covers, and an aluminum dashboard. The steel chassis central beam was sandwiched (incorporated) within the fibreglass bodywork, hence reinforcing stiffness, but producing repair rather complex.

Series 1A and B (about 350 constructed) had removable side windows, wooden dashboard, and internal door panel covers which could accommodate the windows when taken off. Series 1B had a redesigned rear panel, with new, rectangular light clusters.[citation necessary]

Which includes the S1A and S1B (which incorporated some of the later S2 modifications) variations, 644 Europa S1s have been manufactured.


The Europa Series 2, or Lotus Variety 54, was introduced in April 1968 (approximately chassis quantity 0645 onwards). The S2 utilized the very same 1470cc Renault engine and mecahnical components as the earlier Series 1, but added a number of essential refinements including opening electric windows, adjustable seats, a new completely carpeted interior and a polished wooden fascia panel for the dashboard. The most significant alter was the switch from fully-bonded building to the use of bolt fasteners to attach the fibreglass body to the backbone steel frame. Even though decreasing the torsional and flexural stiffneses somewhat, the use of a separable body was welcomed by the automotive insurance business as it greatly reduced the complexity and price of making repairs to the car.

Early examples of the S2 had been externally almost identical to the S1 with the exception of the new windows. From early 1969, secondary front indicator lamp nacelles have been added in between the headlights, and bigger door handles had been utilized in place of the S1’s push-button products. In the course of 1968 a quantity of Europas (and Elans) were made bearing black-and-silver Lotus badges on the nose and steering wheel in place of the customary yellow-and-green ones. The official Lotus Cars website states these &quotblack-badge&quot automobiles have been to commemorate the tragic death earlier in 1968 of Jim Clark, Lotus’s champion Formula 1 driver, however this is debated by other sources.

1968 Lotus Europa S2. The early S2 models had been developed with S1-style front indicators and door handles. Note the S2 two-pane opening windows.
Modern road tests for the Europa S2 recorded a top speed about 120 mph (195 kph), -60 occasions of 9.3 secs, standing 1/4 mile occasions around 16.7 secs, and an all round fuel economy about 30 mpg (9.4 L/one hundred km).

A modest number of Series 2 cars had been modified to be &quotfederalized&quot for export to the United States. These Federal Kind 54s had the low front fenders (guards) of the European model and the larger 1565cc engine of the later Lotus Kind 65. These vehicles have been subsequently recalled by Lotus due to the headlamps becoming beneath the regulated US height (a &quotbug eye&quot headlamp raiser was later to be installed).

In 1969-70, the Kind 65 (also known as S2 Federal) was born especially for export to the U.S., with extra changes to the body, chassis, suspension and the powerplant to much better comply with U.S. D.O.T. requirements. Amongst the modifications, the engine was a slightly modified emission controlled Renault 16TL 1565 cc engine producing 80 hp rather than the 1470 cc engine of the Kind 54. The front suspension was changed to make the front end of the auto taller along with taller front fenders to raise the headlamps. Road &amp Track magazine tested the Federal S2 and recorded -60 mph in 9.6 seconds with a prime speed of 116 mph (187 km/h).

In total Lotus produced three,615 Europa S2s.


In 1971, the Type 74 Europa Twin Cam was produced accessible to the public, with a 105 bhp 1557cc Lotus-Ford Twin Cam engine (105 bhp US &quotFederal&quot emission normal emissions handle version with Stromberg carburetors, till the finish of production) and a re-designed bodyshell to increase rearward visibility. Initially with the exact same gearbox as the earlier vehicles, once the supply had been exhausted in 1972 a new stronger Renault four-speed gearbox (Kind 352) was introduced. Mike Kimberley, who rose to turn into chief executive of Group Lotus, then a new engineer at Lotus, was appointed Chief Engineer of the Europa TC project. 1,580 cars had been shipped as Europa &quotTwin Cam&quot before Lotus switched to a 126 bhp &quotBig Valve&quot version of the engine.

The huge valve &quotEuropa Particular&quot version was aspirated by Dell’Orto carburettors version of the very same engine in addition it also supplied a new Renault 5-speed (Type 365) gearbox choice. It weighed 740 kg (1631 lb), Motor magazine famously tested a UK Specific to a leading speed of 123 mph (198 km/h), did 0–60 mph in 6.6 seconds, and ran the 1/4 mile in 14.9 sec. This at a time when all road tests were carried out with both a driver and passenger, with only the driver on board the 0–60 mph time would have been well beneath 6 seconds, a phenomenal performance for the period.

1974 LOTUS EUROPA Unique

Introduced in September 1972 the first 100 large valve automobiles have been badged and painted to honour the just won Team Lotus’s 1972 F1 Globe Championship title with John Player Particular as sponsors, all with five-speed gearbox, these had been all black with gold pin stripe matching the livery of the GP cars – plus a numbered JPS dash board badge, becoming the first ever John Player Special commemorative motor autos. The &quotSpecial&quot name and colour scheme was planned to be dropped following the 1st 200 automobiles, reverting to the Twin Cam name, but such was the positive reaction to the new car that the name and pin stripe scheme remained until the end of Europa Production despite the fact that colours other than black have been created accessible.

In the end the numbered plaque distinguished the first, original, 100 JPS cars from other black Europa Specials.

In total 4710 Type 74s have been developed of which 3130 have been badged &quotSpecials&quot.

Sort 47 AND 62

LOTUS Variety 47

Though the original Europa was intended as a clubmans sports racer to replace the Lotus 7, it was realised that the automobile would be uncompetitive with the Renault engines accessible. A choice was for that reason created for Lotus Elements to manufacture a specialist race auto based on the Europa to be raced by Group Lotus and sold to private entrants.

Even though the extremely first Variety 47 was primarily based on a modified Europa, all subsequent automobiles have been produced completely by Lotus Elements rather than the main factory. Launched at the same time as the S1 Europa, the body of the 47 was thinner than the common Europa and with bigger wheel arches. Side vents into the engine bay have been added right after the 1st handful of automobiles experiencing difficulties with engine bay temperature.

The engine, gearbox and rear suspension had been completely different from the normal Europa and have been taken in their entirety from the Lotus 23/Lotus 22 Formula Junior with a Lotus-Ford Twin Cam primarily based 165 hp (123 kW) 1,594 cc Cosworth Mk.XIII dry sump engine, and a Hewland FT 200 five-speed gearbox and suspension with reversed bottom wishbone, top hyperlink and dual radius arms. The front upright was specially cast in common with the F2 version of Lotus 41X to accommodate a larger Girling brake for the later 47A model (which had the Alfa Romeo tail lamp shared with the Europa S2) with reinforced front frame.

The Kind 47 precise production numbers are unknown, the last auto was 47GT-85 but it is unlikely 85 47GT’s had been made, estimates vary from 55 to 68 during the years 1966-70. Although the 47GT is the very best known, a handful of 47F’s were produced, these had the detachable physique equivalent to the S2 Europa, but retaining the massive wheel arches and side vents of the 47GT. Fitted with a tuned Ford cross flow engine but with the Renault gearbox and rear suspension of the Europa. The quantity created is unknown but probably no much more than six.

As a mobile test bed for the new two litre Lotus 907 engine getting developed for the forthcoming Elite and Eclat, the Sort 62 was produced. Only two such cars have been ever created. These have been space frame automobiles with F1 suspension to deal with the 240 hp from the engine. Although deliberately created to resemble the Europa, in practice the only connection to the Europa was a couple of of the Europa’s physique panels. It did win its very first event the 1969 BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch with John Miles and Brian Muir at the wheel. Replica 47’s and 62’s are bespoke-manufactured by Banks Europa Engineering, in a number of variations. A a single-off 47, fitted with a Rover V8 engine (3.five litre enlarged out to four.4 litre), was constructed for GKN in 1968 and registered, GKN 47D, with 300 hp it was capable of 180 mph (290 km/h).


Throughout its life, the Europa attracted the consideration of numerous non-Lotus automotive customising businesses who supplied &quotspecial&quot versions in tiny numbers to the public. Amongst these was the Swiss Lotus importer, who produced two specific versions of the S2 fitted with the Renault 16 TS variety 807 engine, the &quotEuropa Hemi 807&quot and the fuel injected &quotEuropa Black Shadow 807&quot. The Hemi 807 had 105 PS (77 kW) SAE and could attain 200 km/h (124 mph), even though the Black Shadow had 137 PS (101 kW) on tap. The Black Shadow also received a five-speed gearbox.

These automobiles had a wider track, specific wheels and stickers, white indicator lights up front, and featured extractor vents higher on the side panel behind the rear door. The fuel injection program was from Kugelfischer.