Lifting the boot hatch also extends to cover the engine bay, which can also be seen through the closed rear windscreen.
Lifting the boot hatch also extends to cover the engine bay, which can also be seen through the closed rear windscreen. It is separated from the boot and cabin by strong bulkheads and a Perspex screen serves to reduce the noise into the cabin while allowing for some rear-view visibility, but not at night when the double reflections cause a distraction.
Because of the positioning of the engine, it needs a lot of cooling, as it doesn't have the immediate benefit of air being forced through the front grille. There is a front grille, but it needs augmenting by strip grilles within the air dams located rearward of the doors, on the bonnet and in the roof although the latter has a tendency to collect leaves.
Because of the low roofline, the Lotus Europa looks wider than it is. You come to realise this during parking manoeuvres, which are surprisingly easy to accomplish and, at the same time, town driving suddenly becomes a little less fraught. That said, during the test week, I did try to find an end bay in the multi-storey car park because the wide doors need quite a bit of space.Getting in and out of the car requires a certain amount of athleticism and cannot be achieved with any decorum. It is a little easier for the passenger as they don't have a steering wheel to contend with. While getting in is relatively easy, getting out is at least a two-stage manoeuvre; one leg out, heave yourself onto the very broad sill, which is a good six inches higher than the seat squab, and try and look nonchalant as you stand up.
Lotus Europa Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Lotus Europa SE|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||5.4 Seconds|
|Top Speed||146 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||36.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||2-Years / Unlimited Mileage|
|Price (when tested on the 01/12/08)||£32,995|