The inside of the cabin is sparse but not Spartan.
The inside of the cabin is sparse but not Spartan. As I said, there are carpets, a leather-covered fascia and snazzy, black and white striped leather bucket seats with matching panels on the doors. And they are bucket seats. Apart from fore and aft, there is no adjustment whatsoever - even the backrest doesn't move. The steering column is fixed; so one size fits all.
Once ensconced in the hard but hugging seat, you are suddenly aware that the sills take up more room than anticipated and your passenger has become your closest friend. Luckily there isn't much of a centre tunnel between the seats and, save for a bulge where the 6-speed manual gearbox is sited, it is no wider than the handbrake lever.
Interior storage is at a premium and amounts to no more than an open parcel shelf and another satchel-ette beside the gear shift. There is a little room behind the seats but not enough to warrant too much of a mention.
Once in, you realise just how close to the road your behind is, a feeling that will be familiar to those who have driven a kart. It is a little unnerving at first but also reassuring, as the cabin forms a cocoon around the driver. In front are two white-faced dials set into a small nacelle and a sporty steering wheel, that you feel should be made of wood like the gear-knob and not leather covered.
As mentioned, there are few frills and even the door mirrors are manually adjusted…from outside. Furthermore, there is no power steering as you find out when you pull away and slow speed manoeuvring is as effective as a Bull Worker. Safety measures run to ABS with servo-assisted Brembo brakes and that's it. As far as I can tell, there are no airbags and traction control isn't even an option.
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|