Lotus Europa - Alfa Romeo Forum
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View Poll Results: Funky plastic?
Sub-zero 3 14.29%
Cool 12 57.14%
Uncool 5 23.81%
Seriously uncool 1 4.76%
Meh 0 0%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Lotus Europa






Very much of it's time - mid-60's to mid-70's. Very much Marmite in terms of styling.

However, it was a proper Chapman Lotus.

I know this because the Wikipedia page descends into nerdism about bushes within about 10 seconds of reading:

The original Europa used Lotus founder Colin Chapman's minimalist steel backbone chassis that was first used in the Lotus Elan, while also relying on its fibreglass moulded body for structural strength. The Europa was based on a design sketch by Ron Hickman to compete for Henry Ford II's contract to build a Le Mans race car in the early 1960s.

The Europa was designed and built to be an embodiment of Chapman's oft-stated philosophy of automotive design: "Simplify, then add lightness."

The four-wheel independent suspension was typical of Chapman's thinking. The rear suspension was a modified Chapman strut, as used for Chapman's earlier Formula racing car designs. Owing to the rubber suspension bushes used to isolate engine vibration from the car body, the true Chapman strut's use of the drive shaft as the lower locating link could not be followed whilst still giving the precise track and handling desired. The forward radius arms were increased in size and rigidity, to act as a semi-wishbone. A careful compromise between engine mounting bush isolation and handling was required, culminating eventually in a sandwich bush that was flexible against shear but stiff in compression and tension. The car's handling prompted automotive writers to describe the Europa as the nearest thing to a Formula car for the road. Aside from the doors, bonnet, and boot, the body was moulded as a single unit of fibreglass.

In all, Lotus built about 9,300 Europas.
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(Post Link) post #2 of 15 Old 24-12-15 Thread Starter
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I voted Cool. I don't think it is cool. I voted Cool, though. I used to pass one every day when I was delivering newspapers as a nipper. It seemed unfathomably exotic, quirky and pretty even then. I didn't understand the rear arrangement then, and I'm not sure I do now.

I'd never fit in one.

Cool.
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I sort of get the rear end. It has independent suspension, which normally requires an upper and lower link/wishbone. Chapman's arrangement simplified that to use the driveshaft as a link. Fine on a car with a diff you can bolt to the chassis.

Because the Europa is mid engined, there's no separate diff and the drivetrain has to be rubber mounted for NVH reasons. Because of this, it will move about under cornering, braking and acceleration. If the driveshaft attached to it is a suspension link, it too will move about giving constantly variable suspension geometry.
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I think I need a diagram

Sort it out
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This is another of those hard to call ones. I totally agree with the Marmite comment but I'm not sure which side I sit on! Sometimes I like it for its quirky, semi-exotic looks and the Lotus heritage while at other times I think it looks a bit awkward, it's plastic and has the build quality of a takeaway burger box. Many years ago, in the early 90's, I drove a friend's then recently restored TC example. I was a bit unimpressed with its performance to be honest.

I think (today) that it is just about cool because you don't see them that often and it doesn't really conform either then or now.

+ Semi-exotic style.
- Semi-reliable with the undeniable smell of 60's GRP thrown in for good measure.
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It's cool. Totally irrelevant but back in 1984/5 I nearly purchased a Lancia Beta Coupe off a chap I worked with had, had a nasty accident and struggled to drive.
He was off work for a while but wanted the money from the Lancia sale to finish off his Europa .
Cool but not pretty.
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Undeniably cool. Quirky and innovative.
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I apreciate the engineering which has gone into it, but it isn't a looker.

Slightly to the uncool side from me.
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Yeah, this is a love or hate car, there's no middle ground IMHO.

I voted 'cool' because it appeared on the Avengers. Linda Thorson (Tara King). For that alone it has to be a cool set of wheels.
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Back in the 1970’es when Lotus was winning the Formula 1 championships the Lotus Europe was far more cool than any Ferrari or almost any other car. Especially the one with the Lotus Formula 1 “John Player Special” black and gold livery rated far below zero degrees.
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It was always my uncles favourite car and the only poster I recall on his bedroom wall when I visited my Grans.

Looks like I could fit my toolbox on the flat back. ....still cool, its being a Lotus doesn't do it any harm.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EngholmP View Post
Back in the 1970’es when Lotus was winning the Formula 1 championships the Lotus Europe was far more cool than any Ferrari or almost any other car. Especially the one with the Lotus Formula 1 “John Player Special” black and gold livery rated far below zero degrees.
Unless it's an old Ferrari then they still are
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symon View Post
I apreciate the engineering which has gone into it, but it isn't a looker.

Slightly to the uncool side from me.
Cool from an engineering perspective but very uncool in terms of looks. I can only assume the flat bit has been designed as a helipad, so that the vehicle can double up as a submarine....
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