A yellow Lotus Europa 907 S on display in the Lotus Drivers club zone of the Silverstone Classic 2016
Contributor:John Gaffen / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:53.8 MB (2.4 MB Compressed download)
Releases:Model - no | Property - noDo I need a release?
Dimensions:5376 x 3499 px | 45.5 x 29.6 cm | 17.9 x 11.7 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:31 July 2016
Location:Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8TN
The Lotus Europa name is used on two distinct mid-engined GT coupé cars built by Lotus Cars. The original Europa and its variants comprise the Lotus Types 46, 47, 54, 65 and 74, and were produced between 1966 and 1975. The Europa concept is believed to have originated during 1963 with drawings done by Ron Hickman, then director of Lotus Engineering, for Lotus'a bid for the Ford GT40 racing car project. When that contract was lost to Lola Cars, Chapman chose to use Hickman's highly efficient aerodynamic design, which had a drag coefficient of only Cd 0.29, as the basis for a new mid-engined production model originally intended to succeed the Lotus 7. By the mid-1960s, the mid-engine vehicle configuration was well-established as the optimal design for Grand Prix cars, however almost no road vehicles yet used this arrangement. Lotus planned the Europa to be a volume-produced, two-seater mid-engined sports coupe built to reasonable cost, quite an ambitious goal for the time. Like all Lotus vehicles of the era, the Europa was designed and built following Chapman's oft-stated philosophy of automotive design: "Simplify, then add lightness". To this end, a number of ingenius design approaches were 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 having been built.