The Lotus Europa is a two door mid-engined GT coupé built by Lotus Cars from 1966 to 1975. In 2006 Lotus began production of a totally new,Lotus Elise-derived design, a mid-engined GT coupé named Europa S. 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. In all, Lotus built about 9,300 Europas.