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Back to the Future

Once again reaching into its past for the name of a car in its future, Lotus will call its latest vehicle “Europa.” Only this time it adds the suffix “S” to a car that, unlike the previous model, won’t be coming to North America.

Once again reaching into its past for the name of a car in its future, Lotus will call its latest vehicle “Europa.” Only this time it adds the suffix “S” to a car that, unlike the previous model, won’t be coming to North America. Originally developed for Lotus’s parent, Malaysian carmaker Proton, this car is an amalgam of the Lotus Elise and the Elise-based Opel Speedster. It stretches the Elise chassis and lowers the side sills in order to liberate room for people and cargo, and borrows the Lotus-designed turbocharged Ecotec inline four and Getrag five-speed from the Opel. The 2.0-liter produces 200 hp @ 5,400 rpm, 194 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm, and Lotus claims the 2,194-lb car is capable of 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph. Priced at $57,000, the Europa S launches in July 2006.