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In developing the new Europa S Lotus engineers focused on creating a scintillating driving experience while widening the appeal of the current Lotus range.
The Lotus Europa S went from concept to production in just 28 months, underlining the capabilities of the Lotus Engineering and Manufacturing divisions.
Extensive testing was conducted around the world in both hot and cold climates, high humidity, city and urban environments, as well as on the freeways and autobahns of Europe.
Lotus engineers also used the demanding four-kilometre Lotus test track at the company's Hethel headquarters - regarded by many as one of the world's most demanding test facilities with a unique variety of surfaces and conditions.
The Europa S was developed for manufacture by the team responsible for what is regarded as the finest niche vehicle and low volume manufacturing facility in the world.
This manufacturing facility, based at Hethel, currently produces approximately 4500 cars per year (with the Elise and the Exige).
Volume for the Europa S is expected to be in the order of 500 cars per year across all markets but this figure is flexible and volumes can be rapidly altered to meet demand when required. Initially Lotus Cars Australia anticipates a limited supply in Australia of 40 units per year.
Lotus uses a worldwide network of high quality suppliers to produce components specifically designed and developed to meet the exacting requirements of Lotus.
Special attention has been paid to broadening this supplier network with the Europa S program. For example body panels for the Europa S are produced in Malaysia through a new partnership between Lotus and a leading local aerospace manufacturer. This activity has been strongly supported by Proton, the parent company to Lotus, which continues to provide assistance in lifting the technology and quality of vendors.
Lotus remains committed to using environmentally friendly, high solids water based paints while each car is carefully inspected to ensure an "A1" class finish.
Europa S undergoes a number of world-class quality checking stages before being delivered to the customer. Lotus was the first vehicle manufacturer and engineering consultancy in the world to be awarded the prestigious QS9000, which is linked, to ISO9001/2000.
It is this attention to detail that lead to Lotus to be awarded the prestigious 'World Class Manufacturer of the Year' award in 2005.
Each Europa S takes approximately 3.5 days or 130 man-hours to build.
Tony Shute, Head of Product for Lotus Cars, says the concept behind the new the Europa S was to produce a real Lotus sports car with touring capabilities, which successfully complements the range of existing cars.
"The concept underpinning the Europa S provides the driver with a refined environment, incorporating innovative styling features, which do not compromise the superior performance and handling," he said.
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