Rare Car Network

Rare Car Network
Unique Classics, Replicas and Build Culture
						Gsxr Lotus Europa

GSX-R-Powered Lotus Europa

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

Simply, then add lightness — Colin Chapman’s wise design edict would govern the creation of successful road-going and track cars for decades, such as the Lotus Mark VI, 25, 7 and countless others. But some 50 years later, there are ways to add lightness that the great Chapman would have never imagined. Sporting a DOHC four-cylinder engine and transmission from one of the most ubiquitous sport bikes ever made, this GSX-R-powered Lotus Europa is in a league of its own.

The cottage automotive industry in Britain gave rise to some of the most unique cars of the 1960s and ’70s, and that term aptly describes the Lotus Europa. Its long and flat tail section immediately lets you know that something is unusual about this car. While it could make for a miniature truck bed (like a pint-sized El Camino), that tail section actually is home to a mid-mounted engine and transaxle, as Lotus was hoping to adapt the popular mid-engine race configuration into an inexpensive, street-legal sports car. The Europa was initially powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder and transaxle sourced from the Renault 16 from 1966 to 1971, before Lotus went back to Ford and started installing Ford-based Lotus TwinCam engines.

But you won’t find either of those engines here, as the seller went to extremes to shed weight by installing a DOHC 16-valve engine from a 2007 Suzuki GSX-R. In stock trim, the bike produced around 157 hp, but the seller reports that this engine has been tuned to 180-190 hp. The bike’s six-speed sequential transmission is utilized in the installation, and a custom reverse-gear kit solves the one main issue with sport-bike engine swaps. A whole new subframe was fabricated to facilitate the engine installation, and the seller estimates that the swap probably took 550-560 pounds off the Europa, now weighing in at just 1,219 pounds.

This car definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, or anyone looking for a traditional Lotus, as the seller notes. But the idea of 12,000 rpm between the stoplights in a classic British sports car seems more than worth the effort. Check out the Lotus here on Ventura, California Craigslist.

Comments for: GSX-R-Powered Lotus Europa

comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories You Might Like