Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

The Europa is available with one engine in two different outputs. The 2.0-litre petrol is actually borrowed from Vauxhall (unlike the Elise and Exige which use a Toyota unit) but is less manic than the Japanese engine and offers stronger in-gear acceleration. The standard model produces 200bhp and manages 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds while the more powerful 225bhp version on the SE model can sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds - faster than a Porsche Cayman.

It does still need to be worked hard though, in order to deliver its best performance and as a result it spends much of its time at high revs, where it's noisy. The Europa comes with a positive shifting (if little clunky) six-speed manual gearbox as standard. Fuel economy is good with the 200bhp able to average 30mpg.

The Europa delivers a typical Lotus driving experience. It may not be hugely powerful, but it handles exceptionally well and feels incredibly agile due to its light weight. There's no power steering (like all Lotus models) which does make parking difficult, but also means superb feedback and feel on the move. It's pin sharp through corners, although you can feel every single bump which is unnerving if you are used to more insulating cars.

It's hugely involving which makes any journey on twisting roads enjoyable but on the downside it can be quite draining on a long run. It's also noisy and hectic on the motorway.