The Smart Europa
A Europa with paddle gear change, semi-automatic
air conditioning, power steering and ABS brakes !
Richard's latest incarnation of
the classic Europa is based on the running gear of a Brabus modified Smart
|I had the opportunity of
visiting Richard last week to seek his advice for my own Europa. Its always a
pleasure to sit and talk with him (if you can catch him on a quiet moment), but
this time he had a surprise for me. "Come and have a look at my latest
project" he says, "Its built around a smart car".
Somewhat disbelievingly I follow him to a workshop where I
find a bright orange Europa 47, which from the outside looks just like all his
other model 47's.
|On opening the drivers door I find
an interior that is a million miles away from the original car. Gone is
the flat Europa dashboard which has been replaced with the contoured dash from
the Smart Roadster complete with its bug-eyed instrument binnacles, trip
computer, mp3 enabled stereo and custom leather steering wheel with gearchange
The seats have been replaced with custom
carbon fibre race seats with full four point safety harness and just for good
measure a fire extinguisher.
|Open the engine cover
and you get an even bigger shock. Something that looks similar to a Europa boot
box exists, but underneath it the traditional Y shaped chassis has been
re-engineered into a cradle to take the Brabus modified Mercedes engine and
transmission and bespoke fuel tank.
Three-cylinder turbocharged petrol in-line engine with intercooler and Brabus
Transmission: Automated sequential 6-speed gearbox with kickdown function.
Single plate dry clutch.
In the front compartment more changes are evident
and it is packed to the brim with equipment.
A custom radiator with air conditioning, servo
assisted dual circuit brakes with ABS, electric power steering, the battery and
a heap load of electronics.
This is an amazing car,
it has all the charm and character of the original Lotus but it has the luxury
of some of the most advanced automotive technology. It retains all the wizzy
gadgets of the Smart car.
Circuit, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution
Electronic Stability Program with Hill Start Assist. Hydraulic Brake Assist.
Acceleration Skid Control (ASR).