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It's a mystery. No car whose design we've ever endorsed on this site has gotten such a unilateral thumbs-down from the Jalopnik audience as the new Lotus Europa. Most readers who've seen the press photos have (either publicly or by inbox-to-inbox, heat-seeking missive) decried it as a reject from Lotus parent Proton's factory (cross-breeding still not confirmed), with Revell kit build quality and a design-language impediment. Nonetheless, we happened on it in person today, and while we can't impart the 3-D experience in two dimensions, we at least feel vindicated to ourselves. To be sure, the Europa is no Elise or Exige, and next to those cars' slippery shapes the Europa's planar geometry appears at some angles to be as backdated as a box of animal crackers. And anyway, it's small as a toboggan and can carry a decent-sized overnight bag, despite looking like a pedal car next to the turntable model. We're rubber, you're glue.

More on the Lotus Europa [internal]