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Europa/914 Comparisons


They are both ugly.

Neither are made anymore because people stopped buying them.

The press panned both.

Each has a sexy brand with a humble engine.

Neither are expensive.

They were both known to spontaneously combust.


Lotus used inexpensive parts from cheaper, mass produced cars to build a handmade, limited production sports car. Nonetheless, a complete restoration can easily cost more than the value of the car.

Porsche used expensive parts from the 911, and marked-up parts from volkswagen models to produce a budget-minded, mass produced sports car.  Porsche absolutely gouges its customers for parts.  You'd have to be an idiot (like me) to restore one.

The Europa could out-accelerate much more expensive cars, and in Twin-Cam form is quick, even today. The stock 914 was a complete slug even when new.  It accelerates like a lawn tractor, though it will beat one hands down in the twisties.

The Lotus sounds great.  The 914/4 sounds like a VW bug.  

Without getting really specific, they each had more or less the same horsepower. The Europa weighs 5-700lbs less than the 914.

In anything but a minor collision, occupants of a 914 would be dead.  Occupants of a Europa would be really dead.

The Europa is fragile in all respects.  The 914 is built like a brick shithouse. Styled like one too. 

The front of the Europa looks sexy and exotic - like a Ferrari, E-type, or... a Lotus.  The rear must have been designed by the guy who later styled the 914.

You disassemble a 914.  You assist a Europa in falling apart.

When disassembling a 914, you are continually impressed with its quality and how well thought out it is.  With the Europa, you are amazed how such a chintzy car could ever have been built.

The parts count in the Lotus must be less than half that of the 914.

Europas leak.  The 914 must have 75 feet of fancy rubber seals, costing over $1500US to replace.  914's leak too. 

Porsche would never use a bolt when a mechanism would do.  Lotus would never use a bolt when a pop-rivet would do. 

The electrical system in the Lotus isn't. 

Strangers make positive comments about the 914. They ask to sit or rather lie down in the Lotus, then can't help but burst out laughing and start making engine noises and pretending to set up for corner 10 at Mosport.

I live on a busy street. The newly restored 914 draws the occasional honk or a visit from a fellow owner. The Lotus - even dead and shabby - attracts crowds and often other Lotii out of nowhere.

The Lotus makes few if any compromises to handling. The 914 is practical and versatile, and handles very well.

The Porsche is a good car that is cool. The Lotus is a crummy car that is really cool.

150000 914s were made manufactured.  9000 Europas were hand made.

Lotus recently developed the Elise, a lightweight and simple but sophisticated mid-engined sports car with amazing handling by any standard.  It has no stupid gee gaws, a non-exotic engine sourced from a mass produced vehicle, and is priced so mere mortals can afford it. (sound familiar?) Porsche? Worked with VW on the Cayenne/Toerag.

There are pages of Lucas electric jokes. Porsches ist nicht funny.

johannes_ditz <mail@j...> wrote:
> Dave,
> don`t be so nasty about 914s. Mine sounds better
> than an early 911,
> and an early Europa, too. I have experienced another
> difference: When
> you crash with a 914 at the Nuerburgring
> Nordschleife, you don`t die,
> with a Lotus Europa you don`t crash.
> Joh Ditz
> 914 043 1678