Car Spotlight>>rotary-powered Lotus Europa

Last weekend when I was checking out the rotary meeting at Fuji Speedway, I spotted a car that stuck out like a sore thumb among the sea of FD's and sprinkling of RX8's. As I got closer, my suspicions came true. It was a Lotus Europa that came to Fuji Speedway from Yokohama. Considering the company the car was in, I wasn't terribly surprised when I looked at the engine compartment and found a Mazda rotary sitting where the old four cylinder used to be. Now it's not uncommon to see rotary swaps in cars like the AE86 or Nissan/Datsun 510, but seeing one in a rare European sports car like the Europa was pretty crazy!

Even in stock form, the Europa is a pretty unique looking car. Am I the only one who sees a twisted mini El Camino when looking at the car's backside? Anyways, this particular  Europa had plenty of exterior mods to match its unorthodox powerplant. Check out that rear diffuser mounted under the bumper.

The big HKS mushroom air filter really jumps out when you see the little fuel injected rotary motor resting in the Europa's spacious engine compartment.

Almost as interesting as the engine were the car's wheels. The fronts looked to be standard SSR Mk III's, but the rears look to be a single lug SSR wheel that has a little resemblance to the Mk.III. Any of the old school wheel experts have any more info on these? Maybe a special racing version?

Another shot of the exterior. The Advan A048's, front and rear diffusers, GT wing, and tow hook tell me that this car sees a lot of action at the circuit.

So basically we have a Mazda-powered, track-going Lotus. Sometimes you just have to love the cool stuff you find in Japan!

-Mike Garrett



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Fantastic stuff.... really beautiful, if only all cars were as unique as this one...



Not the prettiest car by any means, but damn I love those SSR's and it's pretty neat seeing such a puny engine in a huge engine bay.


that is the gnarliest car i've seen in a long time.


This thing is amazing. I love the rare wheels, the rotary swap, and the owner's complete disregard for convention.


at least he didnt steal my idea of an SR-powered europa :) I think this one would be better anyways.

and I second that El Camino thing. I think this is the later model though, the earlier ones had a step down in the back that made it look more like an El Camino. Nice aero on the car!


Really ugly car, but props to the owner for doing something out of the ordinary. I like it.


built by ama-san


oops. this is rs-pantera.

Amamiya's one was different.

There are a few around.


Thats Awsome! I always never liked how these looked, but this one changes my opinion, the fact that its rotary helps as well.


Nice find Mike!


I agree with everything my man Ilia pointed out, it's definitely a rare specimen. But I was wondering if there is an available photo with the bonnet secured. I'd simply like to see the complete look/feel of the car, with the large stands/wing and all. I'm sure it's outrageous!


awesome car. I would love to see more features like this


Actually, everytime I see it I think of a hearse, a very cool hearse :) Love the front canards too, I think it resembles the front mudguards of nostalgic rally cars.


anyone know of any nice rotary 930's? i think that would be a cool rotary swap also.


I can't imagine the power to weight ratio


That is fucking awesome, end of story.

Pardon my eyesight, but is it turbo?


Wow, wow, WOW.


no its N/A. any idea what tranny was used?


This europa was cover by RX-7 magazing not long ago. From B piller back it share very little with europa. this incl engine MT. New rear suspension( old version is semi trailing arm. this one is Double A arm. and is mount it on top of Transmisson).



I saw a standard one of these runnng up the Prescott Hillclimb course in the UK, I can only imagine how awesome this rotary powered one must be. I've had my eye on this for a while now:


Wow! Looks likevthere is a singleseater chassis under the glassfibre body... Inboard suspension, adjustable swaybar, high tech alligment control and the single lugs. One of my favourites


that thing must frekin scary at the limit!