Lotus owners Proton have revealed a re-badged Lotus Europa as the Proton Lekir Concept at the Kuala Lumpur Motor Show.
Lotus tried to make the 2006 Lotus Europa fulfil the same role in its lineup the original Lotus Europa did in the sixties – a bigger version of the main range. In the ’60s it worked – to a degree – but the 21st century iteration of the Europa was not a huge success.
The trouble with the Europa was that buyers seemed to perceive it as what it was – a stop-gap before the Lotus Evora arrived. Yes, it handled quite decently but it was just an bigger, softer Elise with a fairly ludicrous £35k price tag. So it wasn’t exactly a shock when we rep0rted back in May that Lotus were stopping making the Europa.
But it seems Lotus owner Proton are intent on making the most of the short-lived Europa – it’s been reborn as the Proton Lekir Concept. The Europa has been given restyled bumpers and some black trim at the front and different wheels.
The Proton-badged Europa is powered by either a 1.6 or 2.0 litre turbo lump offering up to 220bhp, depending which bit of the Proton bumph you read. And it’s not alone as a new Proton Concept either.
Proton has wheeled out not just the Europa-based Lekir but also the Proton Tuah (a four-door saloon) the Proton Lekiu (a compact SUV) and the Proton Jebat (a rip-off Mitsubishi Evo) at the Kuala Lumpur Motor Show.
We’ll let you know if these go in to production. Just in case you care.