Category Archives: Lotus

On the road with the Elise videos

Over the past few months I have been slowly taking footage for a video I have always had in mind to finish off. It completes the 3 part video of a detailed look at the Lotus Elise R, and now it has all the parts I really wanted to put into it.

All the footage was filmed on the excellent (but bumpy at times) roads of the Sydney Royal national and Lane Cove national parks. Flatmate Damien and good friend at work and fellow petrolhead Cameron were my camera team.

The in-car footage was recorded using the sticky pod Professional camera mount system stuck to the lower left hand side of the windscreen. My Sony HD HDD video camera was attached to the sticky pod. Video editing again as done with my good friend Adobe Premiere Pro, although a real bitch to start to learn, its very powerful and loaded with professional level features.

I’m certainly no professional on camera but I think it went well for a bit of a laugh, and it was good fun with friends making it. Enough with the babble, watch the videos! 🙂

Supercharging the Little Elise

aka 07 Elise R go Supercharged project – VF kit Stage 1

aka The Elise Lotus ‘should’ be making

Well I kept it a bit quiet but the supercharger upgrade to the Elise R is fitted , tested and complete. The results so far on the road, well I’m totally chuffed and a very happy man and I now have a Lotus induced headache from the excitement of driving it 🙂

Picture 292 (Medium)The cars just ticking over 12,000km’s now so it is still feeling fresh and new but like all owners, I yearned for a bit more power & torque from my little Elise.

Time for some forced induction!

The back story….. After looking around for nearly a year researching all the Elise supercharger kits available, Katana, BRW, SSC’s OEM based kits and becoming very very close to trading up to the Exige CUP 260, I finally drew down to the VF (that’s VisionFunction) kit jointly developed in AU and the US.

Vision function currently produce Stage 1, 2 and in the works stage 3 kits for the Lotus Elise R, Exige customers wanting a bit more power than is on offer from Lotus but I went with the Stage 1 kit which provides more than enough power and torque levels (see below).

After the order was in with Turbo XS team in Hornsby (the licensed kit supplier and installer for VisionFunction in AU) they promised the kit would take 2 weeks to fit.

This time was mostly down to the ECU having to be posted to the US for the legendary (well on the international internet forums level) Charlie X, to work his code onto the unit and post back to AU. The actual physical parts of the kit only takes the guys a few days to fit and its all rear body clam on work.

I should say what is in the kit, well all the details and technical data can be found here www.visionfunction.com but the kit contains:

  • Eaton MP62 Supercharger (same as used in all supercharged Lotus Exige’s, not in the Elise SC)
  • Custom Intake Manifold
  • Intercooler (tests show 50% lower intake charge temperature, very important)
  • New fuel Injectors (440cc)
  • Charlie X Custom ECU Reflash

The kit cost all up $13,000 which included all labour, posting of ECU to the US and back, and 2 years parts and labour warranty. The guys at TurboXS kept to their word and the car was ready in a little under the 2 weeks they said. So far Stage 2 kits have been fitted to 2 cars in Melbourne but I am the first customer to have a Stage 1 kit fitted in AU. The kit produces a fairly hefty increase in power, here are the figures:

At the crank = 219.98Kw (295hp)
At the wheels = 183.82Kw (246.5hp)

The day before I picked up the car the guys took the car to be Dyno tested to do a before and after comparison, here’s the results and a video they made:

Dynograph before & after supercharger

On the graph above, Red is the old power and
torque outputs, Blue shows the new.
 

I picked up the car today and so far have driven it for just less than 100km’s around the city to run it in a bit. First impressions are the car goes as hard as the Exige CUP 260 did when I tested it 2 weeks ago, I’m serious. 1st and 2nd gears are just over in seconds and are really quite scary. Car weighs in at 885kg with no driver so 0-100kph should be a clean 4 seconds if you know how to launch it correctly. Pushing hard over slightly broken tarmac, the traction control light blinked a tiny amount as you feel the rear tyres fighting for grip to put the power down.

Last weekend a few of you know I was lucky to have a Porsche GT3 for the weekend. The Elise now feels like it pulls the same if not actually ‘quicker’ to 100kph now and over that nearly as hard as the GT3 does. I feel the chassis would start to not cope so well if more power was put under the hood, I dunno.

before and after1

before and after3

Before and after comparison shots, the installation is neat & tidy

newairintake

New air intake system 

The guys were very helpful to make up some supercharged badges that I supplied in JPG format to them, this was an unplanned item for them and they happily obliged, finishes off the car visually quite nicely:

newfrontbadge1

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Supercharged Logos I put together in Photoshop
and they applied to the car

Oh and I have not mentioned the sound! The mashing of the superchargers gears as it chomps up the air makes the most incredible and crazy sound! Pushing the accelerator to the floor there were pedestrians hearing it coming and thinking ‘what the hell’s that sound’. It sounds a lot like when a Jet plane is on the runway throttling up its engines, just crazy. It is FAR louder than the MP62 sounds in any of the standard Lotus supercharged Exige cars, it must be the free’er flowing air intake system I would think.

I am looking forwards to getting the thing out of the city and letting it stretch its legs to really see what nearly 300hp and under 900kg’s of weight feels like 🙂

As the VisionFunction.com website says:

Head turning looks, CHECK!
Phenomenal lateral grip, CHECK!
Eye ball yanking braking, CHECK!
0-60 acceleration of a Porsche 911 Turbo, CHECK!

Sanna says after a drive ‘yeah it goes really fast!’, Damien says ‘It sounds Good!’

I will check back in once I’ve got a few more Km’s under its wheels 🙂

cheers

Lotus CUP 260 and Porsche GT3 drives

Well the drive of the Lotus Exige CUP 260 managed to come through and yep I was the only person allowed to drive it before it went to Targa Tasmania to compete, and bloody amazing it was to drive too. A pure race car for the road it felt, totally un-driveable for the road, totally un-practical, totally FUN!

 Mark in cup260

Queue cheesy smile for the camera!

My full article write-up of the drive is live on TheMotorReport.com.au site right now right here: 2009 Lotus Exige Cup 260 First Test Drive

 Dean Evans & Simone Bachman – 2009 Lotus Exige Cup 260

The Cup 260 competing on Day 1 of the Targa Tasmania 2009

Jump 2 weekends on and I had booked a weekend (Friday night to Monday morning) with my dream car the Porsche GT3. This one was provided by the supercar club and it came in White with only a couple of small options thrown at it, perfect. I think the Porsche GT3 looks best in White, it looked great, if I was ever to buy one it would surely be in White, I was in love. For years now my dream car has been the Porsche GT3 & its rarer GT3 RS cousin. The proof, I have a large framed photo of a Orange GT3 RS on the Nurburgring ring on my hallways wall 🙂

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But back to driving the Porsche GT3……. By far the best highlights of the car were its rock solid suspension feeling, totally direct steering feel and above all an engine you couldn’t fault and made me smile inside with every push of the accelerator.

With its 415HP the power from 4500rpm surged massively and was more than enough for the road. As you pressed your foot to the carpet, the rear would squat down and push into the road as it accelerated hard.

The sound from the flat 6 cylinder 3.6 litre race bred Porsche motorsport derived engine sounded like it was truly from the race track. It sounded just like what you hear when watching the Porsche Carrera cup races on TV. For the good reason too that it’s the same engine used in those cars, just in this road car form its carrying a bit more lard up front. Still 0-100kph in around 4.5 seconds cant be snuffed at.

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I did find it a tad loud from the exhaust on the motorway sections of which I did a few 100km’s in the end. After returning the car the supercar club representative Mark, said it sounded like the exhaust baffles were jammed wide open, giving it full volume all the way. Still I agreed with him, I would of rather them jammed open than jammed shut 🙂

So GT3 or Audi R8, both the same pricing here in Australia? After driving them both just 1 month apart and both for more than 500km’s I would say the R8 just pips it to the post slightly, and I mean just slightly. The R8 has the advantages of the all-wheel drive grip on the road, much more advanced magnetic adjusting suspension and a V8 that delivers around the same power but crucially all through the rev-range.

I’d still take the GT3 in White though 🙂 Second hand one’s are now coming on the market for $190k, give it 12 more months and it could be attainable to the likes of Mr. average Joe blogs armed with a bit of finance like me 🙂

Driving like Bond & other ramblings

Took the Aston Martin DB9 out at the weekend, covered 500km’s over 2 days in the end. The DB9 being the current Aston Martin range topper was a good car to be enlightened to the whole Aston Martin experience for the first time. Great long distance tourer, a sports car it is not. There were a couple of times I pushed it a bit too hard and it became unsettled (loosing traction), the stability control kicking in and fixing things up quickly and effortlessly. Speeds and corners I could push the Elise or Audi R8 through hard, the DB9 got upset with me.


Aston_Martin-DB9.jpgStill as a GT it was amazing, it reminded me a lot of my dad’s BMW 535 with its effortless torque and its relaxing ride, the DB9 has 80% of its torque from just 1500rpm, beautiful to drive with.

I managed to kerb it doing a reverse park during a photo shoot at Olympic park yesterday and made a 6cm rim scratch. Before the club called I phoned around for 3 quotes to fix it to prepare myself for the shock and they were all around $250-$300 to fix it, amazing. The club called mid-morning and they said they noticed a large scratch on the alloy which was fresh. They said no worries, just put it down as wear and tear basically, I thought that was a pretty good call of them.

Lotus-Esprit-350-Sport.jpgYesterday during the photo shoot a friend arrived with a lovely example Lotus Esprit Sport 350 he bought last week. Only 5000km’s on the clock, only 45 made worldwide and only 1 in Australia. The Sport 350 was the 2nd to last rare edition Lotus made specials before shutting down the Esprit production line. A few cyclists in their 40’s turned up and it was obvious to them this was a childhood poster dream of theirs as they were growing up; they were besotted by the car.2009-lotus-exige-cup-260.jpg

Later this week I’ll be lucky enough to get a road test of the Lotus Exige CUP 260 before it gets transported down to Tasmania for Dean Evan’s to race in the famous event. I think Lotus are super keen to get me into it to give me and Sanna a drive before it goes to Taz to act as a Lotus PR machine.

 

That’s my ramblings off my mind for now…

A suicide ride

I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be in the right place at the right time with the right equipment last week.

One of the Lotus club members and a local friend had just rolled his new highly anticipated project, the fully carbon fibre bodied, Audi S3 engined, highly modified S1 Elise/Exige out onto the street for the first time, literally scraping its mm’s high carbon body work on the pavement in the process.

I edited this short video together over a couple of evenings to try and share the frightening experience.The video is in HD 720p (currently YouTube’s highest) make sure you click the little ‘watch in HD’ link on the lower right of the clip when it opens.

Click the video below to play.

image

The whole engine bay fizzled and popped as if it was going to explode, a sign of its very high tune. It as the first time I was glad to climb out of a car.

My first car review published with an on-line magazine

I feel a teeny weenie bit proud of myself today as my first car review was published to the on-line car magazine TheMotorReport.com.au yesterday. I have been doing a bit of part-time work for the team at ‘TMR’ as the team refer to themselves internally, for past 2 months, and some of that work paid of with this article being published yesterday.


myTMREliseReview.jpgI wrote this car review towards the end of last summer, in fact if you look through this blogs archive you will find the previous un-edited version here. Now it has finally been picked up by an on-line magazine and has been published on-line yesterday as my first published car review. I’m hoping this will lead to more work in the future when I’m allowed to and I find time to do it from ‘the day job’ (always the problem) but I thought I’d share it with you.

 

For me personally I found it an interesting process how the article goes through the editorial process by the magazines editor, then a photo shoot, then it goes through the Art department to get ‘jazzed’ up and then finally goes to be published.

 

I hope you find it an interesting read as I found it to work with the team on the article:

 

http://www.themotorreport.com.au/11055/lotus-elise-r-road-test-review/

Review – Lotus Elise R

6 SP Manual

This review was written during the summer of 2007.

Countless worldwide press articles state that the Lotus Elise/Exige family are the best handling sports cars in the world even going as far as being compared to the handling of a Ferrari, what a bold statement, now I could possibly be starting to agree………. The Elise R is the newly re-badged re-optioned listed Elise 111R for all intense purposes and although much hasn’t changed it’s been a refinement trip at Lotus UK HQ, Hethel, England more than anything.


eliser1.jpg

The ‘Turnip famers’ (as Jeremy Clarkson lovingly refers to Lotus) of Norfolk have gone as far as making items such as air-con and other modern luxuries as standard for the Australia models for the first time, something all Aussie cars have enjoyed as standard for a long time so let’s gets stuck in and see what has been the results of this refinement.

Interior –

The first thing you notice compared to previous Lotus Elise models is they really have tried to fit the interior out with some nicer materials, trying to I guess broaden the appeal of the Elise further away from the likely buyers of a Westfield or Caterham from the track day car market. Moving more towards the buyer who would happily drive their car for longer distances, day-to-day driving and to and from the track in comfort.

This particular Elise car is fitted with the optional Touring Plus Pack which adds lots of sound-deadening panelling and roof lining, Leather interior in parts including the gear knob, leather handbrake gaiter, Embroidered carpets, Auxiliary front driving lamps and an up-rated flashy Alpine stereo with iPOD connectivity. Not that you’ll hear much in the way of your favourite Britney Spears MP3’s with the roof off.


eliser2.jpg

There is also fitted the optional Sports pack to this Elise which add’s for a first time, the switchable Lotus Traction Control System, a electronically controlled Limited slip differential, Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs, twin oil coolers (specifically an addition for the Australian climate) and some rather sexy looking 18″ 7-spoke ultra lightweight forged alloy wheels in Black straight from the Exige Racer.

Weight has gone up a little from the old model especially with the optional Touring Plus pack but with a power to weight ratio packing 164 kW/t (220 hp/t, 223 PS/t) the little Elise R is still a featherweight that can punch with the big boys. Indeed when compared to the equivalent member of the Porsche family the Porsche 911 S (997) is only 10 kW/t greater in power, and when we look at weight it’s a whole different story, 860kg for the little Elise versus 1,820Kg for the Porsche.


eliser3.jpg

Lotus really have invested some money in their seat design of late, they have formed up with an external consultancy company to design the new ‘Pro-bax’ seats and compared to the hard alcantara seats found in the older Elise’s they are a dream of snugness to sit in. Other sensible additions to the Elise’s interior include a rear stowage net just behind you between the rear seats handy for maps and CD’s, a drinks holder just in front of the gear lever and some trinket tray dividers to stop items from sliding around on the dashboard on those tight corners.

Everything inside the snug cockpit really looks and feels like it was designed to be strong and lightweight from the designs beginning, from the lightweight well fitted leather bucket seats you sit low to the road with to the lightweight extruded aluminium pedals and even the passenger footrest which has holes cut into it to save that little bit of extra weight, it almost makes you feel guilty for eating that big lunch.

Exterior –

This is the first 07 spec Elise in the country and indeed the 2nd Lotus in the country to show the new for 07 ‘Polar Blue’ paintwork off, the first being a Queensland customer owned Exige the Lotus dealer explained. The colour shows off the smooth curves of this lightweight sports car beautifully, it’s such a unique design in its looks the Elise with its function design as a sports car built to absolute lightness and function governing its exterior shape so much.

eliser4.jpg

The front of the car forwards of the driver contains the radiator cooling, oil cooling and steering system so there are large gaping apertures to channel air for this. This allows air to enter the car, do its cooling work and then exit passing over the car providing less drag at the same time as cooling, a design enjoyed by rear/mid engine race/sports cars for many years. The large air intakes on the sides of the car allow more cooling air to the rear based engine and also to allow the air-intake to suck in some cool air. Lots of vents on top of the engine bay allow any hot air to escape easily without hindrance, this car seriously knows how to stay cool.

The body work is a glass fibre composite developed with the objective of being as lightweight as possible which also allowed the easy forming of the smooth curves found in the bodyworks design. The roof is a manually removable type affair that quite easily unclips and then rolls up and is placed into its own zip up bag that fits in the boot. I found the roof quite simple to put on and take off once doing it for a few times, just don’t forget and leave it at home and store it in the boot!


eliser5.jpg

Ah the boot, not the single largest selling point of the Elise. I found in practice that although the aperture that you have to squeeze your bags through into the boot is fairly small, the Elise could surprisingly swallow up quite a lot of luggage if you used more smaller bags instead of a couple of larger bags. Easily enough for a long weekend away for sure but not something you’ll be using to get to the golf club, take the sensible car.

 

Under the hood –

The engine nudged up behind your back is a Toyota sourced 1.8 VVTL-I, VVTL-I? That would be Variable Valve Timing and Lift. The extra lift cam that kicks in at 6100rpm feels simular to a small turbo and means that to keep the engine on the boil you have to keep those gear changes up between the 6000rpm and 7500rpm to use the produced 141 kW (189 hp) to its full potential and to hit it’s impressive 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds. Fortunately when you are above 6000rpm the usually un-interesting exhaust note changes to a metallic shriek and seems to jump up 20 db in volume sounding simular to the metallic shriek you get from an M3 on full chat which is quite rewarding.


eliser6.jpg

With slightly less power the Elise S model is available which features the same engine but with some of the more clever trick technology not included, namely the variable lift part. This removes the cam switch at 6000rpm and so lowers the power output to 100kW (134 hp) but with the little Lotus Elise S’ weight, it still delivers an impressive performance of 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, a still extremely impressive figure, and the best bit is it’s a lot cheaper to buy at $69,990.

As an option to this Elise R the Limited Slip differential is fitted which Limits velocity difference between the driven wheels to transmit torque more efficiently for improved traction. It’s an Ideal addition for low speed, high acceleration driving around tight corners as experienced usually on a tight twisty set of roads or alternatively on those spirited drives around your local muti-storey car park.


eliser7.jpg

Worth a mention under the skin is the clever design of the Lotus Elise’s chassis which was the first car ever to use an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis. This is glued and pressed together and amazingly is as strong as a normal welded chassis but even better at coping with twisting and flexing forces and weighs in at only 68kg’s.

 

On the road –

Today im test driving this latest model from these Turnip farmers of Yorkshire, England on the roads of Sydney and the Royal national park coast road to Woolongong in the South. As we pass through the inner city roads out of the city the first thing you notice is just how much attention a Lotus gets over your more common sight of a BMW, Mercedes or other Bavarian  designed beauty in the city. You just don’t see the likes of a Lotus around very common, a Sydney Dealer quoted to me that there are more Ferrari’s in Australia than Lotus’s so the sighting of a Lotus puts you keen in everyone’s interest of, ‘what’s that?’


eliser8.jpg

The suspension is certainty firm but supple enough not to have you running to the dealers with your chiropractor bills! I have the feeling that this firmness will be a sure sign of great things to come when we hit the twisty national park roads. The only negative point I have so far is the un-interesting exhaust note. The standard exhaust on Elise’s has always had a reputation of being a tad ‘bland’ and un-interesting and this one is the same. There’s no rumble of a sports car’s like exhaust note rumbling to hit your ears. No wonder the first thing on most Lotus owner’s options list is the fitment of a Lotus Sport exhaust or a 3rd party exhaust like the Larini.

Moving out to Sydney’s Royal national park and off the freeway, travelling along the motorway in 6th is actually in such a small car you wouldn’t expect is really comfortable indeed. I have an idea it has something to do with the great seats im supported in and the 6th gear ratio isn’t set too low with the ratio of 0.815:1, equates to 3500rpm at 110kph. The twists and turns of the national parks roads are now showing me what this car is really about, where the time and effort from the engineers and the countless years of racing pedigree of Lotus has gone into building the fabric of the car.


eliser9.jpg

The power train is handled by a 6 speed manual gearbox with a short throw action that is so precise you would swear the cogs were directly under the gearstick itself at times, definite track day material this is. There is no power steering on this baby of light-weightness meaning the turns that keep coming flowing from corner to corner feed information straight to your hands. There is no power-assisted servos getting between you and the feedback from the road, allowing positive and negative camber turns to be taken at speed with confidence and with ease.

 

The setup of the Elise R’s weight distribution is 40% front & 60% rear, the front tires are a smaller width of 195 versus the rears of 225. With this setup the car naturally understeers when taken to the limit of its cornering G. It was chosen by Lotus to set the car up in this manor to allow less experienced drivers to be able to recover more easily from the limit than the beginner’s panic stations situation of an over-steering car as the back wheels swing wide as you approach the limit of cornering G. In this setup it encourages you to push harder exploring the limits of its corning ability and I have to say, when I’ve heard people say ‘this thing corners like it’s on rails’, I am now agreeing.

 

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So we know this car is an absolute hoot to drive near the limit, but what about its everyday driveability. It’s fuel consumption, not that an average person buying a performance car matters so much what the Johnny Howard campaign are doing to the fuel taxes but this car delivers a Combined Fuel consumption of 8.8 l/100km. Let’s compare that to our previous example the Porsche 911 S (977) which returns a rating of 17.9, that’s near as dammit 10 litres difference.

Price, safety and options –

The additions of everyday items we take for granted in other cars such as air-con, full leather interior, fully fitted carpets, ABS and traction control are all now included making this car more comfortable to live with on a daily basis. Safety updates to the Elise now include LED rear lights that are 36% brighter and illuminate quicker than the old conventional bulb using rear lights, dual airbags both for driver and passenger, side impact protection bars in the doors and like in previous Lotus models, the use of the Lotus crash structure crumple zone technology in the nose of the car for frontal crash situations.


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The options list for the Elise R is pretty substantial, there is the ‘Touring Plus Pack’ as previously mentioned which adds a Leather interior, Full embroided carpet set, Noise insulated roof and panelling, Auxiliary front driving lamps, a Interior stowage net and a Up-rated Alpine CD/MP3 stereo which includes an iPOD connector. The ‘Sports Pack’ includes the Lotus switchable traction control system, stiffer sports suspension (front 12% rear 8%), Twin oil coolers and fits ultra lightweight 7-spoke forged alloy wheels in your choice of Hi-power Silver or Black.

The last option pack is the ‘Super Sports Pack’ for the serious track day enthusiast, this includes fully adjustable suspension, adjustable front auto-roll bar, strengthening to the rear suspension for continued hard track use and lastly front and rear wider street-legal Yokohama competition tyres, the same found on the Lotus Exige and Exige S. The last tick you could put on this very long list is the available Torque-sensing Limited slip Differential (LSD).

 

Conclusion –

With the little added refinements now fitted to the modern Elise like we have seen here, comfort levels have not risen to the likes of the Porsche Boxster but it certainly would be a more comfortable car to live with on a day to day basis compared to previous Elise models. If comfort levels did rise to the level of a Porsche or simular, you have to ask yourself, would it still be a Lotus? Would it still be that raw performance through lightweight philosophy that Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus always strived for all his life?

I feel that Colin Chapman should he of been with us today, would be proud to see what the Elsie has evolved to in the present day in this modern market where we demand more luxuries but the Elise R has still remained common to its key design as a raw sports car. As I drive back into the city I am happy in the thought that the Lotus boys have produced a car that is capable as a overall good daily driver and is still an absolute hoot to drive on the more demanding roads when you want to come out to play for that spirited Sunday drive or that track session you’ve promised yourself, and still one of the world’s best sports cars sensible levels of money can buy.

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Summary –

Spec as tested: Elise Touring Plus Pack, Elise Sport Pack, Lotus Traction Control, LSD, Metallic Paint option.

Base Price: $94,990
Price as tested: $120,000

Positives: Best road & track car bang for your buck, Lotus Road handling and dynamics
Negatives: Un-interesting Exhaust note, a little more power.

Rating of out five: 5

 

Words and photography by Mark Bedford

Its lightweight fun and its ‘Green’ too

Gazing around today’s press releases like I do every day, I spotted Lotus AU bringing the Green angle into their marketing. It’s obvious we are going to see more and more of this type of ‘Green’ issue marketing from motoring company’s over the months coming. We are leading up to the future where we will most likely have government stipulating that all CO2 outputs have to be clearly shown on all car advertising just like health warnings are shown on cigarette packets now, it’s coming guys!

Car marquee against car marquee battling out over the CO2 figures from their vehicles but boasting the most power efficiency from their engines. Technologies like DFI (Direct Fuel Injection) are the start, by having a ‘double positive’, bringing more Horsepower but lower emissions, its coming we all know, along with the “my cars lighter than yours” battles.


 
lightweightlotus2.jpgLotus is on the front foot in this area in that they have been building their cars their founder Colin Chapman’s lightweight philosophy with small engines since the start and now they’re coming of age using this to their advantage.

Here are a couple of tables released in Lotus AU’s press release this week:

SPORTS CONVERTIBLE COMPARISON:

MODEL

L/100km

0-100km/h

CO2 output

Price

Mazda MX-5

8.5

7.8

174g/km

$42,870

Lotus Elise S

8.3

6.1

196g/km

$69,990

Nissan 350Z Roadster

11.7

5.7

280g/km

$73,990

BMW Z4 2.5

8.4

6.5

216g/km

$78,200

Mercedes-Benz SLK200K

9.2

7.9

220g/km

$89,990

Lotus Elise SC

8.5

4.6

202g/km

$104,990

Porsche Boxster 2.7

13.8

6.1

222g/km

$109,300

 

PERFORMANCE COUPE COMPARISON 

MODEL

L/100km

0-100km/h

CO2 output

Price

Porsche Cayman S

11.6

5.4

254g/km

$149,000

Lotus Exige S PP

9.1

4.1

216g/km

$149,990

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

14.0

4.9

358g/km

$269,000

Lamborghini Gallardo

17.0

4.2

400g/km

$414,993

Ferrari F430

15.6

3.7

345g/km

$416,850

 

It’s not much of a surprise really to see a car manufacturer marketing in this way really, but I think it really is for the better.

Ok I am a little biased being a happy owner of a Lotus Elise but even if I wasn’t, its known by all that lighter cars: – require less HP to accelerate faster, corner better, brake better + there brakes last longer, use less petrol and to top it off, require less oil to build as there’s less car to actually build.

Having a look through the figures, I wonder how the forthcoming Lotus Eagle and Lotus Espirt’s will fair against the competition once there designs have been finalised? Can’t wait.

Source Lotus AU

Lotus end of 1st year report

Well this coming Friday is Anzac day here in Australia so not only do lots of old people parade up and down George St with their medals being pushed along by their grand childen, and we can legally gamble on the old game of ‘2-up’ in the pubs, it’s also the 1st birthday of my little Blue Lotus Elise R 🙂

It seems to of passed so quick but it was one year ago now that Sanna a me drove down to Rick Damelians who opened up especally to let me come and collect the shiny new Lotus. I remember finding out just 2 days before that it had arived in the country and I would be able to pick up after the final checks were complete. I was so excited it was like Christmas, no wait, it was better than christmas, I felt like a little boy again.

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Collection of the car and day 1 of a new Lotus relationship,
I took advantage of the free girl with purchase offer too 🙂

So how have the running costs been day-to-day of running a fun inpractical sports car in the middle of a city. Well kinda ‘practical’ to be totally honest!

Lets look at some of the costs its actally cost me for the year:

Insurance: I insured fully comprehensive (of course) for $120k and with both me and Sanna insured to drive it only came to $1650 with a $750 excess. Now for a car with a replacment value of $120k I was plesently shocked and supprised. Crazyest quote I received was for $6500 so shop around I learned!

Maintenace: So through the year we had one initial post sales service at around 2500km’s which consisted of a oil filter and a fresh set of oil and came to $166, labour was all free. The only un-planned visit back to base was after the trip to Victoria with the Lotus Club and the fact we got lost down that 38km rough muddy logging track (see an older entry for info and photos on that incident), the air filter was clogged full of mud and sand. My fault for getting lost I know, replacement air filter cost only $55! the beauty of a Toyota engined sports car 🙂 


P4230393.JPGDay 365 and still grinning under its present owner.

Petrol: a full tank has seemed to of lasted me a few weekends, seeing as I mostly use the car once a week for a spirited drive through the countryside it seems to use half a tank for each good long heavy throttle session. The tank is 43 litres in size and when pootering around town using low rev’s it just simply seems to use petrol fumes instead of petrol!

Honestly without doing some proper tests I would say Sanna’s Peugeot 205cc and its 2.0 litre engine uses more petrol than my Elises’s little 1.8 litre engine. Of course when on the race track or a hard country lane driving session and your revving the hell out of the engine, which this engine really seems to want to do, the fuel ecomony starts to go South very quickly.

 

So there you go I did say it seems to of turned out sort of ‘Practical’. So it has supercar levels of performance but you only need a student wage to run the thing, perfect! Bring on year 2 of Lotus ownership 🙂 

Lotus Elise SC (supercharged) test drive

I popped into Rick D’s the only official Lotus cars dealer for NSW Australia today and took the just arrived fresh Elise SC in Isotope Green for a short drive this afternoon in the lovely hot weather we had in Sydney today. I will try and cover off a lot of the points that stuck in my mind after my 25 minute drive.


elisesc1.jpg

Isotope Green, hmm maybe not my frist colour Choice.

Engine/driving
– From the overall feeling I felt immediately the car was so VERY similar to my Elise R in so many ways it was uncanny.
– From engine idle to around 5000rpm or there abouts both cars (my Elise R and the Elise SC) felt identical in power delivery, above 5000rpm the Elise SC felt like it started working and acceleration was very slightly faster
– when I say slightly I mean it, if you put these 2 cars side by side there really would be nothing in it, a couple of cars lengths at the end of a long straight.
– The engine didn’t feel so torquey down low compared to the Exige S
– You can not hear the supercharger whine like it does in the Exige S, only very slightly in the higher rev’s but you really have to listen out for it.

elisesc3.jpgEngine exactly the same as in the Elsie R but with
the supercharger bolted on for extra fizz.

Other area’s
– The new 08 instrument cluster does look a bit classier than the 07 cluster
– The rear wing even though is only a couple of cm’s higher than the normal rear ‘lip’ at the back, I found rear visibility from my height was reduced by a third. Reversing was much harder visibility wise.

Overall
I have to be honest but I found myself really not that impressed with the Elise SC today, it felt like really a tiny step up in the package over my Elise R and I was absolutely amazed by how simular they are, in fact the first few minutes I asked if “this WAS the super charged version right?”

elisesc2.jpg

Small rear wing is pretty much the only visual
clue this is the supercharged Elsie varient.

Maybe the reason I was not so impressed as a step up from the Elise R is a testament to just how bloody good and fast the Elise R is. It felt exactly the same where down low it was a respectable easy to drive potter around town car and then when the revs rose it all goes a bit crazy, ditto on the R was going through my mind, just a slightly bigger push from behind as we full throttled down the road.

That said though, I think with its price at only 10k difference between an Elise R and Elise SC and for bragging rights to your mates you have a ‘super charged Elise’ there is no reason if looking for a new high-end Elise why someone should choose the Elise R over the Elise SC.

Unless you hold a torch for Naturally Aspirated engines, the Elise SC is the new king of the Elise range. icon_cool.gif

Photos Courtesy of Eric & Alvin )AussieElises)