Not quite ready for primetime, but shouldn't be far...
The goal here was to create an intake that doesn't need tuning (works with stock Lotus tunes and aftermarket tunes), retains the direct "ram air" effect from the body duct on the car, add a little potential for power
, make service easier, drop some weight, and make for a better audible note from the intake path. I think we did that with this setup
Couple notes that make it different from current offerings:
1) Lotus did a nice job of giving us a hole in the body work that was designed for feeding outside air to the intake. We retained use of this and have aircraft ducting going from the bodywork air intake scoop to the new filter box. There is no need for a new heat barrier or wall to be inserted in the engine bay.
2) The filter is foam and enclosed in an intake "box", rather than cloth weave in the open engine bay. This has several benefits. Foam breathes better for longer, filters better, and the enclosed box helps to introduce air uniformly to the filter aiding in laminar flow to the MAF sensor, while protecting the filter from damage. It also allows for a tiny bit of that ram air effect (albeit, surely not much)...
3) MAF housing design is much different and is designed to work with stock Lotus programming. We've tested another design out there that wasn't designed with adequate attention to how sensitive this MAF sensor is to air flow. The stock box has no air straightener, the air enters the MAF tube while taking a 90 degree turn, there's a diffuser on the box, etc... bottom line, it' not a simple task to recreate this path to achieve the *needed* MAF values to ensure the car will run correctly at all throttle openings and load levels. If the MAF value is manipulated too far down (such as the case with another aftermarket intake), the engine will be throwing artificially high timing and lower amounts of fuel at the motor. Great for making power in the absence of safety and control of the ECU, but that's surely not the correct way to get power...
This MAF flow design oversight has been a particularly large issue when combined with all cars and tuning, IPS cars, and S cars. There are also issues with "lazy throttle tip-in" and lack of "crispness" in the driving experience. When designing Julian's setup, we built several MAF tubes of various diameters for the car with different internal air "aids" within those tubes to finally get the right combination that produced the correct MAF response in all load sites in the map, made the right power, has exceptionally eager throttle tip-in, etc. It sounds SOOOO awesome as well. The air scoop is just behind the driver's side window on the body work, and OMG, it sounds cool!