There is no aftermarket replacement for the ECU. There used to be chips available but I don't know if they are any longer. Requires removing a stock chip, soldering in a plug and popping in a different programed "race" chip.
MS is also very competitive in pricing BUT you're going to need to be handy tuning it or bring it to someone else to tune. You're also going to have to interface it with your wiring harness which might be a pain if you're not comfortable with that kind of stuff. They make premade wiring harnesses for DBC Elise I believe but not the esprit. Good luck!
Chris O'Kelly has done extensive upgrading of his SE including an aftermarket ECU, converting to coil-on-plug ignition etc. He would be the first person I would talk to if I was contemplating going the Megasquirt route. Chris is on the forum as "raging fool" but he is neither raging nor a fool. Quite the opposite really, more like "calm smartguy".....
Hi Chris, I have been running the Red Race chip in my '90 SE from Marcus at PUK Esprit for a few years now, including lots of other upgrades to of course, and I must say that the car is uncomparable to standard, you get a totaly new car!!!
that is a fine chip and i agree with the notable change in the performance (that is what i used for several years). the problem is the MAP sensor at 2 bar limits the ECU to fueling to about 1 bar boost. after that the stock ECU does not know how to fuel. The only path to properly controlled boost past 1 bar is an aftermarket ECU
FYI Lotus limited the performance to provide longevity and the ability to warranty the car. Chipping the car removes those limits and allows you to over stress the drive train. If Lotus did not want you to do that on a new car you have to ask yourself, is it a good idea to do it on an old car? Of course it is your car and you can do what you want to it but keep in mind how expensive and hard to get parts are. If you are not careful you may have more fun but for how long?
i don't disagree with anything you said, your input is always valued. but for another perspective: most on here are enthusiasts, care for our cars perhaps better than buyers of them when they were new, in maintenance, driving and general awareness of the condition of them. i'm just saying that we may be more responsible owners and drivers, mature enough to increase the performance and understand the consequences. maybe. maybe not.
i modernized mine because, to me, it deserves to live up to its looks. it deserves nothing less than the best parts, the best care and the best performance i can provide for it. That being said, i very very rarely tap into that performance. nice to know it's there though. i doubt that i am alone in that?
I target a lot of my modifications on older sports cars around what compromises the OEM had to make for government safety regulations, emissions, comfort, noise, protecting from clueless owners using low octane gas and lugging the motor etc. It seems that cars from the 70s and 80s had a lot of low fruit in these areas that modern technology can easily improve on.
Based on what I have read there is some room in the "tune" if you run quality gas and open up the exhaust.
I have a hard time getting on the gas much with the stock power because I have decided that the transmission is made of glass so its hard for me to imagine looking for more power
Plus when parts break that is an opportunity to upgrade and improve