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http://www.evo.co.uk/?driven/driven_story.php?id=42192

PTP Lotus Elise

With 228bhp per ton, the PTP conversion turns the standard Elise into a VX220 Turbo rival

eries 1, Series 2, Sport 160, 111S, 135, 135R, 111, Type 25, Sport 190 and, dare I say it, VX220. When it comes to the Lotus Elise, it's possible to have too much choice. And that's without venturing into a secondhand market awash with all the raced ones, trackday ones and good old-fashioned thrashed ones.

But amidst all this choice there is a common theme; while you can spec-up the factory-produced Elise with more horsepower, it's seldom accompanied by a significant increase in torque, and the extra bhp tends to arrive at higher rpm. Anyone see the case for the VX220 Turbo emerging?

All of this is great news for the tuners, of course, and Power Train Projects (PTP) has just announced its RT-Sport performance package. PTP is a K-series specialist and has worked on the Elise before - our Mr Barker drove its 220bhp conversion a while back (028).

Costing £2584 (plus fitting) the RT-Sport package is an upgrade for the standard 1.8-litre, 120bhp K-series and delivers its maximum power of 163bhp at 7300rpm (there's also a 168bhp version for an extra £500); its torque peaks at 137lb ft and it's able to hold 135lb ft of that between 4750rpm and 6250. If you're handy with a calculator you may already have worked out that this equates to a VX220 Turbo-kicking 228bhp per ton; the standard Elise has 168bhp per ton.
Given the magnitude of the power hike, you won't be surprised to learn that PTP does a substantial amount of work to the engine. The cylinder head is the recipient of most of the effort, getting larger valves and ports, and new camshafts with modified profile and lift characteristics; essentially it's the same VHPD head that Lotus fits to the Sport 190 Elise/340R/Exige. There's also an increased capacity plenum, a new ECU (which allows the motor to rev to 7300rpm, up from the standard 6500rpm), an ITG carbonfibre airbox and foam filter, Janspeed sports 'cat' and stainless steel rear silencer.

A real bonus is that should you already have any of these performance items, PTP will knock them out of the package and adjust your bill accordingly. You also have the added security of a 12-month warranty and the knowledge that the motor will achieve SVA/MoT legislative requirements with regard to emissions.
 

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It takes about two blips of the throttle to warm to the PTP engine. It sounds exquisite in a way only a normally aspirated motor can. Not in a frantic, mk2 Escort rally car sort of way, but more reminiscent of a 1960s British sports car, boomy and almost Triumph TR6-like at lower revs. Which probably mean nothing to the under-30s...

There's absolutely no doubt that the PTP conversion makes the Elise both a finer road car and a more exhilarating trackday tool. I've lost count of the times I've simply walked away from S2 Elises, frustrated by the combination of cracking chassis and weedy motor. The latest 135R is a perfect example.

The RT-Sport motor is flexible enough to pull cleanly from 1500rpm and from then on power is perfectly linear until the soft-cut limiter at 7300rpm. The most impressive element of this motor is the excellent mapping, with not a hole, flat-spot or cough.

With 228bhp per ton to play with, it's hardly surprising that when you use all the revs you can blow pretty much anything and everything into the weeds. In fact, for the first time I can remember, you have to back off the throttle to retain traction in the wet.

Suddenly, choosing a fast Elise has become a very straightforward exercise.
 

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