The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.

I'm trying to do as much research here before I pull the trigger on a new toy to add to my stable. I'm settled on getting an Exige/Elise. My goal is to build a car that is fun on the streets, dab into the trackdays, and just put a smile on my face.

I see lots saying go with the Elise if I am really planning to modify this a lot.

I will be having my shop fabricate a turbo setup. I'm looking to be making a great amount of power with the smallest amount of lag as possible.

When I'm venturing into the 500 or more what am I looking at for common issues. (assuming setup and tune is on point)

I'm coming from S2000's that are able to handle 600whp on stock long blocks. The weak link is the drivetrain.

Which is a better platform in your opinion to build such a project? What are the weak links that will need to be addressed on either platforms. And if you could go back would you have left the car alone and not boosted it?

Thanks all. I am sure I have a ton more questions.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,637 Posts
Weak links: Stock clutch and transmission don't like over 270 hp. (elise and exige).
Stock pistons are brittle, pinging destroys them (elise and exige)
Challenges: Both cars start with 11.5:1 compression ratio, needs real chargecooling.
Hard to crack ECU, so being a pioneer for a custom fab is tough.
Thoughts: 400 HP supercharger kits are available, all the hard work has been done on them. The supercharger kits are lagless. Most people going the full custom route, end up spending more money to get less or equal performance to well proven and sorted kits. If you need more than 400 HP, Talk to DRS about doing an E85 mod on the REV 400 kit (450ish crank HP). Still not enough power? It is far cheaper/easier to break into Frank/Ronin's shop and steal his car (be sure to bring a bullet-proof jacket). I am guessing he has plopped down more than 50K dollars to stoke out his engine/clutch/transmission to his current power range. (When you include all the "learning experiences" of broken parts).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
they are the same car
So besides aesthics you are saying they are the same car? :huh:

Weak links: Stock clutch and transmission don't like over 270 hp. (elise and exige).
Stock pistons are brittle, pinging destroys them (elise and exige)
Challenges: Both cars start with 11.5:1 compression ratio, needs real chargecooling.
Hard to crack ECU, so being a pioneer for a custom fab is tough.
Thoughts: 400 HP supercharger kits are available, all the hard work has been done on them. The supercharger kits are lagless. Most people going the full custom route, end up spending more money to get less or equal performance to well proven and sorted kits. If you need more than 400 HP, Talk to DRS about doing an E85 mod on the REV 400 kit (450ish crank HP). Still not enough power? It is far cheaper/easier to break into Frank/Ronin's shop and steal his car (be sure to bring a bullet-proof jacket). I am guessing he has plopped down more than 50K dollars to stoke out his engine/clutch/transmission to his current power range. (When you include all the "learning experiences" of broken parts).

Great reply. This is what I wanted to hear.

Stock clutch I'm sure will be gone. That is a given on most stock cars. Trans is weak you say? Is there a proven setup that can be done to make it stronger, whether it is beefing up the stock one, or different one that will swap over?

With high compression and weak pistons those can always be replaced with aftermarket I'm assuming. Also if I were to keep the stock pistons with a solid tune on E85 will that be enough to keep them happy? I run E85 in my S2k stock long block besides head studs and it is fine at 10.8:1 compression. Not quite as high.

ECU: IS there any aftermarket plug and play standalones? Has anyone played with wiring in a Haltech system or something similar of some sort?

400whp is great. But not sure if it's enough for me and I'd love to turbo charge. Are there any proven kits turbocharging in the lotus community. What are we looking for as price wise for a sc kit. If the hp/per dollar is there I don't see why not. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel if there is a solid setup already out there.

What is all needed to be upgraded to run E85. I'm a E85 fan.

From what I have read so far it seems like making big power on these cars is a little difficult.

Thank you for your reply I hope there is more you can educate me on. This is new territory and I want to have a plan layed out before I dive in.

:up:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,637 Posts
The sorted out turbo kits tend to make less HP than the big supercharger kits, if you want more HP than the supercharger kits you will have to do something custom. There are other ECUs which are used by other people, I can't remember their names right now. DRS (in California) are the pros at E-85 tunes, check them out. The quaife sequential transmission has straight-cut gears, handles high power, but is considered a track-only solution. The Toyota E153 5-speed transmission is supposed to be good to 600HP; and the install kit for this transmission is available through monkey wrench racing MWR. People have tried various method of toughening the stock c64 transmission, only to have it fail at big HP figures. The stock pistons are hypereutectic, which is a brittle high-silicon piston; its claim to fame is diminsional stability which makes it compatable with the MMC coating on the stock bore. The MMC coating on the bore makes it incompatable with most aftermarket pistons, Mahle makes some pistons which work with the MMC bore. You can go with a Nikasil coated bore, which makes it compatable with more types of piston.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
Not completely the same car, but yes the Elise and Exige are based entirely on the same chassis, and powertrain. They are nearly the same car.

The real thing you have to ask yourself is what are you using the car for. I have a sneaking suspicion it is a street car?

There are TONS of threads out there on the whole supercharger/turbocharger debate that don't need to be replayed here. But the basic premise is that a supercharged (or N/A) powerband is best for the Elige. The car is far more about response, balance, and dynamics than it is about power. That is one of the main reasons you see so many supercharged setups out there and almost no commercial turbo setups remaining. Honestly given how good the supercharger options are out there, I wouldn't bother trying to reinvent the wheel with a turbo setup.

As for ECU and end user programming: The most commonly used unit is the EFI x2 standalone. I believe DRS, BOE, and monkeywrench are all distributors. It is a more race oriented standalone, but seems to be a nice unit. There are some other PNP standalone units as well that I believe are used in Europe although I have never heard any first hand results about them.

I'll bet you will be more than happy with anything near 300whp in an Elise. A 300whp Elise will perform better in almost every way (besides top end racing) than a 500whp S2000. IMHO a 400whp Elise is probably okay for a street car but getting on pointless for anything designed to race. You really need the chassis, aero, tires, brakes, etc. to actually make it useable/enjoyable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
Oh yea Radium is the closest to a commercial turbocharger setup for the Elige. They have a "hard parts" kit that you can get that has everything except the standalone. They have a few options for turbos ranging from GT28s to the larger 30r units. They do seem to be high quality although again there aren't too many end users.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,969 Posts
Exige has more extra room in the engine "bay", so gives you more options/headroom for running charge pipes, intercoolers, etc. Elise is more cramped in the back.

If the car has front side mounted oil coolers, which probably alot of Exiges do, you can repurpose them for heat exchangers for a air to water intercooler in the back. Since the Exige engine is open to the outside world the engine and oil just don't get anywhere near hot on normal street driving. Some people even go so far as to disable the coolers on track cars due to the oil not getting hot enough.

Also the other things that different is that Exige isn't a chick car :D :popcorn:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for all the replies. Lots to think about and look into.

Yes it will be a street car with occasional track. I don't want to build an all out track car and not be streetable.

whatsadsm- Thank you for taking so much time to reply and help me out. I understand what you're trying to say. I will build the car around the power it makes for sure. I'm not just throwing power at it and hoping for the best.

300whp sc is just not what I'm looking for. If I wanted 300whp would it just be easier to do a K24 swap like some of the guys are doing and make that power N/A? Plus the honda parts are so easy to get over the counter as well and something I am a lot more familiar with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
I'd say as of right now your best best is to give Radium a call and tell them what power goals you have in mind and they should be able to set up a kit for you. As others have said, if you are planning on running much over 300 hp or so be prepared to pull the engine and start beefing it up to whatever degree you need to.

As for the transmission, I've heard about a million different opinions. I have spoken to the head developer of the Forced Fed kits (which were very well engineered, albeit expensive) in lengths about this and he has told me that he knows of several track cars running upwards of 400 hp and have not had any problems with the factory transmissions. He told me that he personally has run several 300 whp cars for years with bone-stock transmission and no failures, and their ForcedFed 400R car ran 10.80s at the strip time and time again with a completely stock and sealed transmission. I inquired further on this and his reasoning for believing this is that this transmission was designed for the Celica which weighs almost 1000 pounds more and was built to a failure factor of 2.5 or better.

On the contrary, I have also recently spoken to one of the vendors here who has forgotten more about these cars than I have ever known and he recommended keeping it under 300 ft-lb of torque even for street cars if you want to be safe.

I guess it all depends on who you want to believe and what level of safety you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
Thank you for all the replies. Lots to think about and look into.

Yes it will be a street car with occasional track. I don't want to build an all out track car and not be streetable.

whatsadsm- Thank you for taking so much time to reply and help me out. I understand what you're trying to say. I will build the car around the power it makes for sure. I'm not just throwing power at it and hoping for the best.

300whp sc is just not what I'm looking for. If I wanted 300whp would it just be easier to do a K24 swap like some of the guys are doing and make that power N/A? Plus the honda parts are so easy to get over the counter as well and something I am a lot more familiar with.
I just don't understand how you are sure 300whp sc is not what you are looking for? What makes you say that?

As for the 300whp NA K24. It is MUCH easier to just buy an off-the-shelf supercharger kit for the 2zz, bolt it on in a weekend, and make your 300+whp. MUCH MUCH MUCH more work/time to swap a built Honda engine in. Piecing together a turbo setup for the 2zz I'll bet is much easier as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
I wanted more room for an intercooler after fitting a turbo Ecotec so I bought an Exige body. It probably didn't matter as I won't be mounting it above the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Some thing to think about The Exige is heavier than a Elise. You can not see out the back of Exige. If you are using it for the Street the Elise is better IMO.

mechanically a Exige and Elise are the same car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
If you are used to a 500-600 HP car, then I will disagree with some of the previous posts and say you probably will NOT be satisfied with 300 HP on the street. I had a near 500 HP RX-7 and my 300 HP Exige feels positively slow accelerating from higher speeds in comparison, and any AMG, Vette, M5, or even Charger SRT will show you it's taillights on the freeway. If your goal is 500 HP, I think you are starting with the wrong car. About the only thing you will keep on an Elise or Exige will be the chassis and body. You may even have to do custom body work to get wheels and tires that will adequately put that power to the ground. You can barely even find 9" wheels that fit on the rear of the car. It's a 4x100 bolt pattern and aftermarket wheel manufacturers that sell Lotus fitments are few and far between. You'll have to go custom. If you already have a Lotus and are committed, that's one thing. If you are starting from scratch for a cool, super fast project car with big HP goals, I'd think about starting somewhere else. A 300 HP Lotus makes a plenty quick street car and track day toy, but huge horsepower goals like what you mentioned are beyond this block and tranny. Ronin is the only one at those levels, and based on the little I've read on that car (e.g. I don't know him and am not in the know), I'd be very surprised if there isn't well over $100K in that car. He has gone through quite a few engines and transmissions getting to his astronomical power levels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
If you are used to a 500-600 HP car, then I will disagree with some of the previous posts and say you probably will NOT be satisfied with 300 HP on the street. I had a near 500 HP RX-7 and my 300 HP Exige feels positively slow accelerating from higher speeds in comparison, and any AMG, Vette, M5, or even Charger SRT will show you it's taillights on the freeway. If your goal is 500 HP, I think you are starting with the wrong car. About the only thing you will keep on an Elise or Exige will be the chassis and body. You may even have to do custom body work to get wheels and tires that will adequately put that power to the ground. You can barely even find 9" wheels that fit on the rear of the car. It's a 4x100 bolt pattern and aftermarket wheel manufacturers that sell Lotus fitments are few and far between. You'll have to go custom. If you already have a Lotus and are committed, that's one thing. If you are starting from scratch for a cool, super fast project car with big HP goals, I'd think about starting somewhere else. A 300 HP Lotus makes a plenty quick street car and track day toy, but huge horsepower goals like what you mentioned are beyond this block and tranny. Ronin is the only one at those levels, and based on the little I've read on that car (e.g. I don't know him and am not in the know), I'd be very surprised if there isn't well over $100K in that car. He has gone through quite a few engines and transmissions getting to his astronomical power levels.
I had a 600whp (okay 594whp but who's counting) 2900 pound 240sx. It would kill my Elise in a straight line. But that certainly doesn't mean that I don't think my Elise is fast or enjoyable. My Elise is infinitely more enjoyable to drive, and is faster car in every measure except high speed street racing, or high speed Oval racing or something of that nature.

OP I do think mavilla and I are saying the same thing - Its all about your expectations and what you are looking for with the car. Basically if you are looking for a straight line monster you are barking up the wrong tree. If you are looking for something that is rewarding to drive, particularly on an auto-x or race track then you will be plenty happy with an Elige without a kajillion horsepower.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top