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Just drove the 2ZZ-GE

1923 Views 19 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Eyelise the Toyota Celica GT-S. I wanted to become a little more familiar with the drivetrain. I thought the shifting was tight. There was a short throw which was a pleasant surprise. The car was easy to launch. No problem there at all. I did think it was a little anemic. Not a lot of punch when you got on it. The engine likes to rev, it is smooth and you can feel the valve timing and lift kick in around 4K. It just wasn't impressive. It didn't seem to pull all that hard. In comparison I drive an Audi A4 1.8T which I have modded slightly to produce 235hp/250ft-lbs. My A4 is definitely faster despite weighing almost 1000lbs more. I guess it's the torque. I hope the Elise's lighter weight and a Lotus tuned ECU will make the difference. Otherwise I'll be looking into one of the ever expanding turbo kits for the 2ZZ-GE. I've been lurking around the celica sites and it appears they have managed to get around the high compression quite nicely.
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Driving a Celica GTS will give a rather rough idea of the kind of acceleration we will get out of the Elise. Dropping 500-600lbs is huge. My understanding is it uses a closer ratio gearbox then the US Celica. Add in the extra 10 hp and a bit of Lotus tuning (hopefully to smooth the cam shift over). My MR2 Turbo is putting out about the same #'s as your A4, with 2800lbs to pull, yet the Fed Elise looks like it will beat it by a full sec. to 60mph... that's fast enough for me.
- Lift comes in at 6000rpms, 6200rpm for the newer (revised) 2zz engines.

- If you think the throws are short, just wait until you feel one with a short shifter installed. The B&M in my GTS shortened the throws to be just a tad longer than my friends Z06 (with the ripper shifter)

It's a pretty fun motor, but then again, i'm driving a 2000 model Celica. They had to re-engineer quite a bit on the motor for the 2002+ models, due to over-revving and busted stake bolts.
I wonder if it is the valve timing I noticed around 4K? The clutch engaged really low. I actually like it that way. I put a short shifter in my A4 but the stock GTS felt shorter. I'm not sure it will be the same in the Elise. The shifter is sitting on the floor and has a long handle. We will see. Have you thought about a turbo or know anyone with one on the 2ZZ?
Eyelise said:
I wonder if it is the valve timing I noticed around 4K? The clutch engaged really low. I actually like it that way. I put a short shifter in my A4 but the stock GTS felt shorter. I'm not sure it will be the same in the Elise. The shifter is sitting on the floor and has a long handle. We will see. Have you thought about a turbo or know anyone with one on the 2ZZ?

I've talked to someone who was in the process of putting together a prototype turbo kit for his GTS, and just kept running into problems. The 11.5:1 compression is not a great choice for a motor that you want to boost. Everyone seems to be jumping down to the GT engine for FI.

Personally, I won't be touching any sorts of FI options for the GTS motor. Too risky, IMO.

I've felt shorter shifts in other cars, for sure, but the GTS with the B&M was pretty impressive. I've since taken it out (in order to sell the car), and it almost feels like i'm driving a semi now. ;)
I've been frqeunting the new celica list and there are a few systems out there right now for the 2ZZ-GE. By the time I'm ready to move in that direction we should have feedback on reliability. The nice thing about the toyota platform is there will be plenty of these engines around. I might just keep my eyes peeled and pick one up at a salvage yard. That way I can work on modifying it and still enjoy my Elise. Have the fun for me is working on the car.
Everyone always talks down to the celica. I really love my celica. It's an incredibly car for the money. You cannot compare it to an Audi turbo chipped out and atleast $10K more. You get what you pay for.

Although I do agree that I wish they were putting some other engine in, like a REAL V-tec (not toyota's lame copy of it using 7 year old technology). Oh well, it will still be fun, especially on a car that weighs sooo much less and handles sooo much better.

One more rant...why do guys ALWAYS insist on more power. That car is soooo amazing at will kick just about any other car's a$$. 1/4 mile times are NOT the most important thing in the world. If you want a car to go fast in a straight a viper. Leave the cute, fabulous handling sports cars to the people who are going to use it properly...on a road course.

P.S. I apologize if I offend anyone. I'm stressed out getting everything together before my long business trip to Oxford. Only 25 more days till my tour of the lotus factory :)
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Not everyone is complaining. I am very happy with 190hp. I know what the difference weight/handling make. But then I drive a 40hp kart. :)

I think it's somewhat the Tim Allen syndrome... MORE POWER!. :)

I also like the Celica.

Have a good time on your trip and tell us all about it.
OOOh, OOOh, yes more power. Seriuosly, I can relate to Tim Allen, and unfortunately have been compared to him on more than one occasion.
The light weight handling is what I'm after with the Elise. The kind of acceleration we've getting is a added bonus. Suspect that's the case with most of us going for a Elise, but like any car, some will figure handling is good enough give me more power or change up the styling with body kits, or improve on the handling (tires/weight/ suspension, etc) ...and while we're at it, might as well work on the driver.;)
In fact I have indeed been pumping iron and watching what I eat.
Eyelise said:
In fact I have indeed been pumping iron and watching what I eat.
Love it! My other passion is bicycle riding and the weight weenies on bikes make Lotus devotees almost look sane. But the rider/driver is a significant impact on a light vehicle. On a bike people go to great lenghts to save 1 lb. Just think how easy it would be for most of us to lose 5 (or 10 or .....).
On a bike, some people go to great lengths to save an ounce or two... much less a pound.

Glad to see there's some other cyclists on here, too. I was fortunate enough to make the Navy team while I was at college. Some of the guys were crazy about the smallest amounts of weight. I suppose I'd have cared more if I was half as good as they were, though. ;)

Actually I was discussing the same with ONEFASTMIATA. I love bikes. I have gone to the extreme of having custom titanium parts manufactured for my Ellsworth Truth. The Elise is a natural if you are a weight weanie like me. Check out
Yeah, I should have said grams, not lbs. for the bike weight weenies.

I am a purist for sports car weight, but sort of a luddite with bikes, I have a lugged steel Waterford 753 frame with stock Campy chorus. And I run 25 mm tires, same size front and rear (though I do not notice any greater tendency towards oversteer with my non-staggered set-up :D)

At my age and weight, the motor is certainly the limiting factor. And I have yet to find the RPM where my valves go into high lift mode, though I am not sure I want to.
I still love riding, I just kept growing, and got too big for serious competion. Those little guys with high specific output just keep leaving me on the hill climbs. I was a good sprinter, though. I currently have a steel deBernardi frame with Campy Record components. (and a GT RTS-3 mountain bike, and a Haro freestyle bike. Guess which one I was riding when I broke my leg?)

At one point I owned an all-aluminum GT road bike that looked like a pair of wings turned sideways. Very aero. Unfortunately, very light and aero also meant very vulnerable in wrecks. It had a bit too much frame flex for me, also.

I'd love to have a titanium bike, but I'm no longer competing, so I can't justify the cost.

I also haven't experienced any 'oversteer' on my bike, but I have had a tendency to lift a wheel under 'throttle.' ;)

Sorry to hijack this thread... lemme get back on track.

I am also a purist on sports car weight, I don't want any 'extras' that aren't part of making the car what it is. I'm already heavy enough, and I worked WAY too hard to gain muscle for me to starve myself to lose it. I need Lotus to keep it light.

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Eyelise said:
I wonder if it is the valve timing I noticed around 4K?
At 4k a butterfly in the intake opens to increase the area in the intake tube. Its there to keep intake air velocity up under 4k. I would asume lotus would remove this in the redesigne of the air box. There has been serval celica guys try to test its effectiveness but it seems to be useless most poeple remove it or add an intake to replace the box. As for lift at 6-6.2k I would also assume in lotus' remapping they would lower it like many poeple with the a-pexi power FC (programable ECU) have done to get a much flater torque curve. Some as low as 5400. But the drive train (tranny and engine) is why i bought my celica (its a blast to drive) and i wish i had the money to buy a elise guess i'll have to put a 2zz in a mki mr2 :)
icyjaws said:
At 4k a butterfly in the intake opens to increase the area in the intake tube.

oh yeah ... i forgot about that. That was the first thing I did when I got my car.

Made no noticable improvement, but i never put it back in. :)
just to chime in here with what on know on the celica gt-s. I happen to own one and know it is quite the capabile car. handles superbly, lightweight, reliable, and gets very good gas mileage. It holds it own with most cars in it's price range.
how can you compare the celica you've driven to your modified A4, and seeing from those numbers, youre chipped. What if the celica just added some basic bolt-ons, like intake and exhaust? If you think your A4 is so fast. I'd like to know what numbers you are putting down on the dyno and at the 1/4 track?
just for some comparision I dyno at 172whp, and ran a best of 14.6 at 97mph in the 1/4 mile, which isnt the best, i have seen others run slightly better with the same mods as i have (intake/exhaust).
oh and i believe 'icyjaws' that posted earlier has one of the fastest celicas.. 180whp, 14.30 1/4mile. how's that for being anemic?
I was only comparing the driving experience. I drove the Celica and then the A4 right after. I haven't taken the A4 to the strip for 1/4 mile times. The A4 is a beast to launch at close to 3500lbs. I have been dynoed at 202whp. If you consider the cars weight, that places the 1/4 mile at about 14.4. The real advantage is the torque. My current set-up is making over 250ft-lbs at 2800rpms. The 133ft-lbs in the 2ZZ (most way up high with a big dip before the lift kicks in) results in anemic throttle response. It is a great car to launch though, I loved it for that. The Elise will be a lot lighter and with a tuned ECU should have better throttle response.
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