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Adding lightness with an angle grinder.
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Turbo* 2ZZ owner here.

With how phenomenal the handling and braking of my Lotus was, the Elise always felt just a little too slow compared to my other cars. It always left me wanting just a little more from the engine. To your question though, the sound of the 2ZZ is better than the K-series IMHO and that is actually important in a sports car. My turbo mutes this somewhat but it still sounds great compared to the Honda swaps.

From a power perspective something to keep in mind.... A good 2zz turbo build is going to make quite a bit more power than the transmission will handle. I suppose it depends on your goals but the 3rd gear in the C6X transmissions tends to let go. The MR2 guys snap axles even with the 1zz engine.

Now driving impressions. With a good turbo and A2W intercooler on the 2ZZ the first two gears are basically unusable without traction control. The 2ZZ has way more power than can be used around town. On the track the car becomes extremely competitive. I have been running 9 PSI for almost 3 years now on the stock bottom end (maybe around 15k miles). The reliability has been good. In fact for half that time I was running with no intercooling just Meth injection. Everyone will talk about the Kswap being more reliable for track days. It seems to me that if you keep the oil cool, don't suck air (get a good oil pan) and have a good tune the engine is far more reliable than the transaxle.

*Disclaimer - Everything on my build is one off. I have no BOE parts or otherwise. I am running a equal length custom manifold with a Celica OBX head flange, meth injection and a 7163 EFR turbo. I think the drivability of my build is much better than the off the shelf stuff. So keep that in mind. Your results may vary.
 
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Adding lightness with an angle grinder.
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Maybe it’s just me?
I don't think it's just you. High power 2ZZ's are hard to find. That being said there is proof they can make good power with stock components and be reliable. I have no idea how long the two examples that topped 500 HP lasted. My guess is not long. It's really about what goals OP has. I think under 350 HP can be quite reliable if you're not hitting the drag strip.
 
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Adding lightness with an angle grinder.
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Turbo just sucks on these cars. The small displacement motor does not lend itself to turbo. I could never get rid of the lag.

Kswap may be great but you lose all the OEM integration to the dash etc. etc.
Try not to generalize turbo builds. Each is different. Many people just build for the big numbers asking how much they can make. Design to area under the dyno curve and you wont have lag issues with modern hardware. I have no lag from 3000 RPM up on a 71mm compressor. (My setup has boost below that too) Granted I have put a lot of effort into minimizing intake volume and running equal length tubular manifold runners. I even went with the large volute mounted internal wastage to reduce exhaust manifold volume and flow disruptions that would be caused by an external gate.

The point is if you expect a cast manifold and huge non roller turbo is going to make power you will see it on the dyno. However, you will have scary drivability issues with the sudden power spike. Design your build for what you want and dont just assume that because some company like Radium designed your manifold you can just slap it on and get a well rounded OEM like power delivery.
 
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