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From Autoexpress

Toyota Power For New Elise


Some say that all the best stuff comes from America, but we've never had
to thank the USA for a Lotus before. Exclusive spy shots in the current
issue of Auto Expresss magazine confirm what we suggested back in issue
733 - the firm has shoe-horned a 190bhp Toyota engine into the Elise.

Tell-tale signs on this development car are mostly at the back, where
blanking plates cover the standard model's pipe outlets, and a
centre-mounted exhaust has appeared. The wheels also give the game away,
with five-stud rear alloys borrowed from the VX220 Turbo, suggesting
that the Vauxhall's beefier suspension has been adopted. The eight-spoke
fronts are taken from the 111S, which forms this prototype's
underpinnings.

So what's the American link? The Elise is to use a 2.2-litre VVTi Toyota
engine and gearbox so it can be exported to the States without the need
for expensive emissions tests. The powerplant is already on sale in
America in the Camry. Lotus bosses are keen to return to the US market
as soon as possible, since their only export - the Esprit - has been
discontinued.

Of course, the Japanese-engined Elise will also go on sale in the UK,
alongside the existing K-Series unit. However, it is likely to replace
the track day-inspired Sport 190, which is peaky and impractical in
daily motoring. The new model will also let Lotus catch up with
Vauxhall's VX220 Turbo, which has raised the standard for stripped-out
high-performance roadsters.

The engine was one of a number considered for the Elise. It was chosen
over a larger 2.5-litre V6 Rover unit and Honda's 2.0 VTEC from the
S2000, because these were seen as too expensive, big and heavy for the
job. If the new Toyota-derived model is a success, the running gear is
likely to be adopted across the range when a new Elise is launched in
2005. A concept which will reveal the replacement's styling is expected
at next year's Geneva Motor Show. Chris Thorp
 

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I Thihk they're way off base on the engine. I don't see it being an out of date low performance 2.2

As an aside I finally tracked someone down in UK kind enough to airmail the original autoex article with the pics of the repositioned tailpipes (coming out the bottom of the diffuser). He sent me a scan but not easy to see any detail. Hoping I can do a little photoshop to bring it up.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That would be great. I would like to see the center tailpipes.
 

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One (of many) things I wonder about. They're saying a new Elise in '05. The one we're getting is a '05 would that mean a different chassis & styling from the current version? Haven't seen any charts from that motor but given the larger displacement torque & hp curves should look pretty good.
 

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There is no such engine, in the Camry or any other US Toyota model. There's not even a 2.2L engine, let alone one with 190HP.
 

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John Stimson said:
There is no such engine, in the Camry or any other US Toyota model. There's not even a 2.2L engine, let alone one with 190HP.
I brought up this same point the last time this periodical suggested a "definite" engine choice for the future Elise (it wasn't this engine, either)... This is just a way to sell more magazines.
 

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As posted on Roadfly

Evo magazine (page 32) indicated that Lotus engineers were not happy with the weight of the Toyota 4-cylinder and it's need for high revs and therefore would likely go with the V6 from Toyota which would also be heavy but more torquey. To fit the V6 in the Elise, the wheelbase would be extended by 50mm. Evo also indicated that the European version of the Elise would remain with the Rover engine and the smaller wheelbase.
 

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As far as the Honda engine, I don't see them lending Lotus the 2.0L from the S2k. Isn't it the motor that makes the S2k unique? I was thinking more along the lines of that from the RSX Type-S. Besides, Lotus was not going to give us 240hp.

I think magazines are trying to break the "news" first, but they are just making it up.
 

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What about Nissan? I don't know a lot about tha company, but did some searching and found that the 2003 Sentra SE-R Spec V has a 2.5l 4-cylinder that produces 175hp @ 6000rpm and 180 lb-ft at 4000 rpm! If they agreed to sell Lotus this or a similar motor, it's not going to hurt their car sales, as there is no Nissan to compete with the Elise (whereas some may cross shop the MR2 spyder and Elise). If you were the Lotus engineer in charge of powerplant design, and were faced with either that Celica GT-S motor, or the Sentra one above, which would *you* choose?! Easy choice. So, why does everyone put so much faith in this Toyota rumor? Is Nissan unwilling to sell engines to other manufacturers?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Saw on a UK forum, Elise will announce a new car for the UK. The announcement will be in two months (same the as the now rumored August USA announcement) for a car delivery in January. Could be the same car as the USA Elise?
 

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The engine I would most like to see in the Elise is the Mazda Renesis rotary. The low weight of a rotary is a perfect match for the lightweight chassis of the Elise. They would have to develop a transaxle for it though...the Renesis is only used in a FR configuration.
 

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John Stimson said:
The engine I would most like to see in the Elise is the Mazda Renesis rotary. The low weight of a rotary is a perfect match for the lightweight chassis of the Elise. They would have to develop a transaxle for it though...the Renesis is only used in a FR configuration.
I agree that the Renesis would be drool-worthy. I like the rotary engine (used to own an RX).
 

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As a matter of fact, someone in my area has a Europa with a ported rotary and a Porsche transmission. I have considered buying it, but there's something about a 30 year old chassis and a 20 year old (race tuned) drivetrain that makes me change my mind every time I am tempted.

If anyone else is interested, I can hook you up. Last I heard, the price was $11k. It's not currently street registered, but it is smog-exempt in California so it shouldn't be too hard to register.

Then there is Barry Spencer's tube-frame Europa with a turbo rotary. It's a BIG turbo, too.
 

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Elise II

While I was talking to a UK dealer last week (test driving 4 cars
:) ) He hinted about an Elise II / S3 Elise

His feeling was that this was the world Elise and the major change was the engine choice.

Brian
 

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You know, I keep perceiving a bit of smugness from Lotus guys that seem to know (not a bad thing), or maybe I am reading too much into things. The response of "just wait until you see the engine" with a smile behind it makes me think this is going to be good.
 

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I've gotten similar responses from a couple dealers around here. One even flat out said that it'd be a Toyota engine (I think he also confirmed it'd be a four cylinder, but that could be wrong).

All this speculation has focues on existing engines...yet none of those seem to really excite *us* as much as they excite those persons in 'the know'. That makes me wonder if Toyota is introducing a new (or evolved) engine for their 2004 model year, and that it is THAT engine that will make its way into the Elise. Their MR2 Spyder could use a boost in sales, so such a new engine could also appear in that car.
 

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Another source saying Toyota 1.8 VVTi

This thread has a scanned image from Car magazine August 2003 also claiming the Elise S3 will use a Toyota 1.8 VVTi engine:

http://forums.seloc.org/viewthread.php?tid=4919

Probably just another one jumping on the bandwagon though.....

BTW:- Is it known whether the US Elise will be designated S3?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here is the image-
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I think the car coming over here will be the S3. I think.
 
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