The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,343 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi powerplant folks...

With so many pics of carbon fiber body panels floating around and posts where folks are ripping things out of their Elise to make it lighter I was wondering... what's the latest in super light engines? Anyone working on engines using exotic materials? i.e., plastic blocks, ceramics, titanium, etc. Could you make a plastic/ceramic mix engine? If you could what would such a thing weigh? 50 lbs? I assume the crank and cams would be metal ... or would they have to be?

Got any links?

thanks-
-doma
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
Originally posted by Robert Puertas http://www.cyclonepowerltd.co.uk - 2000 cc - 300 hp - V8
Sinclaire's of London is currently working on squeezing one into an Elise.
I thought that the engine being used in that conversion was the rst-v8, which is going into an elise too. Does that mean there are 2 v8 conversions in the pipeline?
http://www.rst-v8.com/


Originally posted by Robert Puertas
http://www.holeshotracing.co.uk - Turbocharged Hayabusa motors are putting out well over 400 hp.
The gallery page shows one of these in the back of an Elise.
That, i think, was a Geary project car. (Geary Powell from www.eliseparts.com).

Must have been weird to drive..

Craigy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,425 Posts
You'd know better than I Craigy.
I remember when they first talked about it last year, the Cyclone was the engine mentioned, but it could very well be the RST they're planning on using now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,293 Posts
I also think there are two groups building these bike V8 engines, I am 99.9% sure:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
gotapex said:
In fact after having done a little research, I know of a fairly large number of bike-based V8's in the UK sportscar "cottage industry"


Motorcycle Engined Monsters - A Special Report


When Tim Pell stuck a Kawasaki ZZR1100 engine into his Pell Genesis back in 1996, little did he realise that he was starting a fire of uncontrollable dimensions. Soon every maker of lightweight sports-orientated kits was bunging Fireblade, ZX-9, Hayabusa, Super Blackbird etc etc into their demonstrators. This wasn’t a completely new idea as the three-wheeler brigade had been installing bike units into their trikes for years, starting with Morgan, with their JAP engines and the like and continued by the likes of Triking and JZR. Indeed John Corbyn of Jedi was playing with four wheeled motorcycle powered cars many moons before, taking influences from Formula Junior racing cars. What the late nineties did deliver though were potent inline four cylinder ‘superbike’ engines offering staggering performance and aural sensations for a relative pocket money price.

The original Pell Genesis started the modern bike engine craze in 1996

With the advent of SVA the industry needed a morale boost and bike engines came along at just the right time, to give it the fillip it needed. For some however, a little is never enough, and so we’ve seen the movement spawn some extra special brutally powerful road-legal machinery including Tiger Z100, Dax Rush M/C, Cyclone Y40, Radical RPA V8 and RST V8 and so in a special report we take a close look at all of the likely contenders for the ‘hyper-kit’ bike engined laurels…


First we had the spectacle of bike engines being installed into kitcars such as the Pell Genesis, Formula 27 and Fisher Fury. Thanks to the light weight of the car, the performance from even a modest capacity 900cc Honda Fireblade was vivid, plus they sounded absolutely awesome. They provide great ‘bang for the buck’ and a Superbike meets Formula One car soundtrack, but to some they still weren’t enough….

In 1999 Pat Jackson installed a Fireblade into an F27. This remains one of the best bike-powered cars I've driven.

Enter in 1999 the Chris Allanson designed twin-engined beastie. The concept came from Chris’ multiple successes in grasstrack racing and was translated to kitcars initially using a Westfield as a testbed, and then an official hook-up with Tiger Racing. Before long the model became known as the Tiger Z100. The engines were installed in a kind of straight eight ‘north/south’ configuration and at first were based on Kawasaki ZX-9 although later switched to the more powerful, larger capacity ZX-12. Power output ranged from 280-350bhp and the thing was absolutely barnstorming.

One of the things that used to really impress people was that each engine could be fired up separately and Chris’ party trick on test drives was to lean across and suddenly ignite the second engine. The Z100 also had a pair of gearlevers and double instruments because both engines ran individually as mentioned. For sheer spectacle the twin-engined Tiger is hard to beat, especially with 680bhp per tonne! Price for the Z100 is around £30,000 once the engines are in place and the kit is built. www.tigerracing.co.uk for more info.

Two-headed monster. Tiger Z100 created by Chris Allanson of Z Cars

In 2001 came the next monster, in the shape of the Dax Rush M/C powered by a Suzuki Hayabusa with an innocuous looking blow thru’ turbo bolted onto it. The engine was breathed on by the wonderfully talented bike tuner (and rider for that matter) Jarrod ‘Jack’ Frost of Holeshot Racing. This car remains the fastest thing I have ever driven and in 20 years that’s a lot of very fast cars indeed. Power depends on boost pressure but Duncan Cowper’s Dax has at least 340bhp, while Jack claims he can easily get you 500bhp if you want it badly enough! Since it was introduced Jack has fitted over 40 of ‘his’ engines to at least 20 more Rushes, Westfield XTRs and even Lotus Elises and you’ll end up with at least 777bhp per tonne or on a par with a British Superbike racer. It’s also probably the most cost effective of all the options featured here, as the most Jack will charge you is around five grand, which will be on top of the cost of the built car. Visit www.holeshotracing.co.uk

Duncan Cowper with 777 bhp per tonne Dax Rush M/C. Stunning.

Moving on a little, the next hyper performance kit to break cover was a beautifully built Quantum Xtreme with what looked like a Cosworth DFV F1 engine installed. Closer investigation revealed that the Y40R engine was made by Cyclone Power run by Raid Rally specialist Keith Banyard and based on two Yamaha EXUP engines running on a common crank. The company chose the Quantum Xtreme because of the quality and also the stainless steel monocoque. When we drove the Xtreme at a later date at Bruntingthorpe we discovered a superbly tractable unit that sounded just like an F1 engine and revved to 12,500rpm! The original version made about 302bhp, while the fuel injected item made around 325bhp and 167lb/ft of torque at 8500rpm, and the unit features Cyclone’s own patented cam-drive system and an all-up weight of just 73kg. The engine is internal crankshaft driven, with an idler system, driving contra-rotating camshafts, via a drive chain and tensioner set-up. This produces a compact, strong, six-bearing engine unit, which maintains accurate, high-speed camshaft timing under all conditions. For sheer get up and go the Cyclone takes some beating although you’ll expect to pay around £20,000 for it, plus you’ll need a beefy gearbox too. The Xtreme testbed car uses a Drenth ‘box and that will set you back another eight grand. Visit www.cyclonepowerltd.co.uk to find out more on this beautifully crafted jewel.

Cyclone Y40 V8 installed in a Quantum Xtreme

More recently we’ve learned about another brace of engines both following the V8 principle. First up is the RST-V8 created by well known bike team Motopower run by Russell Savory and his unit was originally designed as far back as the mid-nineties and was destined for the Chris Craft’s Light Car Company stillborn Lightning, intended as a sister model to the Rocket. When this fizzled out the engine was put on the back burner until about two years ago. Since then Russell, Tony Hart (F1 engine builder Brian’s brother) and Titan Motorsport have been working on resurrecting it. The test unit is fitted to a Caterham SV, weighs just 74kg and is amazingly just 19in high, 19in wide and 19in long, while kicking out a conservative 340bhp and 190lb/ft torque. The RST-V8 is based on a pair of Yamaha YZF1000 EXUP units although the only original parts remaining are the cylinder heads although these are scheduled to be replaced by bespoke parts soon. The engine has a flat plane crank, which synchronises the firing pulses in opposing banks of cylinder banks, which aids balance. Price for this one starts at £17,625 inc VAT, although you can specify roller barrel throttles and other items if you desire. We’ll be testing this unit in the Caterham SV shortly, and look forward to it, but thus far the engine has done 12,000 hard driven miles in testing without mishap. Visit www.rst-v8.com - to view a short video of the RST-V8 in action CLICK HERE.

RST V8 from Russell Savory of Motopower

Our final monster bike engine comes from well known low volume manufacturer Radical Sportscars in association with their bike tuning arm Powertec and nicknamed ‘Christine’ the unit is officially known as the RPA V8 and although like four of the five units highlighted here is available to owners of all manner of kitcars and the unit was originally designed for Radical’s new SR8 model, for which there’s a race series beginning next season.

The RPA is based on two Suzuki GSX-R1300 Hayabusa engines although only really uses cylinder heads and barrels with most other major ancillaries coming from Powertec. The unit has a flat plane crank and is the narrowest angle ‘Vee’ of the lot meaning it will be ideal for small, light sportscars - like most kitcars in fact. Although heavier at 95kg than the RST-V8 or Cyclone Y40R it has thus far produced the most power. The 2.6 unit has developed 380bhp in dyno testing; with much more to come according to Radical’s **** Hyde, plus it develops 207lb/ft at just 6000rpm, before topping out at 10,500rpm, just like the RST. Colleague Steve Bennett has seen the unit being benchtested at Radical’s Peterborough base and says it’s a fantastic unit, that looks good, is compact and has massive power delivered in a flat curve of bhp and grunt. The RPA will be mated to a six-speed transaxle designed especially for the engine by Quaife, which will also be suitable for front-engined installations. The company also have plans for a 3-litre version based on their well-known 1500cc bored Hayabusa units. The cost of the engines will start at around £18,800. More from www.radicalsportscars.com - to see a video of this unit in action CLICK HERE to hear the RPA V8 running.

Radical Sportscars have created the 2.6-litre RPA V8

Things have moved on so far in the industry and the bike engine movement already responsible for a mass boost of interest in kitcars has spawned this completely two-headed sub-genre, where the explicit power produced by even the most humble Honda Fireblade engine pales into insignificance from this batch of engines. Sure they aren’t going to be volume sellers, and they’d be more than most of us could handle but for those that want that little bit extra at whatever cost, they will always be attractive. Kitcars. Don’t you just them?

Craigy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
Hm. The twin-engined kitcar from http://www.zcars.org.uk/ is not the most crazy thing they have worked on.

They are currently building an 4 wheel drive ultima (under1000Kg) with about 800bhp in road form. Suspect this will take the 0-100mph-0 record for roadcars when it attempts the record next year. (A rearwheel drive ultima with 650bhp currently holds that record I think).

Check out http://www.zcars.org.uk/ and this weeks http://www.totalkitcar.com/tested.php for more info.

Craigy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,117 Posts
+1

I am suprised no one has tried this yet! I guess the transaxle solution may be a bit of work...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,122 Posts
i think this is what you're looking for, doma

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache...al+combustion+engine&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

and

http://www.ceramicrotaryengines.com/

a number of companies have been doing wear testing on actual engines and a few have test engines running in vehicles. metal block/components are truly primitive when you compare them against the new ceramic designs: 2-4x power output from the same displacement with >90%efficiency. i believe the only obstacle left is issues with microcracking in the silicon substrate that can cause premature wear under certain conditions. even so from what i have heard the engine lifetime is nothing short of amazing.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top