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Discussion Starter #1
Lotus Sport and Performance i.e. formerly known as Lotus Motorsports, developed a range of performance modifications that allows owners to upgrade their cars to meet particular needs e.g. track day usage occsionally from daily usage.

If the owner wants to be able to use the car as a daily driver, in the UK, the car is finished in the regular production line and registered as a standard car, then transferred to Lotus Sport and Performance, where the engine can be replaced along with any other parts required - engine warranty is void with upgrades, but the regular warranty is valid.

Obviously, since it would be folly to register in the USA and ship the car back to Lotus Sport and Performance in the UK for modification - have Lotus Cars USA given any thought as to duplicating the capability of Lotus Sport and Performance in the USA for such modifications?

Have Lotus Cars USA given any thought as to taking a poll of performance upgrades to make available and assessing the demand for such here in the USA?

I'd wager that there will be more than a little interest in doing the same thing here in the USA as Lotus Sport and Performance and the Marketing department at Lotus Gp did once they realized the market demand.

Until we know what the complete package is going to be, we can only speculate what performance upgrades we would want - but, that is what the Elise Talk Forum provides.
 

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lotusetude said:
Lotus Sport and Performance i.e. formerly known as Lotus Motorsports
So, if I understand this correctly, Lotus Sport and Performance would be like an in-house or closely related tunner company for Lotus. Sort of like how Toyota has TRO, Ford has SVT, and BMW has Dinan?

That would be great to have here in the states as well. However, I think we're probably looking at a few year, until Lotus can further develop its U.S. network.

Another option Lotus could do is develop a "power kit" or "performance kit", which would include engine and suspension upgrade, as well as deletion of "standard" options (a/c, radio, carpets). This would just come directly from the factory, when a customer choose this option.
 

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I Think bolt-on performance upgrades would be a great start.

Legal issues not withstanding. Unfortunately the US is well established as being a highly litigious (sp?) society, so I'm not sure what kind of caveats would have to be placed on such mods. However, a lot of the sportbike manufacturers sell trick out goodies for their bikes with the warning of "off road use only"

I suspect the lotus tuners here in the US are chomping at the bit to come up with performance enhancements for the Elise, the Lotus market in the US is on the verge of an exponential increase in size. From 130 or Esprits a year to 2000-2500 Elises with very enthusiastic owners (as evidenced by all the BBS activities!)
CHris
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Re: Will Lotus Cars USA have a mirror capability like Lotus Sport and Performance?

Allan Gibbs said:
So, if I understand this correctly, Lotus Sport and Performance would be like an in-house or closely related tunner company for Lotus. Sort of like how Toyota has TRO, Ford has SVT, and BMW has Dinan?

That would be great to have here in the states as well. However, I think we're probably looking at a few year, until Lotus can further develop its U.S. network.

Another option Lotus could do is develop a "power kit" or "performance kit", which would include engine and suspension upgrade, as well as deletion of "standard" options (a/c, radio, carpets). This would just come directly from the factory, when a customer choose this option.
Yep, that is exactly what Lotus Sport and Performance is - i.e. an in-house tuner outfit - born out of experience with the Autobytel Lotus Championship which ended in 2002 - it helped put Lotus back on the racing map since the end of the F1 Team Lotus. Lotus didn't realize how many Elise owners were interested in track days. Most of the owners did not race and support for performance modifications was not available, i.e. the market was untapped and unsupported!

Unfortunately, I agree with Allan that Lotus Cars USA is not prepared to take on this kind of demand at present, and that it will take a steady demand to get the message through to the factory to support the capability here in the states.

It would be accomodating of Lotus Cars USA/Lotus Gp to show some flexibility in upgrades/option deletion support and such - comes with knowing who your real customers are!
 

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Having raced as for a Toyota contingency for many years, it would be nice for Lotus to support the guys in motorsports.

Toyota offers us discounted parts, TRD help, cash for winning. They are even taking the semi with cars in it back to Kansas in a few weeks. Of course, Toyota has a bit more cash to do this kind of stuff.

Since we heard that Lotus is intending on creating a driving school a year after the car is introduced (as I understand it), it might make sense for them to also set up some factory after sales support here, but I would expect it would also take some time.
 

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IF the U.S. Elise using the Toyota Celica's engine, it would be too hard to get aftermarket engine parts, right?

I imagine all a tuner would have to do is to take an existing Celica part and modify it so it fits in the Elise. Maybe we could get one of the Euro companies to open or contract a U.S. distributor.

EliseS2.com has a tuner section:
http://www.s2elise.co.uk/home.htm
 

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The main problems with tuning the elise are usually

that is has a small engine bay: no space for what you want (eg. better induction system or exhaust manifold) and even when there's space, the parts get too close together and lots of them are very hot. Also, according to some high-powered elise owners, the fuel pump is a limiting factor at about 230bhp or 240bhp depending on the exact pump in use. More than this and it has problem supplying enough fuel at the right pressure. Sounds simple to fix but because of the elise fuel tank design, it's not that simple to fix.

In the US, you guys will also have problems when tuning with the fact that US gasoline tends to be pretty low octane (87 to 91 octane I think?) compared to the UK (95 or 98 octane) and especially japan, where gasoline seems to resemble rocket fuel. (99 octane and higher?)

Craigy
 

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Craigy, the numbers are different because the different countries use different rating systems. I believe that the highest rated fuels are similar in each country. I believe that 92-93 in the US is equivalent to 98 in Australia, for example. 100 octane is the lowest rated "race gas" in the US.

For a point of comparison, the US Celica GT-S probably requires 91 octane and is rated at 180HP SAE. What octane does the Celica with the VVTL-i engine require in the UK?
 
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