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wondering about future models....

1463 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Goose
What I was wondering is...

Lotus originally launched the Elise in the Uk with the Rover K engine producing something like 118HP and they worked and re-worked that engine keeping it NA up to 190HP over the years. Do you guys think that it is possible or even probable tha Lotus will do the same to the Toyota Engine and in say a year they will launch the Fed Elise 230 or something like that? Also for you gentleman from across the pond, when Lotus launched the more powerfull versions, were there factory retrofit kits that could be purchased to bring say the 118Hp engine up to one of the higher HP spec engines?

Just trying to pass the "Elise-less" time here in beatifull Florida by doing some mental masturbation about where Lotus might be going with the Elise line here in the US over the next few years..

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As the current Elise is only being imported with waivers until '06, I doubt the factory will bother to increase the Toyota engine's output. Once the Elise starts to show up here though, we'll probably see tons of aftermarket stuff come out of the woodwork. How such mods will perform remains to be seen. I can guarantee that Lotus will frown on modding the Elise, to the tune of voided warranties.

I'm sure the redesigned Elise will offer a higher power output, as it will probably be a porker by comparison.
Since they have such a long waiting list, there is little to be gained from making major mods to the powerplant, except for creating an Exige version.

I can see Lotus creating special paint versions instead.
Lotus had the ability to put higher rated Rover engines in the car that were offered in other cars (MG). The higher HP engines added VVT and the 190 HP model is not really a street engine.

Since this engine has every trick in the book (high red line, variable valve timing and lift, high CR) there is not a lot of room for growth. I wouldn't be surprised if Lotus can eek out a few HP with time using their own ECU and Toyota is likely to make small improvements to the engine, but I do not see any common techniques to dramatically increase power. Maybe variable intake length to improve torque???
Goose, I'm sure the aftermarket will pick up on the Elise just as they have with the Mini Cooper, Acura and all of the japanese compacts.
I was just wandering if Lotus would keep on improving on their own as they did with the Rover K series. I agree with ex-M3 that the Toyota engine already uses every trick on the book but IMO Lotus from the get go has already established that it will tinker with the Engine and ECU to obtain better, more usable power out of it. Isn't this same engine only rated at 180HP on the Celica GT/S? I also recall a magazine article? stating that Toyota was interested in the changes Lotus has made to flatten the torque curve while at the same time increasing horsepower and not impacting negatively on consumption and emissions. Anyway as I said I'm just trying to kill some time during this long wait as I personally have never modded an engine or for that matter installed anything aftermarket in a car of mine other than Air Filters.
If they plan to bring the Exige here, it wouldn't make much sense to add power to the Elise. I doubt that a significantly more expensive car that doesn't perform better would be a big success.

And as others have mentioned, 190HP out of a 1.8l normally aspirated engine is a lot. I would be surprised if they could gain much without using forced induction. I'm sure that some gains can be had with aftermarket parts, but there you accept compromises (noise, emissions, fuel economy, reliability, ...) that the original manufacturer couldn't make.
Lotus 'did' very little with the K-series in the Elise. It's too expensive for them to do direct engine development. (witness the Esprit engine, which is something like $20K new in a crate...)

Most of the engines used in the road cars simply came/come from MG-Rover directly and were totally un-modified by Lotus.

The 118HP and 145HP VVC engine in the S1, as well as the 122HP and 160HP VVC engine in the S2 come directly from Rover 'as is', including gearbox.

Only thing they did on the S2 was use their own (re-badged 'EFi') ECU instead of the Rover MEMS ECU.

Only exceptions to this were the S1/S2 135 and S1 Sport160 models which were basic 118Hp engines that got some mild head work and different cams to bring up the HP.

The 190HP engines are so-called 'VHPD' versions that are sold by MG-Rover, but these are more track-oriented and can usually only just barely pass the emission requirements for road use. (actually the official road version of the Exige produced 177HP and the 'track upgrade' brought that to 190HP)

I don't really expect any major changes to the Toyota engine from Lotus themselves. Law of diminishing returns and all that...

I can imagine that they will do some tweaks on the camshafts and ECU in a while to perhaps make the power delivery more linear (make the 'switch' in cams less obvious) and perhaps increase the output to a little over 200HP.

But as with most mods in this respect they will probably label them 'track only', so will not guarantee emission compliance or road-worthyness and such.

Bye, Arno.
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If everyhting Arno says is correct then the better question to be posed is "What advancements will Toyota be doing with the 2ZZ-GE over the next couple of years?"

Which as you can read in some other threads there's all the rumors about super charges from TRD and such.
I agree with Randy on future tweeks to the current US Elise. We may see a few paint/minor option changes (such as JPS or Gold Leaf combos) as the assembly process is warmed up.
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