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My Lotus Diary May 2003

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5th May 2003

Popped up to the National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh to have a look round. Primarily interested in speaking to the guys at Stuart Taylor MotorsportRemote site who supply the Pheonix kit and RAW EngineeringRemote site who provide suitable Toyota engines. Anyone fancy 200bhp in 450kg of Phoenix. The alternative is a Yamaha R1 engine with 160bhp and <400kg. I'm still undecided. Heresy I know for a dedicated Lotus fan but, I simply can't afford an Elise for a while and I've always fancied designing and building my own car. At least I get to do the latter this way. The fact that the performance and handling is better than an Elise is also a factor. Practicality?, who needs it. ;-)

6th May 2003

EVO Magazine has a brief feature on the new Elise, which they claim will be at the Geneva Motorshow in Feb 2004. More details in the models section.

7th May 2003

The great 'floor' debate goes on, across the various Lotus forums on-line. For those that have missed it, it would appear that some later S1 cars had a rubber mat stuck to the aluminium footwells. This has trapped moisture and caused corrosion. If you have these mats you should remove them and inspect the damage as soon as possible. Other floor coverings used in later cars, including the S2 Elise may be affected by the problem too. It is adviusable to check.

Aluminium corrodes in a strange way leaving a white powder residue that smells. when you wipe the powder away, you will find pitting and possibly holes in the footwell. Most owners have spotted this by the expanding powder causing little bumps in the mats, fitted to the floor. Lotus are investigating the problem further.

15th May 2003

Had a ride in a friends bike engined Sylva Striker this afternoon. Unbelievable! At 380kg and 160bhp the acceleration is simply awesome. It's geared for about 130mph at 11,000rpm in 6th so 0-60 comes up in around 3.5 seconds and 0-100mph in around 8.5s. I've never been in anything like it. The feeling and sound reminds me of a big motorbike but the levels of grip and zero bodyroll would leave any bike for dead on the corners. Because the bikes reduction gear before the gearbox, the torque presented to the gearbox works out at around 120lb-ft, meaning that this car is not lazy in the higher gears. Cruising in 6th is quite relaxed and yet there is still plenty of pull from lower revs. Image a Turbotechnics 190bhp Elise accelerating up to 6500rpm, because it is probably comparable initially. Then imagine the accelleration practically doubling as you hit 7000rpm and it keeps on going up to the 11,000rpm red-line. It's absolutely ferocious and almost painful. At 120mph with no windscreen, helmet or glasses, it would be painful and you couldn't keep your eyes open. It's absolutely bonkers and I want one. This is the kind of performance I've been looking for. A few other numbers worth thinking about; 80-100mph takes 3.1 seconds, 30-50 comes up in 1.3 seconds, insurance is less than 300 a year.

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