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Lotus Elise Sport 160

January 2003

Lotus are about to release an update to the Sport 160 ECU map. The kit will comprise a new throttle body and revised exhaust cam pulley plus a re-mapped ECU. It will offer improved drivability and better low down torque.

It is worth noting that although the Sport 160 cams are designed to run at the standard timing marks, checking and correction can often have a profound affect on the cars drivability and output.


The Sport 160 was launched on 1st February 2000. It features an improved Sport 135 head with new cams and ECU. The first 50 cars have a GEMs ECU, later cars have a EFI Technology ECU. The latter system is a bit more sophisticated than the GEMS unit and allows the engine to run more smoothly at low revs. These are easily identified since the GEMs unit lives in the engine bay, the EFI lives in the boot. A characteristic feature of the Sport 160 is the higher idel speed at 1100 to 1200rpm. This is to meet emmissions regulations at idle. The GEMS system equipped cars are more prone to cold stall.

The first 50 Sport 160 cars have undergone Single Vehicle type Approval (SVA) testing, and are factory built with catalytic converters and 'Sport' exhaust to produce 160PS @ 7000 rpm and 178Nm torque @ 5000 rpm. Subsequent cars are Whole Vehicle Type Approved (WVTA) and are factory built with catalytic onverters, 111S exhausts and dual intake air cleaner/muffler assemblies to produce approx. 150 PS. These cars may be readily converted to 160 PS specification by carrying out an intake airbox modification, and fitting the 'sport' exhaust. If the last four digits of your VIN are between 0601 and 0650, your car will be the SVA model, otherwise it will be WVTA. Lotus recommend that you keep the (modified) standard intake system and filter, but ensure that the intake trunking is routed to pick up the cold air supply from the LH intake vent in the body side.

Gearbox is standard Elise ratios with 3.94:1 final drive. It has the sports suspension set at 100/110 mm front/rear ride height, 5 hole sport anti-roll bar fitted (but no uniball rear toe links). The first 50 were under SVA approval and include a sports exhaust. All the Sport 160s including the type approved cars have a large bore tubular manifold. Latter cars were homologated and have the standard exhaust. All have a catalytic converter and cross-drilled brakes as standard.

In June 2000 Lotus announced two versions of this car, the Sport 160 and Sport 160S and also deleted the 111S version. The former doesn't have the sports suspension, category 1 alarm or radio fitting kit as standard equipment. The SVA VINs ran from 0601 to 0650 and WVTA from 0651 onward. After VIN 1645 the sports suspension and seats became optional items.

The wheels are grey 'Race' wheels in 6" + 8" width with PZero tyres. These are five spoke with the rears being 17" diameter. It was originally available only in two new colours, 'scandal green' and 'metallic black' (which is not charged at metallic rate), though the full colour range has recently been made available. It costs £28,995 on the road. Cosmetic changes also include a new raised spoiler and hybrid seats. The rear spoiler is simply a 111S type raised on sculpted spacers.

The engine idles roughly and has less torque below 2500rpm than the standard car. A 190bhp engine upgrade kit was made available in July 2000.

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