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My Lotus Diary May 2002

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2nd May 2002

EVO MagazineRemote site is definately the pick of the bunch and has some very good Elise related articles this month. Firstly the Tommy Kaira ZZ has been reborn as the Leading Edge 190RT. Now sporting an estimated £26k price tag and improvements to make it a more serious Elise competitor.

Secondly, it features a review of the new Elise Sport 190. And then a review of the Turbo Technics 270bhp and 207lb-ft Exige! As if that wasn't enough, there's a head to head comparison with the honda VTEC-powered VemacRemote site RD180, which if EVO are to believed, handles better than the Elise. One for a test drive then! The front end is an exact copy of the Elise S1.

In the same issue, the Sport 190 is compared to Vauxhall's new VX220 Sprint (where have we heard that name before?), which is basically a tailored set of upgrades, starting with 165bhp and a nice fat torque curve to match. The VX220 sprint features a load of Elise S190 components and a Lotus tuned engine. Vauxhall have also launch a limited edition VX220 this month. For £24,995 you get one of only 100 Lightning Yellow cars with hard-top and 17" anthrcite alloys. Call me controversial but, as I've said before, the VX220 is the better looking car overall, when compared to the Elise S2.

Whilst on the subject of desirable cars, I came across the the Gardener Douglas T70Remote site which has temporarily made it onto my desktop. What a stunning looking kit car. Shame it doesn't have a windscreen though.

21st May 2002

Spent the last two weeks in Majorca. Not a single Lotus in sight. The coolest car I could find to rent was a VW Beetle cabriolet (at 60 per day!). The chop-top conversion cost 10k on top of the basic car. Handling and performance were not Elise like!

Looks like the S2 111 has surfaced as expected. Autocar carries a review and a few pictures of the car in the new Ardent Red colour. Basic 111 is priced at 25,995 and comes with 156bhp @ 7000rpm and 129lb-ft at 4650rpm (sounds like Lotus are more realistic in the power output than MG, unless the Elise installation results in lower power), giving 0-60mph 5.1 seconds and 131mph top speed. The car has controversial eight spoke wheels, personally I like them a lot. The 111S adds stereo, leather and carpets for 27,995. Combined fuel economy improves by 3mpg to 40.9mpg and the car has a punched aluminium panel above a new rear diffuser. The wheels and 5.5 x 16 (front) and 7.5 x 17in (rear) and the tyres are 175/55/VR16 (front) and 225/45/VR17 (rear), both being Bridgestone Potenza RE040's. The 0-60 time is acheived through shorter first and second ratios over the standard car, whilst the improved MPG figure is acheived through slightly taller third, fourth and fifth gears. Autocar do complain a little about the price of the car, which exceeds 30k when air-con and hard-top are added.

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