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Lotus Elise S2 Sport 135

The After-market Upgrade Announcement - 20th February 2002

The Sport 135 upgrade was made available to existing owners of S2 Elises with an availability of mid March. Priced at £1750 including VAT but requiring and estimated 8 hours of labour to fit. The price assumes the old cyclinder head and ECU are returned in exchange (or there is a £1000 penalty to pay). It includes a new replacement head which has been ported and gas flowed, complete with valves, tappets, a new aluminium inlet manifold and plenum. The earlier proposed new air filter housing has been dropped in favour of a revision to the existing housing. The replacement K4 ECU has been reprogrammed to meet emissions tests. Cosmetic changes include a new bulkhead panel (required to clear the inlet manifold), a revised boot latch (for the same reason) and some 'Sport 135' decals. The kit does not include a sports exhaust which is required to unleash the full potential (2-3bhp lost with standard exhaust). The kit is only road legal in the UK at present. The larger inlet manifold requires a new boot wall, slightly reducing boot space.

The kit retains full ODB functionality and will pass the forth coming emissions test planned for 2004. The kit also includes a 12 month warranty from Lotus Cars. Whilst the upgrade is relatively expensive for a modest 15bhp gain, it is Lotus approved and warranted and does provide a significant boost to the torque and driveability of the engine. The red cam cover from the S1 equivalent kit is not included which is a shame. In reality the price is £1750 for the kit, £400 for the labour and £500 for the Lotus approved sports exhaust, making a total of £2650.

The Upgrade Announcement - 3rd January 2002

It took ages to get there but the Sport 135 upgrade to the standard Elise S2 was finally announced on the 3rd January 2002. Initially only available on a limited number of new cars as a non-homologated upgrade. It features a ported cylinder head, the cast aluminium inlet system, introduced a stainless steel sports silencer and reprogrammed ECM to increase the power. A low restriction airbox has also been added to ensure that maximum revs can be achieved in each gear. The 135 upgrade kit gives the Elise 135hp at 6200 rpm and 175Nm of torque at 4850 rpm, 0-62 mph in 5.4 secs, 0-100 mph in 14.9 secs and a maximum speed of 129 mph.

For a limited period only, Lotus offered this kit to new buyers for £995. This was a loss leader for Lotus to increase sales over the winter months. Normal retail price at launch was £1750 which includes a sports exhaust and fitting. The reason the factory fitted price is so much cheaper than the aftermarket option is that Lotus can recycle the new but replaced cyclinder head removed from the car.

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