Archive for the ‘Lotus’ Category

My first Lotus Elise S1

I found these pictures (yes taken with a camera) of my first Lotus.

Lotus Emira – next to join the garage!

Not sure how they can be selling this car from £60K its a supercar for sportscar money. All the reviews so far have been amazing. So my choice is going to be Dark Verdant, tan leather, a V6 manual, black pack, Evija inspired wheels and yellow brakes.

Open Wide!

Cadwell Park – part 2

We finally managed to arrive at our hotel having endured a journey of over 7 hours – ouch – numb bum! The following day was just glorious, sun up, track dry, loads of young lads in Vauxhall Nova’s and 205GTi’s to go car baiting against. First time to Cadwell, what a lovely fast circuit which is a cross between Nurburgring and Spa. Just fab.

Interestingly there were a number of Abarth 500’s on track, all quick (though some had been tuned), I think its time I stripped mine, popped a role cage in, bigger brakes and off we go 🙂

Getting To Cadwell Park

The challenge was not Cadwell Park the race track, but actually getting the cars to the track. Here we are all broken down in a ‘Park & Ride’ car park near Hatfield. SPR’s exhaust had come apart and she sounded like a Typhoon Fighter Jet (brill on one level), the AA came and fixed, and it feel apart again after 7 miles down the A1(M). So I wore my crash helmet for 120 miles acting as an ear defender kind of thing – sort of worked. Managed to scare quite a few commuters, particualrly at roundabouts under heavy acceleration. Awesome noise!

Tyresure Failure

Our Tyresure tyre pressure monitoring system has failed. It has come to light that after around 12 months use via thermal heat transfer within the tyre the transmitter valve units crack and stops working (it has become a known manufacturing fault). Image attached for reference. We are trying to get a replacement set under warranty, but unfortunately for us our system is 18 months old. Be warned all those considering, enquire first to see if they have upgraded the product to overcome this issue! Having said all this the product does work well, when its not overheating 🙂

Lotus Shines at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012

Goodwood FOS celebrates 60 years of Lotus with a spectacular display of F1 cars past and present!

Some of the best road cars on display included the NEW Lotus Exige and Evora GTE. The best of the rest included the NOBLE M600 and CLK AMG Black.

Donington Park Race Circuit

Another warm and sunny day greeted us for our first trip to Donington Park. No drama’s, just lots of lovely grip on a very fast and flowing circuit. SPR had been fitted with new Pagid RS-14 brake pads all round to cope with the recent power upgrade (following the demolition of our Mintex ones at Bedford last month), these worked a treat with no brake fade throughout the day.

192 Miles Around Bedford Autodrome

Saturday 30th July saw a 192 mile shakedown of the Minister Power engine upgrade on the airfield circuit at Bedford Autodrome. The first pitstop of the trip however was on a slip road just off of the M25 on the way to the circuit to re-seat the detachable steering wheel which had started to wobble alarmingly. The day on-track also started with a surprise as SPR just sneaked under the static noise test level of 101db by a mere 0.5db – surprising because the upgrade didn’t sound that much louder than the car that has previously sailed under a 98db limit and worrying given Bedford’s one-strike-and-you’re-out rule with the council imposed 87db drive by limit.

The ‘opposition’ on the day was a diverse collection of metal covering a Peugeot 205, a Saab saloon(!), other Lotuses, BMWs, Porsches, TVRs, an 8 litre Corvette, Radical SR3, the obligatory Nissan GTR and what seemed like every Aerial Atom ever sold in the UK. A couple of sighting laps then saw us set about seeing just how much quicker the enhancements have made the car and I’m happy to report we were able to mix it with everything upto and including the Porsche 911s – a pleasant surprise after the mugging we took at Spa. The morning session was ended by a plume of smoke from the far side of the track as the hot exhaust on a Honda S2000 that had left the road set fire to the patch of grass it had come to rest on.

At lunchtime we met the extended family of the ‘next Lewis Hamilton’ (who’d been in the 205) and then the sun came out for the afternoon session and the track got hotter and hotter, so we dropped the tyre pressures and went faster and faster. Checks later in the afternoon showed SPR running at less than 80db past the drive-by noise monitors so we can only assume the static test in the morning had been faulty, and the chequered flag finally fell at 5pm after 192 rapid miles.

Next up is Donington Park in September after a trip to Back On Track to see whether we have any brake pads left!

SPR gets more POWER!

SPR has been to Minister Power to have their Lotus Elise 160bhp Sport engine upgrade. This is the same upgrade Bell & Colvill offered on the S1 from new. It involves removing the head and polishing and porting to 160 spec, fitting of Piper cams and vernier pulleys, refit head with new head gasket, cam timings reset with replacement timing belt and tensioners, new aux belt and waterpump. Bigger injectors are added plus we required x8 new exhaust valves and x2 inlet valves (this may explain the slight loss of power we had been experiencing due to a slight loss of pressure as the valves had worn and were not sitting snug). Finally to gain the max from the conversion we fitted a new 4-2-1 replacement exhaust manifold to our existing sports exhaust. Our original aftermarket air filter set-up was retained as it was found to be working very well in conjunction with the new work.

In addition, to make life easier getting in and out, we fitted a quick release steering wheel mech, as a revised unit has recently come on the market following the old units failings and withdrawal from sale.

As Jeremy Clarkson would say we now have poweeeer! The car is significantly quicker through the whole range. Max speed is now at 135mph+ (in 118bhp tune we could barely touch 120mph with the roof on). A shake down test at Bedford is planned for this coming weekend when we will discover exactly what she is now capable of recording.

I think we will need better brakes next to deal with the extra power and increased corner approach speeds 🙂

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