From the Member section of the Lotus Club

The Elise Sport 190. A scorching 190PS, a car weighting a mere 755kg 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds and 0-100mph in an awesome 10.72 seconds. A slayer of supercars and a sensation on the track. By everyone’s reckoning the ultimate Elise. Would you like one Silly Question.

Well you could have the aftermarket performance division Lotus convert your current Elise to fire-breathing sport 190 spec, either all in one hit or in stages. You can plan whether to go the whole hog, or elect just to take selected items of equipment form the sport 190 package, the choice is yours and you can build up your car as fast or as slow as you want.

What makes the Lotus aftermarket operation so special is that all the work is carried out at the Hethel Factory (you can even arrange to have Lotus collect your car from you, by the same engineering technicians who make prototypes for both Lotus and its major engineering clients. These are the guys who developed the sport 190 in the first place and there’s no one better placed or more experienced to work on your car. Alternatively, contact your local Lotus Dealership who can arrange to have the work done for you.

And when the conversion on your Elise is finished it won’t leave the factory before being signed off by Alastair McQueen, Dave Minter, Mathew Becker or one of the other highly experienced factory test drivers. To say these boys have tough standards is saying it’s a bit chilly at the North Pole.

Lets suppose that you’re not running your standard Elise into a Sport 190 in one fell swoop, but in stages: where do you start? Lotus recommends you begin with the chassis, as there’s little point having extra power until you lower and stiffen the suspension. The Suspension kit compromises beefier Koni dampers and Eibach springs and an unguarded anti-roll bar. A lot of effort also goes into fine tuning and bumper steer settings; it’s a painstaking operation, but one the factory engineers are well practised at.

This suspension package is biased towards track work, but it’s still surprisingly compliant on the public road. In fact, several customers who’ve already had the work done reckon they prefer the stiffer settings on the road. However, if you intend using you Elise exclusively for racing, the suspension needs to be even firmer still.

The next recommended modification is the brakes. The standard set – up is excellent for road use, but with repeated hammering the brakes get during track work, using a higher-powered engine an upgrade is needed. Out go the ventilated discs on the standard Elise, to be replaced by drilled and vented discs front and rear- these brakes were developed for the sport 190 and are now standard on the new 111S. As well as the discs, the brake kit includes replacement brake pads, semi competition items made in Pagid.

Now we move onto the wheels and tyres. Just upgrading the rear Pirelli P Zeros from 205 to 225 section makes a significant difference to the Elise’s on the limit stability and handling, you can also opt for wider wheels front and rear 6J at the sharp end and 8J out back. Another popular and effective option are a set of Yokohama A038 tyres, especially tuned for the Elise, which are preliminary for track work; they are road legal however, so you can drive you and from events on them.

Time to get serious, before moving on to the glorious engine, you’ll need to fit the short ratio gear box, the same one fitted as standard to the 111S. This box puts first and second gear closer to third and fourth and shortens fifth, to improve the Elise’s sprinting ability and even without the 190 engine it adds pep to the car’s performance. Ready for the big one? Then let’s fit the powerhouse, the 190 VHPD that stands for very high performance Derivative - version of the 1.8 litre K series. This meticulously hand built by race technicians and features a higher compression ratio bigger valves and revs to a screaming 8,000rpm. A Lotus designed carbon fibre super-high capacity air-box is fitted to optimise the engine’s breathing. Also part of the engine package is a specially developed sports exhaust which not only assists in creating that prodigious power output, it makes the Elise sounds superb, this aftermarket product can be fitted to all Elise’s.

And it still not the end of what’s on offer from Lotus to modify your Elise. There are Corbeau competition seats complete with Six-point harness to fit these safeties you’ll also need the framework which comes with the extra sections of RAC compliant roll cage. And then there’s the fire-extinguisher system, the quick release momo steering wheel, and a whole lot more besides.

The Elise was made to be modified, and you can suit your own needs and your own pocket. With the after market operation at Lotus not only do you have access to technicians who really understand how to get the best from your car, you’ll also find enthusiastic experts who’ll discuss how to achieve you specific requirements.