Elise Tuning

"Unleash your Elise"

Dismissed by many because of its small size there is actually a very credible track car here without any modifications. The sharp handling and low stance give the illusion that you are not moving as fast as you actually are.

Lotus have perfected the handling leaving little scope for additional modification. Some of our Elise members have droped the car by another 20mm and fit stiffer adjustable dampers. Bigger drops than this will need other modifications in most instances.

Our aim in Elise engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

How to improve on perfection is the Question the answer is always "more power".

Lotus Elise Tuning modifications.

We have seen a stunning Elise engine conversion using a 1.8T engine from an Audi. This car is a positive monster. Others go for a supercharged Honda engine for reliable and explosive power. Most Elise owners stick with NASP engines though.

Getting the best performance parts for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filter, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Remap, Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, Power/Sport clutch, high flow fuel injector.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Competition cam, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Engine balancing, Sports gearbox, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

You should keep as much low end power as possible and aim to get a long power band rather than a narrow top end power hike.

A fast road cam will be one of the best power mod you can do mechanically to your engine. You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling. You can get a more snappy acceleration by fitting a fuel pressure boost valve. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned Elise.

Lotus Elise Intake and Exhaust.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. On most of the Elise engines an induction kit will help increase power.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can find - the best for power gains are usually between 2 to 2.5 inches. A good exhaust header and sports cat will realise the full potential of your engine.

In extreme cases of Elise tuning your clutch will start to slip at which point it needs to be uprated - read our article on clutches for more information. It is easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. Turbos give boost in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

The nice steady boost to rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Lotus Elise Wheel modifications.

Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. The downside to large alloy wheels on your Elise is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance. Although some people have gone larger we would stick to a 15-16 inch rim size as the maximum.

Please join us in our forum to discuss the Elise options in more detail with our Elise owners. It would also be worth reading our tuning articles to get a full grasp of the pros and cons of each type of modification and get the optimum set up for track days.

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