On the road with the Elise videos

Over the past few months I have been slowly taking footage for a video I have always had in mind to finish off. It completes the 3 part video of a detailed look at the Lotus Elise R, and now it has all the parts I really wanted to put into it.

All the footage was filmed on the excellent (but bumpy at times) roads of the Sydney Royal national and Lane Cove national parks. Flatmate Damien and good friend at work and fellow petrolhead Cameron were my camera team.

The in-car footage was recorded using the sticky pod Professional camera mount system stuck to the lower left hand side of the windscreen. My Sony HD HDD video camera was attached to the sticky pod. Video editing again as done with my good friend Adobe Premiere Pro, although a real bitch to start to learn, its very powerful and loaded with professional level features.

I’m certainly no professional on camera but I think it went well for a bit of a laugh, and it was good fun with friends making it. Enough with the babble, watch the videos! 🙂

Supercharging the Little Elise

aka 07 Elise R go Supercharged project – VF kit Stage 1

aka The Elise Lotus ‘should’ be making

Well I kept it a bit quiet but the supercharger upgrade to the Elise R is fitted , tested and complete. The results so far on the road, well I’m totally chuffed and a very happy man and I now have a Lotus induced headache from the excitement of driving it 🙂

Picture 292 (Medium)The cars just ticking over 12,000km’s now so it is still feeling fresh and new but like all owners, I yearned for a bit more power & torque from my little Elise.

Time for some forced induction!

The back story….. After looking around for nearly a year researching all the Elise supercharger kits available, Katana, BRW, SSC’s OEM based kits and becoming very very close to trading up to the Exige CUP 260, I finally drew down to the VF (that’s VisionFunction) kit jointly developed in AU and the US.

Vision function currently produce Stage 1, 2 and in the works stage 3 kits for the Lotus Elise R, Exige customers wanting a bit more power than is on offer from Lotus but I went with the Stage 1 kit which provides more than enough power and torque levels (see below).

After the order was in with Turbo XS team in Hornsby (the licensed kit supplier and installer for VisionFunction in AU) they promised the kit would take 2 weeks to fit.

This time was mostly down to the ECU having to be posted to the US for the legendary (well on the international internet forums level) Charlie X, to work his code onto the unit and post back to AU. The actual physical parts of the kit only takes the guys a few days to fit and its all rear body clam on work.

I should say what is in the kit, well all the details and technical data can be found here www.visionfunction.com but the kit contains:

  • Eaton MP62 Supercharger (same as used in all supercharged Lotus Exige’s, not in the Elise SC)
  • Custom Intake Manifold
  • Intercooler (tests show 50% lower intake charge temperature, very important)
  • New fuel Injectors (440cc)
  • Charlie X Custom ECU Reflash

The kit cost all up $13,000 which included all labour, posting of ECU to the US and back, and 2 years parts and labour warranty. The guys at TurboXS kept to their word and the car was ready in a little under the 2 weeks they said. So far Stage 2 kits have been fitted to 2 cars in Melbourne but I am the first customer to have a Stage 1 kit fitted in AU. The kit produces a fairly hefty increase in power, here are the figures:

At the crank = 219.98Kw (295hp)
At the wheels = 183.82Kw (246.5hp)

The day before I picked up the car the guys took the car to be Dyno tested to do a before and after comparison, here’s the results and a video they made:

Dynograph before & after supercharger

On the graph above, Red is the old power and
torque outputs, Blue shows the new.

I picked up the car today and so far have driven it for just less than 100km’s around the city to run it in a bit. First impressions are the car goes as hard as the Exige CUP 260 did when I tested it 2 weeks ago, I’m serious. 1st and 2nd gears are just over in seconds and are really quite scary. Car weighs in at 885kg with no driver so 0-100kph should be a clean 4 seconds if you know how to launch it correctly. Pushing hard over slightly broken tarmac, the traction control light blinked a tiny amount as you feel the rear tyres fighting for grip to put the power down.

Last weekend a few of you know I was lucky to have a Porsche GT3 for the weekend. The Elise now feels like it pulls the same if not actually ‘quicker’ to 100kph now and over that nearly as hard as the GT3 does. I feel the chassis would start to not cope so well if more power was put under the hood, I dunno.

before and after1

before and after3

Before and after comparison shots, the installation is neat & tidy


New air intake system 

The guys were very helpful to make up some supercharged badges that I supplied in JPG format to them, this was an unplanned item for them and they happily obliged, finishes off the car visually quite nicely:



Supercharged Logos I put together in Photoshop
and they applied to the car

Oh and I have not mentioned the sound! The mashing of the superchargers gears as it chomps up the air makes the most incredible and crazy sound! Pushing the accelerator to the floor there were pedestrians hearing it coming and thinking ‘what the hell’s that sound’. It sounds a lot like when a Jet plane is on the runway throttling up its engines, just crazy. It is FAR louder than the MP62 sounds in any of the standard Lotus supercharged Exige cars, it must be the free’er flowing air intake system I would think.

I am looking forwards to getting the thing out of the city and letting it stretch its legs to really see what nearly 300hp and under 900kg’s of weight feels like 🙂

As the VisionFunction.com website says:

Head turning looks, CHECK!
Phenomenal lateral grip, CHECK!
Eye ball yanking braking, CHECK!
0-60 acceleration of a Porsche 911 Turbo, CHECK!

Sanna says after a drive ‘yeah it goes really fast!’, Damien says ‘It sounds Good!’

I will check back in once I’ve got a few more Km’s under its wheels 🙂


Lotus CUP 260 and Porsche GT3 drives

Well the drive of the Lotus Exige CUP 260 managed to come through and yep I was the only person allowed to drive it before it went to Targa Tasmania to compete, and bloody amazing it was to drive too. A pure race car for the road it felt, totally un-driveable for the road, totally un-practical, totally FUN!

 Mark in cup260

Queue cheesy smile for the camera!

My full article write-up of the drive is live on TheMotorReport.com.au site right now right here: 2009 Lotus Exige Cup 260 First Test Drive

 Dean Evans & Simone Bachman – 2009 Lotus Exige Cup 260

The Cup 260 competing on Day 1 of the Targa Tasmania 2009

Jump 2 weekends on and I had booked a weekend (Friday night to Monday morning) with my dream car the Porsche GT3. This one was provided by the supercar club and it came in White with only a couple of small options thrown at it, perfect. I think the Porsche GT3 looks best in White, it looked great, if I was ever to buy one it would surely be in White, I was in love. For years now my dream car has been the Porsche GT3 & its rarer GT3 RS cousin. The proof, I have a large framed photo of a Orange GT3 RS on the Nurburgring ring on my hallways wall 🙂


But back to driving the Porsche GT3……. By far the best highlights of the car were its rock solid suspension feeling, totally direct steering feel and above all an engine you couldn’t fault and made me smile inside with every push of the accelerator.

With its 415HP the power from 4500rpm surged massively and was more than enough for the road. As you pressed your foot to the carpet, the rear would squat down and push into the road as it accelerated hard.

The sound from the flat 6 cylinder 3.6 litre race bred Porsche motorsport derived engine sounded like it was truly from the race track. It sounded just like what you hear when watching the Porsche Carrera cup races on TV. For the good reason too that it’s the same engine used in those cars, just in this road car form its carrying a bit more lard up front. Still 0-100kph in around 4.5 seconds cant be snuffed at.


I did find it a tad loud from the exhaust on the motorway sections of which I did a few 100km’s in the end. After returning the car the supercar club representative Mark, said it sounded like the exhaust baffles were jammed wide open, giving it full volume all the way. Still I agreed with him, I would of rather them jammed open than jammed shut 🙂

So GT3 or Audi R8, both the same pricing here in Australia? After driving them both just 1 month apart and both for more than 500km’s I would say the R8 just pips it to the post slightly, and I mean just slightly. The R8 has the advantages of the all-wheel drive grip on the road, much more advanced magnetic adjusting suspension and a V8 that delivers around the same power but crucially all through the rev-range.

I’d still take the GT3 in White though 🙂 Second hand one’s are now coming on the market for $190k, give it 12 more months and it could be attainable to the likes of Mr. average Joe blogs armed with a bit of finance like me 🙂