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 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 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 🙂


8 thoughts on “Supercharging the Little Elise”

  1. you nutter! man, be careful dude, otherwise you’ll wrap it around a tree or something.
    I thought you had decided not to go ahead with it cause it would void the warranty on the car?

  2. Hey mate,
    Lotus only gives you 2 years warrenty in Australia on their cars, my car just reached its 2nd birthday, so voiding the warrenty isnt really a issue.
    I look on this upgrade as its 2nd birthday, its got a new bigger set of lungs 🙂

  3. Thank you for a straight forward technical results and FAQ’s. I am about to abandon my ROTREX project and go with the Vision function solution. Were there any hidden problems working remote from the states as I am in South Africa?

  4. Hi Exige GP,
    Thanks for the comment, I no problems as there is a local VF distributor and fitter here in Sydney just half an hours drive from my place in the city.
    They gave me options of just purchasing the kit or kit + fitting. I got them to fit it as they bundled a 2 years parts a labour warrenty also.

  5. Hi Mark,
    I was wondering if you give an update on your experience with this kit 6 months on?
    Regarding your pricing too…. I was looking at the VF site and they are listing the stage 2 kit & clutch & flywheel for $12K but you say they hit you up 13K for just the stage 1 kit?

  6. Hi Phil,
    Its sad to hear but my lovely Blue Elise was written off a month ago after I lent the keys to a friend and he had a bad accident, without going into details though it wasnt his fault. The chassis was cracked and the total repair bill was 70% the cost of the car so it was deemed not worth to repair.
    I am now on the hunt for a nice low KM Exige to modify with a supercharger kit also (removing the stokc components). I havnt posted it yet as I wqas going to bring it up once I found a replacement.
    Have to say I was very happy with the VF kit before the crash and it cost me $12-13k cant remember for the stage 1 kit inc fitting.

  7. hi,
    I’m thinking of bolting on a supercharger to my lotus. Planning the vf route:) currently in the Uk but I’ve heard that if I modified my car I would not be able to take it to Australia if I decided to go there:( is that true?

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