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Author Lotus Elise 111R *Cadwell Park*
Kyle T
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Registered: 11th Sep 04
Location: Selby, North Yorkshire
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23rd Jan 16 at 17:44   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Sold my Subaru back in December, and made the decision to opt for a dedicate road car and a dedicated track car for 2016.

This thread is for the track car, a 2006 Lotus Elise 111R!

I had four options I think when the Subaru moved on, A Lotus/Caterham 7 style car, a VX220, an Elise or an Exige. I excluded stuff like Evos, E46 M3s and hot hatches because I wanted something "purpose built" that could do track days out of the box, with little concern for consumables or reliability.

7: A bit too focussed for me now, I'd like to do a Europe roadtrip in this car and maybe I should learn the world of RWD with something a little less bonkers. Self build kit is defo on the cards in the future though.

VX220: Was in the running, I just didn't see one I REALLY liked. They're typically much cheaper than Elises (specifically the spec I went for) and have good tuning potential, no real down sides. I did prefer the aesthetics of the S2 Elise though and the S2 elise is available "newer".

Exige: After really learning the differences between an S2 Elise and Exige, they suddenly looked REALLY expensive for not a lot extra. Same/similar engine choices, better wheel fitment, better suspension and a hardtop. That's about it! Obviously that's different with the newer stuff, as Exige has stepped up to "baby supercar" status with the V6 etc. The hardtop was the main killer, I can't fit in one whilst wearing a helmet... you can get soft tops from an Elise to fit an Exige, but then - why not just get an Elise? Wheels, Tyres and Suspension are all likely to be changed whilst I've got the car anyway.

Elise: Lots of specs/models to chose from. S1 have great charm, not so great looks (IMO) and harder to get really tidy ones now. S2 choices are split roughly down the middle by K-Series or Toyota engines. K-Series plagued with HG issues and getting on a bit now, so decided on Toyota.

The 111R is the 190bhp Toyota engine, I believe was in the Corolla T-Sport cars and the Celica? It's about as much power as you can get out of a factory Elise without going supercharged or turbo. Unfortunately, it's also the spec which costs the most in the 2002-2006 bracket, only beaten by the later SC cars (which are just a 111R with a 2k Supercharger on, which are available off the shelf ). This car cost significantly more than a VX would have done, but still cheaper than the cheapest Exiges by 5 or 6 grand.

Honda K20 ones popped up from time to time, but never at the right time and place for me. I can only imagine they're mental.

As for my specific car, the 111R cars were coming through the usual classifieds locations very slowly - only 3 or 4 cars of note since I started half-looking back in October. I further narrowed down my options by deciding it had to be either red, or blue (specifically Laser Blue). This particular car was up for sale by a specialist dealer late last year, but upon the ad expiring it was taken down over winter (I assumed at the time it was sold); it got relisted last week - so off I went to see it!

One of the shots from the ad:
Capture by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

The car was way down in Essex, a 6 hour round trip for me but like I said - these things don't come up too often. I went down with Simon_16v last weekend quite nervous that it would be a nail.

As it turned out, I didn't have much to worry about - it's in seemingly fine condition and looked really tidy. Drove well on the test drive, and the dealer was a nice guy to boot. (really nice classic car collection, plus a Lotus franchised dealer). As a 2006 car, it has LED rear lights and projectors up front... these cars changed almost every six months due to their parts-bin nature I guess, the later the better generally but I wouldn't have turned down a 2004 one! This was built with the optional extra carpets AND sun visors, but no air conditioning or cup holder

I'd identified from online history that the car hadn't really moved since at least May 2015, the date of its last MOT expiration and had been SORN since. Not completely uncommon on these cars I guess, they go into hiding over winter and sometimes don't come out the next spring - like my fishing gear I suppose Car is on 43k miles, so clearly been a weekend car its whole life.

It's had a service at a dealer every year until it went SORN, but I can't find any evidence of the big "C" service. I'm not exactly sure of the deal here, it's a cam chain but are they still routinely swapped? I'll look into that.

Upon viewing the car, it had no MOT and was due a service - so the dealer was going to take care of that inclusive of asking price. After identifying a few more niggles (identified either by it's MOT midweek or myself during the viewing), he sorted those too:

Excessive corrosion on rear brake lines (pipes changed)
One of the rear clusters had 4 LEDs out (cluster replaced)
Front tyres cracked (MOT advisory) (negotiated bit of discount)
Alloys lightly curbed (negotiated bit of discount)
Indicator cracked (replaced)

We had a bit of drama with payment, I sent a transfer yesterday after the MOT was all sorted and we confirmed collection for today - but Santander blocked it. The dealers' accounts dept were unavailable Saturdays so I went to bed gutted, would be delayed another week. As it happened, he text me at 0730 this morning to say funds were in - get myself to Essex!

Weather was decent, traffic was kind to us - today was a good day. Pics on collection:

WP_20160123_12_03_48_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

WP_20160123_12_03_54_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

WP_20160123_12_04_02_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

The Gent even brimmed the tank for me, rare behaviour for a dealer as it was on fumes during the test drive!!

The drive home was pretty epic, not as uncomfortable as I expected but a little bit intimidating on the motorway... being able to see directly under an L200 as it pulled alongside me was a little odd I never drive cars confidently on test drives, so the performance of the 111R was a nice surprise after I got comfortable with it. The VTEC-esque kick is the strongest I've ever felt in a car, and it gets through the revs very nicely indeed. After the torque and power of the Subaru, I've been bracing myself for a bit of a comedown but it's really not that bad, slower of course - but the feel of the car makes it very enjoyable.

Service station pictures...
WP_20160123_13_48_06_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

WP_20160123_13_48_23_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

Car did almost 39mpg on the drive home, so clear win over the Subaru there...

Handling wise, I've hardly thrown it round yet - but the steering feel I know is a cliched comment about these cars, but it's really something else. It's not a chore, but it's very rewarding. The car currently hints towards understeer the way I've driven it, so I don't fear it (yet). Apparently with wider front wheels and altered geo you can make it understeer-proof, which in turn will make it scary

Before spending any money, I want to spend a few weeks with it to make sure no gremlins appear. How I resist temptation we'll have to wait and see though, my preliminary plans are:

Short Term:
Sunstrip off (tomorrow )
Exige fitment wheels (wider fronts) and track tyres
New Exhaust, go back to the 111S (K-Series equiv of my car) styling of having a tailpipe come out each side of the numberplate rather than under the diffuser on the 111R.
Some side-pods (aesthetics) and maybe a front diffuser

Medium Term:
Suspension refresh, remove/clean/paint all wishbones and links - new bushes all round. Common job on these, as the gubbins aren't treated very well - and so look like they're from the deck of the titanic.
Brake refresh, remove/clean/paint calipers, braided hoses, etc.
Geo setup, but only after I've done a trackday or two to see how it feels

Long Term:
Supercharger

"Will see how it goes...":
Uprated Radiator
Baffled Sump

The community has so far been excellent, cheap trackdays with Lotus on Track and I've found a classic car/sports car specialist insurer that has done me a policy for 450ish - which INCLUDES 6 trackdays per year. That alone saves me 480quid from the Subaru trackday bolt-on insurance. It's a 4000 limited mileage policy mind, but sufficient for this.

The Subaru was the first car I properly modified, and I made a lot of mistakes which in turn cost a lot of money. This car should be good for me out of the box so I need to resist the urge to spend on shiny bits until I've at least experienced it properly and know which direction to take it. Hopefully I'll get it cleaned tomorrow morning and I can get some proper pictures up.

Hope I enjoy this thread as much as the Subaru one, right now - I'm excited

[Edited on 18-04-2017 by Kyle T]


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Ben G
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Registered: 12th Jan 07
Location: Essex
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23rd Jan 16 at 18:03   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Glad it all worked out well Kyle, looks lovely. Also hope the Essex roads were kind to the Lotus, as they're usually full of potholes

Can't wait to see this get better

Cam chains aren't routinely swapped, but it's recommend at higher mileage as they can stretch.

[Edited on 23-01-2016 by Ben G]
tom130691
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Registered: 13th Sep 08
Location: Daventry
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23rd Jan 16 at 18:07   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

nice


my corsa
my mini

You know you own a mini when you've changed your shower gel for swarfega.
Ian W
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Location: Wirral, Merseyside
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23rd Jan 16 at 19:43   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Love it


Wanted

Drivers Side Front GSi Jacking Cover
Driver Side Rear GSi Arch

My Corsa GSi 16V
Kyle T
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Registered: 11th Sep 04
Location: Selby, North Yorkshire
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23rd Jan 16 at 20:45   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Cheers Dudes.

Ben, barely got to see Essex outside of the motorways!

I've also been spending a lot of time on PH recently, seems to be a strong Lotus community there so decided to cross post this thread into "Readers Cars". Not sure if I'll keep it up though, it'll be a "translated" version of the CS one as there's a wider audience of people to offend on PH - so comments such as "I think the S1 cars are ugly" or words to that effect will likely be deleted

The CS thread will remain the master thread


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Darryl H
Organiser: South Central
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Registered: 19th Nov 09
Location: Camberley Drives: Porsche 944
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23rd Jan 16 at 21:48   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

I love Elises An S2 Exige is still in my dream garage.

This looks very tidy as I'd expect after your scooby! Looking forward to see what you do with it.

I'm guessing if you're anything like me this time next year with your heavily modded Elise you'll look back on that first post and think "I was so naive"


|My Corsa|SC|My Instagram|
Simon_16v
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Registered: 14th Aug 06
Location: Yorkshire
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23rd Jan 16 at 21:54   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

What is the highest output engine in the Rover variety of Elise?
Ben J
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Location: Cheshire
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23rd Jan 16 at 22:38   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Stunning colour. Love the S2's.
Kyle T
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Registered: 11th Sep 04
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23rd Jan 16 at 23:52   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Cheers chaps.

I'm not totally up to speed on the rover ones Si, I think 155 ish bhp was the s111 but there was the fettled sport 190s too if they count (post production modified I think, only 30 or so made)


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Wrighty
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Registered: 28th Feb 04
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24th Jan 16 at 04:25   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Nice one mate
oJNAo
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24th Jan 16 at 04:33   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Laser blue looks amazing, better than Arden blue and I've come to love that colour
ianofbhills
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Location: newcastle
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24th Jan 16 at 10:52   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Excellent choice.
I really enjoyed your Subaru thread and from the first post of this thread I know this will be great too. looking forward to more well written and informative updates thanks for posting.
chris_uk
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24th Jan 16 at 11:39   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Good stuff
djgritt
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Registered: 1st Nov 07
Location: North Dorset Drives: Monaro SC / Abarth595
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24th Jan 16 at 16:12   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Nice

Be interesting to see how this develops...


Monaro CV8 Supercharged
Abarth 595 - the GFs.
VxON Club Admin Team
Kyle T
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24th Jan 16 at 18:17   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Cheers dudes. The similarity to Arden blue actually suckered me in as my first car was an arden Corsa B.

I would have loved to have spent all today fussing over the car, but the Grandparents were coming round for dinner...

That didn't stop me washing the car at 8am though! Got it all nice and clean, nothing serious but a wipe down with AG SRP. I then planned to drive it just round the corner for a few photos, so off I pootled very slowly to prevent splashing the car. Oncoming traffic sprayed a massive muddy puddle all up my side, so fuck it - I went out for a drive!

30mins later, back on the drive washing it again

WP_20160124_10_26_27_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

WP_20160124_10_26_11_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

WP_20160124_10_27_16_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

WP_20160124_10_28_09_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

I bought one of those Gliptone leather kits for my steering wheel when selling the Subaru, so went to work on the seats and wheel in the Lotus.

This is a before picture of the passenger seat, leather was just a little dry looking and not as black as it should be:

WP_20160124_11_30_13_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

Wheel a bit grubby:
WP_20160124_11_32_12_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

Afterwards:
WP_20160124_11_40_37_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

WP_20160124_11_40_43_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

It got wheeled into the garage whilst we entertained the Grandparents, then I got back into the garage for a quick going over with my leftover Werkstatt (Carlack) sealant.

Couple more pics for the "I need to address pile":

WP_20160124_17_06_12_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

Window Seals on both sides have gone manky, seem dead easy to swap over though.

WP_20160124_17_06_24_Pro by Kyle Townend, on Flickr

Some water ingress at somepoint I guess into the light lense. Replacements are stupid expensive, may need to either tolerate it or dismantle and see if I can fix. That's not a massive gash in the wing btw, it's the reflection of my striplight


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Marc
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24th Jan 16 at 19:23   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Nice. I remember sitting in one once and getting out wasn't elegant
Kyle T
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24th Jan 16 at 19:57   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Cheers Marc, yeah they're a bit of a laugh. With the roof off it's like getting in or out of a bath.

Then imagine getting into a bath with a roof about 2 feet above it

I've been thinking tyres all day.

Dilemma:

All tyres are fine on tread, but front ones are cracking. Nothing too scary, but I doubt I'll take them round a racetrack.

Rear tyres are Bridgestone S001's and fronts are Bridgestone RE040s (OEM fitment for my car). I'm therefor concluding that front tyres are the original ones and the rears have been swapped at somepoint.

Option A: Get new alloy wheels in Exige fitment, with brand new tyres all round. Probably of track spec.

Option B: Replace just the fronts. Get Bridgestones again, probably S001's to match the rears.

Option C: Replace tyres all round with AD07s. These were OEM fitment for pretty much every other Elise of the era, think the bridgestones were a one-off.

Option C Part-2: Replace tyres all round, AD07 on the front and AD08R round the back. Reason for this is that the AD08R is NOT available in my front size, but it IS available in the Exige front size. Therefor, if I change to Exige wheels later I can at least recycle the rears and get matching fronts. It means running mixed compound front to back, which it seems a few people do and I'm not aware of any deaths as a result. AD08R rears are also within a quid of the price of AD07 rears.

My reason for veering away from A, is that it's contradicting my game-plan of seeing what the car is capable of out of the box. If I go wider sticky tyres, I'm then in baffled sump and uprated toe-link territory.

My reason for veering away from B is availability of tyres it seems, both S001 and RE040 seem hard to come by in the relevant sizes.

So that leaves me with C and C Part-2. Needs a day or so of thought to see if I want to mix compound or not.

It's probably also worth noting that the Yoko tyres for lotus were produced as a "LTS" model, I'm aware of that but I'm sceptical of them being significantly different and they're silly expensive.





Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
chris_uk
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24th Jan 16 at 22:32   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

i have AD08's on mine atm, they are ok actually but not as nice to drive as R888's

now, if you are on limited miles just go get a set of semi's and use them. they are a lot better than you might think but watch standing water.. andby that i mean dont go doing 100+mph when its binning down.
Ben G
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24th Jan 16 at 22:56   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

I debated whether to get a vx220 before going for the Z4. Glad I did now looking at that interior no chance I'd drive that daily, I'd be crippled lovely car though.

Also, Blaupunkt Better not mess!

[Edited on 24-01-2016 by Ben G]
chris_uk
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24th Jan 16 at 23:01   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

tbh ben, that looks a shit load better than a vx220 lol

whitter45
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25th Jan 16 at 10:24   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

looks ace Kyle - congratulations
3CorsaMeal
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25th Jan 16 at 12:59   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

I know the guy who owns Hilton/castle Lotus, amazing house and cars. Its about 10mins up the road from me.

Excellent choice, i love it.

Has it been repaired in the past? Looks like the one that went into a lamp post.
Kyle T
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25th Jan 16 at 13:39   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Oh I should have come in for tea.

Cheers 3CM, I'm not aware of it being crashed/repaired. Most of the time these are written off if they so much as bump a curb


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
Kyle T
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25th Jan 16 at 15:38   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Oh, forgot to mention. While I was cleaning the car on Sunday my neighbour (and landlord) came round. He clocked the Lotus straight away and we got talking, turns out in the past he's had an Esprit, old Elan, Eclat and then the newer Elan (the FWD one).

Quite the Lotus fanboy, he took them all the way to Hethel for routine servicing too!

On top of that, can't remember if I mentioned it or not - but my garage door always had a NYLOC sticker on the inside (North Yorkshire Lotus Owners Club) so when I signed up, I tracked down the old owners of my house - a couple that now live in Scotland apparently.


Lotus Elise 111R

Impreza WRX STi
BeetleGav
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Location: lancashire, nelson
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25th Jan 16 at 18:37   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Oooo I like that, I do enjoy your threads so looking forward to this progressing!
How come you want to ditch the centre exhaust?

I've been following a build thread for a s1 k20 over on edition38, looks pretty rapid to me from a video I've seen with 250bhp

http://youtu.be/Bqi3-LGSbjk

[Edited on 25-01-2016 by BeetleGav]

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