As the late Colin Chapman once said, “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.” Fortunately, this mantra has been embedded in the mindset of every Lotus engineer. Using simplicity when it comes to building a car and seriously taking it to another level. This fact becomes obvious when a 2006 Series 2 Lotus Elise is pitted against today’s modern ultra-super cars with excessive horsepower and an array of electronic gadgetry. Power wise, it’s no contest as it only generates 189 horsepower from a Toyota engine that can be found on a Corolla. While it may not sound like much, it can still accelerate just as quickly as cars with twice the power: 4.9 seconds to 100km/h according to factory figures. Even the sensation of speed is greater compared to the heavier supercars because the thinly padded seat is mounted super low to the floor. But where the Lotus really excels and what it is known for is its superior handling. Weighing in at just over 850 kg with a mid mounted engine, manual tranny and rear wheel drive, the steering response is lightning quick and gives very accurate feedback from the tires. Judging by the way it looks and sounds, the Lotus Elise is something bred purely for the track and spirited driving. But it doesn't mean that it can’t be improved upon.
Just ask Myco Enriquez, who owns our featured Lotus Elise, about the improvements that he made to make it even better looking. After realizing early on that the Elise was already a potent weapon on the track, he simply devoted his efforts on the exterior. With the continued popularity of wide flares/arches and over fenders, Myco decided to join the trend and transform it into a wide body Elise. Instead of going for a custom-built set, he did his research and ordered a set from Lotus body kit specialist ReVerie. These are not just ordinary kits as the UK based company specializes in carbon fiber composites and fiberglass panels. The wide wheel arches are 40mm wide each and collectively they considerably extend the entire track width of the car by 80mm. Despite having the option to simply bolt on the arches, Myco chose to graft the entire body kit and add black rubber inserts in between to accentuate the aftermarket arches. Tasked to do the job was Alex Car Restoration, who also matched the Lotus’ very bright Krypton Green exterior color.
Aside from the wide arches, it was also treated to a host of genuine carbon fiber exterior pieces such as the front splitter, canards, side vents, side skirts, rear diffuser and of course the rear wing which replaces the factory spoiler. Overall, the kit transformed the Elise’s looks from being a mere sports car into a more track oriented thrill ride. The wide arches also necessitated using wheel spacers to push out the wheels and tires to complete the look and take advantage of the wider track length for sharper handling. But it’s not all about looks as the engine has been treated to a tried or tested aftermarket intake and header upgrade that should help it work more efficiently. Other than those aforementioned mods, including sticky SX2 GT Radials, Myco has wisely decided to leave the Lotus-spec chassis and suspension as is. This insures that it continues to offer tremendous grip and body control. Very much the way in which Lotus has designed it to be, which in reality is its greatest character trait. In this case made even better looking with the addition of the aftermarket body kit. My only gripe would be getting in and out of the car which should be considered a gymnastic event in the Olympics, because tough doesn’t even come close to describing it.
2006 Lotus Elise
Engine: 1.8-liter, DOHC Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine with a Yamaha designed twin-cam head with variable intake/exhaust valve timing,
Engine Mods: Weapon R Headers, Weapon R Cold Air Intake, Weapon R full exhaust, ReVerie carbon fiber engine covers
Engine Management: Lotus tuned ECU
Horsepower: 189 hp (Factory Rating)
Transmission: C64 6-Speed manual
Exterior Mods: ReVerie carbon fiber front splitter, ReVerie wide wheel arch kit, ReVerie carbon fiber ducts, ReVerie side skirts, Rear Wing, ReVerie carbon fiber rear diffuser, ReVerie front carbon fiber canards
Rollers: Lotus Alloy wheels (17x7), GT Radial Champiro SX2 Tires (245/40ZR17)
Body & Paint: Alex Car Restoration using Cromax paints