Roadfly Home | Features | Car Review Videos | Car Reviews | Cars For Sale | Used Car Parts Classifieds | Forum | Car Review Archives | Forum Archives Index


View Full Version : Word from Tom Skinner @ Gaithersburg Lotus is:

02-25-2002, 10:43 PM
That the Elise will have a 190 HP japanese engine. From what dp said, I suspect that the RSX motor is the choice. I'm VERY happy about that!

Tom indicated that he spoke directly with Arnie Johnson (is that right), CEO of Lotus.


Tim Mauro
02-26-2002, 01:19 AM
... exactly what the Sun International car uses, at $12K less, right? That would suggest 4.6 sec 0-60 times (maybe a touch slower w/ AC), and the RSX engine is just a wonderful, great-sounding, hi-revving, super-quality (think 200K miles!) VTEC engine.

From what ive heard of the British Elise motors, they are somewhat rough and loud and unrefined, whether in 120 hp or 190 hp tune, while the Japanese engines are pure silk.

I assume whatever engine it gets, it will get the matching transmission as well? Another thing I've read is that the British Elise trannys are not up to par w/ the Japanese sportsters.. Please, no flames - I've never driven an Elise, I have only read every review I could ever get my hands on..

Man I am psyched about the Elise, if this is confirmed I will definitely go put down a deposit.

02-26-2002, 01:57 AM
I'm a bit worried that if they match the ratio's on the gears that when you shift, you will shift out of the VTEC/VVT like you do on the GT-S. I drove a GT-S and was VERY upset at the gear spacing. Normally you expect to be back in the peak of the power band when shifting, but the GT-S dumps you out just below the start of it, making for very unimpressive shifts.

Anyone driven an RSX yet? Any feedback if this is the case with the RSX?

02-26-2002, 03:16 AM
My girlfriend's dad bought a RSX-typeS about 3 months ago.. We took it on a 700mi trip 2 weekends ago. Overall I was not at all impressed, considering the car cost $26k (about the same as a wrx if I'm not mistaken). I'm sure I'll get flamed on this one, but the RSX is designed for women who are tired of their suvs and civic owners who just got a raise. Everything about it - the seats, the steering, the clutch, everything - its all just nuts and bolts honda - not engaging, not fun, just simple/standard/works (which I'm sure was the goal). The handling and steering in particular is what I really don't like about the car (sloppy is the word here, I think better tires would have helped alot). The engine does the typical vtec stuff meaning there are some spots that deliver a little extra oomph all the sudden and the revs come on a little quicker, problem I have is that its just not predictable or smooth. The quick high revs do sound good though :) The gearing is set up to get you to 60 as quickly as possible, and it works well at doing that. The clutch is a little light for my tastes. This guy traded in a ford explorer and uses it to commute about 80 miles a day. His only complaint so far is that the seats are uncomfortable. Other than that he loves it - For me, certain things just didn't feel right.

All that VTEC stuff can be remapped and played with and these honda engines are pretty easy to work on according to a mechanic I know. I'm sure it goes without saying that they are also very reliable. And with different gearing I think the tranny could be quite nice.

Robert Puertas
02-26-2002, 02:44 PM
"I assume whatever engine it gets, it will get the matching transmission as well? Another thing I've read is that the British Elise trannys are not up to par w/ the Japanese sportsters.."

Regardless, the shift linkage will be totally different, and this is probably the cause of more griping than anything when you put the motor in the middle. The shift linkage gets longer, and consequently loses some feel. Another concern is whether or not they'll put in a Limited Slip Differential. With 190hp pushing around a scant 1800lbs (praying on bended knee) a LSD would come in really handy.

It would be nice to have a separate confirmation of the motor info. Damn this is going to be fun :-)

02-26-2002, 08:58 PM
I've driven the RSX Type S as a loaner car a month ago. Didn't think it was too fast for a small car with 200hp, but then again, I think I'm spoiled with my M Coupe. I wasn't too impressed with the iVTEC (new VTEC) sound either. I really like the sound of VTEC, but iVTEC kind of reminded me of a large vacuum cleaner (no offense). The car only had 1000 miles on it, so it might not have been completely broken in. But... put this engine in the Elise, and I can see that will be a complete different story.

02-26-2002, 10:11 PM
The Sun International car has an Integra Type R motor that really screams. There are a bunch of articles about it on their website at I have a 97 Integra Type R as a daily driver and find the engine is simply amazing. The way the car sounds once the VTEC kicks in at 5400 RPMS and screams all the way to the 8400 RPM redline is simply astounding. In 97 and 98 I believe this engine had the highest horsepower per liter than any normaly aspirated engine in the world with 195hp out of 1.8L. If they decide to go with this engine in the light Elise it's going to be ridiculous. I'm excited

97 Acura Integra Type R
88 BMW M3 (for sale)

Paul Szuch
02-27-2002, 04:22 AM
Why do you assume the RSX motor? My immediate thought is the TRD version of the Celica motor w 194HP.

The Celica TRD gets my vote for the ugliest car of the year BTW.

02-27-2002, 10:13 AM
My oppinion is the RSX engine would be perfect... some people just need to get over their oppinions of Honda. The RSX-S engine is also used in the Civic Si, and a beefed up version will make an appearence in the RSX Type-R. Can we say easy, cheap upgrades? I've also heard that the RSX-S engine is based off the S2000 engine. I don't know how well parts can be shared between the two engines... but its worth considering. Also, Jackson Racing will most likely release a supercharger for the RSX-S engine that could likely be adapted to the Elise.

As far as the shifter is concerned, with the mid-engine setup, it shouldn't be much farther than it is in a fwd setup.


02-27-2002, 11:26 AM

02-27-2002, 03:08 PM
have 2 overdrive gears. which is ok for street, but for performance driving that really renders them 4-speed instead. the fix of course is a shorter final drive ratio.

02-27-2002, 09:14 PM

02-28-2002, 12:49 PM

Roadfly Home | Features | Car Review Videos | Car Reviews | Cars For Sale | Used Car Parts Classifieds | Forum | Car Review Archives | Forum Archives Index