Home Lamborghini Miura Lotus Elise S1 Sport 160 — Supercar Nostalgia

Lotus Elise S1 Sport 160 — Supercar Nostalgia

Lotus Elise S1 Sport 160 — Supercar Nostalgia


Unlike the uniquely appointed Elise S, the Sport 160 ran a Rover K-series engine without Variable Valve Control (VVC). Whereas the Elise S used VVC to achieve outstanding torque figures at low speeds, the Sport 160 relied on a more traditional approach to high power which resulted in the driver having to make full use of the engine’s upper rev range to extract its full potential.

The Rover K-series was an all-alloy 1.8-litre inline four that featured dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and wet-sump lubrication. It displaced 1796cc thanks to a bore and stroke of 80mm and 89.3mm respectively.

For this latest application, Lotus extracted just about as much power as possible before emissions levels were too severely compromised for road use and major changes like new pistons were required.

Using the 135bhp Stage 2 kit as a starting point (which featured a ported and polished cylinder head with cast alloy VVC inlet manifold / plenum assembly), Lotus added further modified inlet and exhaust ports, new inlet and exhaust camshafts, an uprated airbox with a bigger intake aperture and air trunking, a Motorsport cat and a sports exhaust with 45mm diameter 4-2-1 tubular manifold from the recently introduced 340R.

The existing 10.5:1 compression ratio was reputedly optimised (to what precise figure is unknown) and the GEMS engine management was custom mapped. The re-map resulted in the Sport 160 running a 1200rpm idle speed instead of 1100rpm in order to meet emissions legislation of the time.

All told, the Sport 160’s engine produced a peak output of 160bhp at 7000rpm and 131lb-ft at 5000rpm.

For comparison, the standard Elise pumped out 118bhp at 5500rpm and 122lb-ft at 3000rpm.

The Elise S with its VVC engine developed 143bhp at 7000rpm and 128lb-ft at 4500rpm.

Instead of the close-ratio five-speed gearbox fitted to the Elise S, the Sport 160 utilised the standard wide ratio transmission with single-plate clutch and 3.94:1 final drive.



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