The Lethal Lotus – 860kg of Pure Insanity
The Lotus Elise. It’s a simple, yet sophisticated car. Elegant in design, snappy in performance, with a lightweight body that creates the ultimate driving pleasure while keeping those kilowatt numbers down. In conclusion it’s almost like your childhood go cart – but with a hell of a kick. With a stock NA Engine from Toyota producing a mere 189HP, it doesn’t seem like much. But when you add the benefit of reduced weight, these cars can get from 0-100 in 4.9 Seconds.
So what if that’s not enough for you? No problem, your turn it into the ultimate Lethal Lotus.
Riley Gibson owns that exact car.
A year spent searching for the perfect Lotus over in the UK ended in disappointment. There were requirements. And the majority never lived up to them – it needed more power. And lots of it, while keeping the elegant design intact to ensure he could have a base for his own taste.
Finally, right here in New Zealand, that perfect Lotus made it’s first appearance. A stock looking Elise, with more than $25,000 worth of work under the hood – what an incredible and rare platform to work with.
It is powered by the all-aluminium 1.8L DOHC Toyota ZZ engine with a Yamaha designed twin-cam head offering variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust valvetrain, and to make things even better, it sports a Forged and Stroked 2L kit and ForceFed Intercooled Turbo kit, helping it to produce 300hp at 6lbs boost with a limit sitting as high as 8500rpm.
How could you turn such a machine down!
Before Riley’s return to New Zealand, he enlisted the help of friends to get a few simple handling modifications going. The vehicle sits on Lotus Race Series GAZ coil overs (corner weighed and Fast road GEO), and has a set of wheels for each required sport – track, and daily driving.
Road Wheels: 30 XXR Wheels, 16×8, 17×8.25 Advan AD08R tires
Track Wheels: Lotus OZ Racing, 16×7, 17×8 R888 slicks
Brakes: AP Racing Brakes, S2500 Pads.
Essentially a fantastic set up, for a fantastic car. And it didn’t stop there.
With a four week break back in New Zealand, and the first time seeing the vehicle he had bought unseen 5 months prior, Riley had a short period to customise the car even further to his liking.
While on ‘Holiday’ He drove the car 4000kms across NZ’s best roads, headed out to the track on various occasions and really tested the incredible car in which he was waiting so long to have.
In the 4 weeks Riley came back – he focused on the cosmetic enhancements, as well as experiencing the thrill of his new toy.
While back here, the Lotus had a drastic change including:
– Lotus Sport Front Splitter
– Carbon Varis GT Wing
– Carbon HK Wide Side Scoops
– Modified Mesh Grills (Front, Rear, Side, Engine Cover)
– Modified Rear Diffuser and Exhaust Set Up
– Stripes wrapped from Stock Silver to Matte Black – including Vinyl Detailing
– Carbon Wrapped Roof & Mirrors..
There was no shortage of a list to be completed, and finally Riley owns the Lotus he has desired for so long.
Be sure to check out this beast at upcoming meets and open days!
With special thanks to Sam and Christian from Obsessive Car Detailing for all their amazing handy work ,Gerald Horton Signs Rangiora for the wrap work, Car Folie for the tints, Chris from suspension tech, Graham Petrie for helping out while I’m overseas and all the others who helped along the way.