Monday, June 28, 2010

Forged Wheels for the Atom3

I had great success with the SJ forged wheels from Japan on my Atom2. These wheels are built at the same factory as our Monolites & stellaCORSE wheels that we sell into the Lotus market. The quality is superb and they are ultra lightweight. Forged Al is almost as light as cast magnesium (Dymag wheels) yet stronger and much more affordable. Reducing unsprung weight is our mantra around here and these wheels will save 16lbs off the complete stock cast TD wheels. This fitment has a different PCD than found on the Atom2. I ordered 1 set to test and received them last week.
Steve installed wheels onto my Atom3 and they clear the Alcon calipers easily. The offset on these wheels are super aggressive. They will result in tires that sit proud of the fenders - like in my Atom2. Compared to stock, the rear track is widened more than the front as a ratio . The rear wheel is also now 8" wide vs 7"(stock). The front wheel is slightly narrower at 6.5" vs 7" stock. I believe this may be the perfect tweak to dial out some oversteer for drivers like myself.

We will install wider tires (most likely Hoosiers) and run at Laguna Seca in two weeks. I will report back after completing our test.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Evora Sport Exhaust from Larini

The stock exhaust on the Evora is very quiet as it needs to meet strict noise requirements in many countries - especially in Europe. Naturally we want something a bit more aggressive. We had the boys at Larini send us a prototype Sport exhaust for our Evora along with a Decat pipe for the third stock cat.

The first noticeable thing was the ease of removal for the stock exhaust compared to an Elise/Exige. Once we hefted the stock exhaust out we immediately put it on our scales.
The stock exhaust was 38.45lbs. The Larini weighed in at 18.38lbs - a 20lb weight savings. The stock Cat pipe weighed 6.2lbs and the Decat pipe only 2.95lbs. Removing this last cat does not trip the MIL as it is located after the O2 sensors. This is a 23.3lb weight saving off the rear of the car! We have a Lithium Ion battery coming that will shave off a similar amount.

On start up there was only a slight increase in idle and a noticeable tone change when revved. Driving it on the street and highway showed that it is a gentleman's (or gentlewoman's) exhaust. It sounds aggressive as you rev up the engine yet it is dead quiet while cruising. The sound is very deep and muscular. We like it a lot and it suits the nature of this car.

This system came with an Oval tip but it also available with a Dual Tip. We are also planning to get one that sports a special heat resistant coating that will be white. One Evora customer, Craig, has requested black tips which we should also be able to accommodate.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Evora Pre-flight Checks

After taking delivery of our new Lotus Evora, we found out the battery from the factory had gone bad. So, before initial take off, we called Lotus of Long Island to see if they've seen this issue before. They had in fact experienced a handful of cars delivered from the factory with bad batteries.

We promptly sourced a Deka battery to replace the dead OE one. Their 69 series 691MF was an exact replacement and fit perfectly.

Now that the Evora had power, we had to make sure the one touch window controls were programed properly. To do this, we made sure the windows were up and held the switch in the up position till a click was heard. We then lowered each window and held the button for 2 seconds until it clicked again.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Our Evora Has Landed!

We received our 2010 Lotus Evora this week from our friends at Lotus of Long Island. After test driving the car I was convinced that Lotus has another hit on their hands. As we have done on the Elise/Exige, we want to be a part of this success story by developing products that enhance this fantastic car.
Here's a basic list of parts we will developing for the Evora:
  1. Exhaust - Larini Sport exhaust is due next week
  2. Forged Wheels
  3. Lightweight brake rotors
  4. Brake pads
  5. Lightweight battery
  6. Car covers
  7. Floor mats
  8. Interior/lifestyle bits
  9. ...and MUCH more!
Wasting time is not our style, so, we invited HRE to visit us and get wheels under development. Roy from HRE stopped in yesterday to take critical measurements from our Evora. HRE produces very high-end wheels for many sports cars. They offer multi-piece and single-piece forged wheels of superb quality. We're known as wheel snobs and these guys meet our standards. An added benefit is the fact that they are located 30 minutes away.

The OE Forged wheels that came on our car with the Pirelli P-zeros tires weighed 43.5 lbs (front) and 52.6 lbs (rear) each. Our goal will be to offer wheels in this range - and possibly even lighter.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dave Wins Again!

Congratulations to our ride & handling engineer, Dave Thilenius, for another 1st-place finish in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in his #74 Compas360 Honda Civic Si! Dave and his co-driver, Lawson Aschenbach, extended their ST class championship lead to 13 points with the win at Watkins Glen in upstate NY. You can watch the exciting race when it's broadcast on Speed Channel June 13 @ 1:00 PM Eastern (check your local listing).

Dave & Lawson will look to stretch that lead further on June 19 when GRAND-AM heads to Mid-Ohio. Good luck, gents!