Well it has a been a few years since we attempted to develop a more comprehensive fix to the Achilles's heel of the Lotus: its shifter mechanism. We have made some nice improvements to various components within the shifter and sell them as our SMOOTHoperator but the weak, flexy shifter mechanism really needs a redesign. Earlier attempts with partners and internal reinforcements just did not get commercialized for various reasons. We even offered, for a split second, a sequential shifter mechanism from Ikeya Formula - which proved to be too hard to adjust.
Mitch, a previous engineer of ours, moved back home and started work at B&M Shifters. While here at Sector111, he developed our MRbearings and other goodies. Mitch had also tried to create some boxed in reinforcements that we tested in the Art Car - see above. Unfortunately this did not prove to work within a stock center console. He has now been at B&M for a couple of years and gained some great knowledge about shifter designs and contacted me to see if I was ready to take another shot at a shifter. Naturally I said yes with the condition that it must bolt into the car and fit within the stock center console. We are trying to keep the price under $500 but I have told him to use the best materials and components to ensure the feel is the best it can be within the physical constraints of the console.
Our first step was to get a stock mechanism measured. Mitch placed it into a Coordinate Measurement Machine and defined all the critical measurements. See pix below.
We debated some creative new cable routing ideas but came back to the need to keep it a benign mod that would allow the owner to return to stock if required. We will test out the shifter in our Elise and keep you updated.