2007 Lotus 2-Eleven

Hi Everyone, time for a new thread. In many ways this will be a logical continuation of my Exige thread posted here: https://www.exiges.com/viewtopic.php?t=21019

Small bit of backstory for anybody unaware, but I’ve owned/modified and tracked a 2006 Lotus Exige for the past few years. Learned some lessons, ignored others - but had a blast along the way. I feel like I hit a bit of a modification ceiling with it after running into gearbox reliability issues despite spending the cash on all of the right parts to prevent it. As such, the only logical thing to do was to buy another car with the exact same engine and gearbox and start over again…

I’ll probably reference “the Exige” throughout this thread but I’ll try to give context where appropriate.

On the day my gearbox failed, there was a Lotus 2-Eleven in attendance. I’ve always admired them from afar, never showing enough interest to learn much about them but they’ve always been a “I wish I could justify one of those” cars.

I should have taken a closer look at it, and I regretted not asking for a ride in it but I was busy sulking.

In the days and weeks that followed, the Exige got fixed and did a rather successful trackday at Croft but my mind was already wandering. I looked at newer V6 Exiges, considered buying an older rover engine car and embarking on a Honda built and considered sticking an order in at Caterham… but the 2-Eleven persisted.

New thread rule, it’s now called a 211. I don’t have all day to keep typing out 2-Eleven. The 211 on the face of it is an Elise/Exige without a roof or glass, but as usual with Lotus when you dig into it some more subtle differences shine through.
They did both an NA (192bhp) and SC (255, later upgraded to 260) model and I would be looking for a 260 one. Considering I ran my Exige at 300bhp for the last few months, it would be a bit of a power downgrade, but in exchange for saving approx. 200kg. That would put power to weight ratio in excess of my Exige, but with an aero penalty at higher speeds and better performance on the brakes.
The geometry is subtly different allowing it to run much lower than an Exige/Elise, and by all accounts it has a bit of ‘real’ aero, even more so with the GT4 upgrades that the Cadwell car had. The cars also came with some goodies, namely an Accusump and 2-way Ohlins dampers. Better oil surge protection and 2-way dampers were both on my roadmap for the Exige.

They don’t come up for sale too often, but I kept half an eye out. I’m not a huge lover of the launch livery cars, I’m a paint not sticker sort of guy so when this one came up, it got me very interested.

Ad photo:

It is a launch car, at #50 I believe it makes it the last launch car that they did. I’ve not fully geeked out on the launch vs non-launch versions yet but I’m already learning that every car seems to have a different combination of parts-bin bits on it.

I’m a stickler for not engaging with a car seller until I’ve pretty much already decided to buy it, but after a few days of weighing things up I engaged with the seller, let’s call him G.

G was exactly what I’ve come to expect from a private Lotus seller over the years, willing to talk about the car properly, stopped at nothing to share photos, videos, answered any questions and left nothing to chance. G was probably over-honest with the cars’ issues, typically the aesthetic ones which looked much less dramatic in the flesh. More on that later.

A week or two passed, the odd conversation here and there but I was deep into thought and I was a bit distracted by getting the Exige ready for Croft.

Croft was a great day for closure, the car felt great and needed no post-trackday fettling, it just worked. I had the opportunity to drive a V6 car while I was there, and though it was fantastic - it made my mind up, I had to tick the “lightweight” box before I moved on and up.

After making my mind up, the next challenge was to be logistics. G was way up in Scotland, proper Scotland too. Closer to the North Pole than home.

I looked into some covered car transport companies and had a couple that gave me confidence that they could cater for the rideheight and stuff like that. Price wasn’t bad, considering - but I had this little mental gremlin telling me it would be a good idea to go get it and drive it back… so we lined up a decent weather forecast and I went for it.

G would not take a penny up front, but he offered first refusal and even took the 211 sale ad down until I came to view it. Top bloke.

Train was to be Friday night after work, nice 5 hour ride up with no changes for £70. Nice! Obviously I had to make it dramatic, I’d double booked myself to take the missus and some colleagues into York for a night out, and they couldn’t leave later than 5pm due to finishing work etc. That gave me 56mins to drive into York, park (on a driveway a mile from the station) and then run (sprint!) to the station in time for the train. I made it by minutes, utterly knackered, sweaty, coughing my collapsed lung up. Right mess. Poor lass I was sat next to must have been gutted.

Saw some pretty sights on the way up, and ate an onion bhaji in a naan bread.

I arrived just before midnight, hotel right across the road. Had dinner and then slept.

Obviously after the drama and close call of the day before, I slept in and missed my train. The sleep in wasn’t fatal, but standing at the wrong platform as my train left was.

Luckily the small commuter train out to G’s town was regular, so I had a quick coffee and started mentally preparing for what was to come.

After a short 20min hop, I met G at the station and off we went to see the car.

The car was exactly as described, so the rest was a formality. There were a couple of ‘issues’ with the car which we had discussed up front, but G was very descriptive so there were no nasty surprises.

The first up is a bodywork issue, this particular car was resprayed to Lotus Solar Yellow some years ago (Prior to G) and it is a fantastic paint job but the rear clam had developed some small cracks coming from the apertures where the spoiler uprights come out of. At a later date, the car had been reversed into a solid object and the following repair involved a replacement rear clam/transom which was again painted in solar yellow. Some months later, the cracks returned…

Whether it’s a fitment issue, something misaligned on the spoiler uprights or maybe it’s just a “211 thing”, the body clams are particularly thin and lightweight, so maybe it’s just something to live with. They’re very small cracks and if they don’t grow, I’ll be in no rush to resolve. There’s similar again in the front clam in a couple of spots, but again from 4 feet away you’d never really know. They looked FAR worse in the photos.

The next issue was the gear shift (I know I know, gearboxes are boring now). It is just so vague and wobbly, it’s a million miles away from my Exige. I had done some forum trawling and found some posts from an ex-ex owner who had even invested in a LETSLA adjustable linkage (gearbox end) to try and remedy. I considered one of these for my Exige because of the bling factor, so at least I get one to play with now. It’s clear that the shift had never been great, and past owners had tolerated it. It needs fixing.

Aside from that, there really wasn’t anything to complain about. The aero screen has some weird UV damage in it, but G provided a brand new still in packaging replacement. The car also came with a spare set of 2-way Ohlins. Removed from the car when due a refurb and replaced with brand new ones.

I checked over a couple of things, the operation of the Accusump being one and I wasn’t convinced it was working properly but to be honest, neither of us knew what we were looking at. More on that later.

The car had a couple of modifications, some known to G and some not. Some nice boxes ticked though and less for me to do later:

  • LETSLA linkage
  • Alloy triple pass radiator
  • Engine Mount inserts (stiffer, had on my Exige - very good)
  • Removable steering wheel boss w/ Momo flat bottomed wheel
  • Pretty much PPF’d everywhere of importance. Paint is absolutely gorgeous as a result (aside from the aforementioned cracks)
  • Brooklands aero screen added to the Lotus one
  • Spitfire toelinks
  • Lotus ‘race’ exhaust backbox

Service history is comprehensive as you’d expect. Looked after by main dealers in general throughout its life.

Short test drive was a formality, I didn’t kick its head in until after I bought it.

With the deal done, we packed up the spares and my luggage the best we could (no boot!) and I was gone.

Thanks again G, pleasure dealing with you.

I predict this is going to be a fun thread.

Car is going to be ballistic I am sure.

My route home had been a collaborative effort with a number of ‘good roads’ incorporated but a few opportunities to bail out and just ‘get home’ depending on weather/how the car was/how I was, etc.

I’ve blanked out the first leg, just to give G a bit of privacy. He’s a celebrity now.

First leg was a fantastic one, after half hour or so I was into the Cairngorms and the traffic was light, roads flowing and car was getting a fine introduction. Initial impressions of the car were all power related as I was a bit concerned that it would feel a bit tame compared to the Exige at full tilt. I was wrong, it was great. Different power delivery to the Exige though, my aftermarket ECU on the Exige had eliminated a bit of a torque slump in the midrange and it feels punchier but the 211 just propels forward seemingly on a cloud. No big push in the back, but surges towards terrifying speeds in no time at all. The exhaust sounds angry, really really angry compared to the Exige. It’s barking away at every slight lift or shift, crackling when coasting into a village or speedlimit.

Unlike the Exige the SC is barely audible, which is a great relief. I’ve always been irritated by SC whine, it goes right through me. At least now I’m being deafened by something else.

It was soon time for a first stop

I decided to take the brookland screen off and see how I got on. Turns out, not very well. In less than half a mile later I had to pull over as my new ballistic shades were threatening to be ejected.

They do have a strap, which I usefully left at home.

I decided to try with my crash helmet for a bit which was OK, but the weather was nice and I wanted to be back out in it so I pulled over in a scenic spot and got the screen back on. I’d continue with that until I got home, ace.

I used this break to take a couple of notes about first impressions, because they’re quickly lost:

  • Car feels fast
  • Splitter catches on almost everything, it’s silly low
  • Brakes are astonishing, not really leaned on them yet but they don’t have the ‘slop’ at the top of the pedal which I’ve experienced on every other S2 I’ve ever driven. Must be some subtle differences in the pedal box, surely. There’s a much more positive bite in the first part of application, that might just be pad compound though.
  • Dampers feel fine so far, it’s a bit stiff on high speed compression but no worse than the Exige is. No idea how dampers are set at this point.
  • Steering feels fast. The rack as far as I’m aware is same as the Exige, but there’s no delay at all to inputs - it just darts around all over the place
  • Engine felt a bit flat immediately after the fuel stop, heat soak? It was fine a few miles down the road.

After this stop, it dawned on me that I was already woefully behind schedule so I got the hammer down for the next couple of hours. Some great roads, bit of motorway thrown in but eventually stopped for lunch just South of Edinburgh.

I ate lunch just laying on the grass taking in some of the details on the car. It’s a fantastic looking thing to my eye, so many details on it which you maybe don’t take in on the first or second time of asking, and it all looks believably functional.

The next leg was a bit of a bore, just some motorway bashing to get back into England. Car with the added screen is surprisingly ‘comfortable’ even at motorway speeds, I was expecting to be helmetted up for these stints. I stopped at Gretna Green for a pee break, it was 17:00 already and I was getting irrationally concerned of driving in the dark, I wasn’t even sure this thing had lights. (it did).

Into England, over on the West side I then had a great run over the Pennines to do, it was cooling off around now but still comfortable enough in shorts and t-shirt. The blast over the 'nines was great but the splitter was getting a proper battering here. I’d probably kissed the ground over 100 times already and I’m amazed there was anything left.

One last photo stop and then onto the A1 for the last boring hour back home.

I pulled into the driveway at 8pm, 10 hours and 400miles after I set off. Ace :mrgreen:

The garage is a bit of a squeeze, and put to bed any sort of hope that I could keep both cars for a while. I’ll tidy some things up on the Exige, put it largely back to standard (I’ll leave the hard to remove bits on it!) and then stick it on the market. It’s been a fantastic car, still way above my skill level but once you have an itch… it’s time to scratch.

Following collection day, I had to repay some family-time credits so we had a day out in York, partially to repatriate my daily which had been abandoned there since Friday. On Sunday evening though I finally got to go have a tinker, so I experimented with some GoPro/External Mic positions and also had a look at the Accusump.

There are two main things to address on a 2ZZ engine Lotus if taking on track, one is the uprated toelinks for the rear suspension (already done) and the other is some measures to prevent oil starvation. This car I suspected had a standard sump (from what I could see/feel) and there was no evidence of a baffled item in the service/invoice history. It did however have the factory installed Accusump, but they’re almost never working on cars if you just don’t pay them any attention.

The Accusump was holding 80 odd pounds of pressure with the car switched off, which is about right - startup oil pressure plus air precharge. What should happen when powering up the car is that the accusump detects low/no pressure (because engine isn’t running) so it triggers the valve solenoid and dumps the full cylinder into the engine to pre-lube the bearings before startup. This bit wasn’t happening.

This means under a high G-force on track, the accusump would happily sit there with 80psi in it and offer no assistance to the engine as it seized itself to bits. Definitely needed to fix this to keep me protected until I get a sump sorted.

I suspected the oil pressure switch on the accusump, so I did a quick test to bypass it and immediately the accusump discharged. Excellent - should be a quick fix. I did a Google to see if I could find a part number or parts supplier for one who could deliver ASAP. Oh yeah, did I mention? I had a trackday booked the following day :laughing:

Turns out, good old [email protected] seriouslylotus was at the top of the Google list. Dave had kindly agreed to give my “Exige” a quick pre-Donington spanner check on Monday morning because “I’d not had time to look at it myself”. When I turned up in the 211 it was a bit of a surprise, followed by a bit of ridicule, followed by some excellent advice and guidance as always. They did make me settle my Exige bill before I started up a new one though :mrgreen:

Dave and John went back to front on the 211 just checking for anything that needed urgently addressing prior to taking it on track. It was good to see the car up in the air for a proper inspection, and start coming up with the job list.

All four corners felt fine, no undue play, knocking or banging. Wishbones have been refurbished at least once, but probably not far off needing doing again. Uprights haven’t been done so they still have the original North Sea Shipwreck aesthetic.

Engine bay was very much unmolested, clean of all the extra tat my Exige carries such as sound deadening and heater plumbing makes it seem a much nicer car to work on. What did hurt to see though was all of the brackets, fixings and trinkets that have been meticulously cleaned up, blasted or painted on my Exige. Hundreds of garage hours making my Exige engine bay look spotless from either the top or the bottom and I’m going to have to do it all again. Oh well - I can’t wait :slight_smile:

The car has clearly been well serviced, all the bits done on time when needed - but nothing extra. Nothing that didn’t need doing has been done, if that makes sense. My Exige is the complete opposite, I do stuff that never should have been touched. Few small examples of this on the 211 are oil weeps that are really quite normal on any car of this age - don’t NEED sorting, but they will of course be sorted.

John did a few sanity checks on the Accusump, then came to the same conclusion as me - the switch was dead. Dave tends to have everything he advertises on the shelf, it really is a powerful asset when you’re troubleshooting issues and he’s bailed me out of problems many times thanks to this constant availability of bits. Out came a replacement switch, and bing - Accusump is back online.

Now that I know what to expect on the gauge, I can keep a closer eye on this. At least until the sump is swapped, this will be my engine-saver.

Up to the front of the car we turned attention to the front splitter. It was… seasoned.

We found that it wasn’t supported quite properly, a rather inadequate bracket had sheared off allowing the splitter to almost certainly droop under aero load, further decreasing rideheight.

Always nice when Dave eases you into a new car gently by grinding it.

Dave popped next door and got a new bracket fabbed up. I need to come back and paint/rust treat this as soon as I get the Exige off the ramp at home.

The oil cooler link pipe you can see also needed a slight fettle to stop it rubbing on the bodywork.

With the splitter back on, there was an immediate benefit that we could now slide the 4 post ramp crossbeam under it without lifting up the car first. We couldn’t before.

With the car signed off for track action, I headed off home - very grateful that my “half an hour to check the Exige over” turned into 4 hours of grinding, banging and fixing. Dave and John would be attending Donington that evening as support, so at least I’d have somebody to keep an eye on me…

Some other bits that I did are swapping my Exige steering wheel in. Both suede wheels needed a good clean and came up a treat, as new in fact. I have an S2 OE wheel somewhere too so plenty of choice.

The round, slightly smaller Exige wheel is more to my taste.

I also removed and checked the large breather pipe on the front side of the 2ZZ. Evidence of oil weepage below it. There’s an oil control valve solenoid thing just below it as part of the cam timing stuff, so it could be that which has sprayed up - but upon removal this gasket was soaked, so I’m going to get a replacement in there just to rule it out.

Final job was a damper audit.

I’m a bit of a geek, and my interest in such settings way outstrips my driving ability or ability to get the most out of them. The “road” and “track” settings are as defined in the service manual. Purple are the settings I collected the car with, and orange are the settings I’d run for Donington.

:thumbup: Loving this already!

That’s not grinding. That’s just a gentle fettling! :thumbup:

Looking forward to enjoying the journey. A little more time next time around though!

What are you using to clean the steering wheel up Fonzey ?

Very diluted fairy liquid and warm water with a gentle brush. There’s almost certainly better products for it but they tend to come up like new, just feel a bit crusty for a day or two like a towel fresh out of the wash :mrgreen:

Ditto :thumbup:

:clap::clap::clap:

AWESOME :+1:t2:


Congrats! Thanks for making the big write up - so enjoable to read!


What a machine. You are going to have a lot of fun with it! Nice garage you have too.

Is this yellow 211 ‘Big Bird’ to my red 340R ‘Elmo’? :smiley::sunglasses:

Brilliant write-up. I agree re appearance of the car. I prefer ‘em plain. And yellow is obviously thes best colour of all. Looking forward to following this :+1:

Thanks all, can’t believe how well received the car is. Either that or you’re all just being polite. I always considered it a bit of a marmite car.

Following the healthcheck with John and Dave, I took the car home in the midday sun… all 38degrees of it. It was brutal, but survivable, just.

Since the accusump now had a clean bill of health I had a bit of confidence sticking on my sticky tyres. I’ve used Nankang AR1 for my last trackday or two on the Exige and they’ve been incredible. My ‘track wheels’ on the Exige are a set of rather nice 240R forged alloys which I bought to go alongside the OE wheels (which are my Exige road wheels) and as luck would have it, the 240R wheel is standard on the 211 so I now have two sets :slight_smile: I had the Exige wheels painted shadow chrome recently which Laser blue really pulled off, so still deciding if it works on yellow or not.

It’s my favourite S2 wheel bar one (the 2009 260 Cup wheels with the 10x spokes hold the top spot for me).

With the wheels swapped over, it was time for a cold shower and start mentally preparing for the ~80min drive to Donington in what has been the hottest day I can remember.

Kitted up with a few icepacks (you don’t want to know where one of them went), a baseball cap cabletied to my now-strapped ballistic goggles and more water than I knew what to do with… I was off.

It was rather uncomfortable but the miles soon melted away and before I knew it I was 20mins away and ready for a fuel top up for the night. I paid £2.18(!!!) for vpower and decided to get my money worth by sitting in the AC for 20mins or so…

Fuel at the circuit turned out to be £2.05, a bloody bargain.

Upon arrival we had a bit of downtime before we could get into the paddock, so I broke out the included shower cap to try and keep the cockpit cool. Pretty nice cover, fits well and isn’t much of a faff.

I was attending with friends Simon and Chris. Chris was having a shakedown trackday in his recently Honda converted S1.

Stunning attention to detail on the conversion, could eat your dinner out of the engine bay and it’s been a pleasure to follow his journey along over the last 6 months or so. Car will be a serious bit of kit once he dials into it a bit, I guess gaining 100bhp is a bit off-putting initially :smiley:

It was a sessioned day with Lotus on Track and MSVT alternating track time. It’s a really good setup (usually) as it lets you run an expensive circuit for an affordable couple of hours and I usually end up with more track time when I’m on the clock. When left to my own devices on an open pit evening I tend to waste most of it nattering…

I was absolutely thrilled to see that James Roberts (photographer) was in attendance. He does some LoT days but often doesn’t get a look in at MSVT events. In my opinion he is the best trackday photographer doing the rounds right now, he has a real eye for cars and some of the shots he captures are fantastic. The Anglesey photo he got of my Exige last year is a particular favourite.

The format got a bit muddled up, LoT have since handled it brilliantly but it seems like a few communication mishaps between MSVT, the circuit and LoT meant that we effectively lost a session which was disappointing, but in hindsight it was far too hot to be lapping anyway. Finishing early probably saved a car or two…

The sighting laps went without mishap, just trying to get a feel for anything and see if anything would fall off. All good.

First set of hot laps and the car immediately felt slow in a straight line, not just a “it might just be in my head” bit slow, but a “is this car even supercharged?” slow. I knew what to expect from the S2 OE Intercooler setup, and I spent a lot of time and money in the early phases of Exige ownership putting this right (ultimately ending in an air to water chargecooler) so I was ready for it. The conditions were exceptional, but the intercooler was just completely overwhelmed. After coming into the pits, the IC inlet and outlet external temperatures were pretty much the same.

That said, the ECU did its job - pulled a shed load of timing and added a bit of fuel and allowed me to lap safely and reliably. Just slowly! I wouldn’t be surprised if the car was barely making 200bhp that evening.

While we’re on the bad news chapter, the gearbox shift went from ‘moderately annoying’ on the road, to ‘borderline undriveable’ on the track. I had to effectively pretend 2nd gear didn’t exist and even navigating between 3, 4 and 5 was a challenge. This is firing straight up the top of the to-do list.

The final bad bit was the rear number plate. G warned me it would melt, SeriouslyLotus warned me it would melt, I knew it would melt. Did I take it off? Did I balls

Car looks pretty mean without rear plate though.

The only other niggle was GoPro performance, it just decided it didn’t like the heat. Annoying as I’d spent a bit of time figuring out external mic positions and stuff like that, but only got a couple of scrappy clips between mic failures or camera failures.

Right, onto the good stuff!

The car turns in like nothing I’ve ever driven before. Just when you start to get comfortable with the thought of “it’s just like an Exige”, you twitch the wheel and the car doesn’t even think about asking twice - it just dives in. I didn’t know it at the time, but through countless iterations of geometry, damper settings and spring weights on the Exige - THIS is what I’ve been looking for.

There’s no sense of overcoming inertia when turning in or direction changes, it just immediately bite and throws itself in. So much so, it’s almost like driving with a quicker rack and initially I was turning in way, way too early as a result.

In addition to the front end, the rear also complied with everything I could throw at it, short of the odd wobble around the hairpin when off the throttle. Get on the throttle early and it squats down and just has grip for days, but I fully expect this to be a different story when it’s running the advertised power.

Then finally onto the brakes, they should not be allowed. They are so extraordinary I’m not even going to try doing them justice with words. This is probably the area where I lost most time with the car, because I couldn’t wrap my head around how powerful they were and how responsive to pedal input they were. Just slight taps on the pedal was scraping speed off like crazy, and dive on them properly and lean on the ABS would have the harnesses straining to pin me back. Complete and utter cheat-brakes, are not fair for pretty much any other car on the road and should probably be banned.

As far as I’m aware, they’re mechanically identical to the Exige brakes. Same little 2-pot up front and slider at the rear. You could option AP 4-Pots on the front of the 211 (maybe a later car thing?) but I’m honestly not sure what more they can offer, other than looking better. If they increase brake performance even further then I’m not even sure I want to play anymore.

The obvious answer to “why is it so good” has to be the weight, but I think that’s not doing it justice. There must be something else at play… surely. I took a passenger out for what became the final session and he’d been lapping in his S1 Elise, so similar weight and similar brake hardware, albeit missing ABS and Servo. He was utterly gobsmacked at the braking.

Maybe the dampers have to take some credit, I had no complaints with the car balance or body control all evening though I was still a long way from the limits. The car had enough pitch and roll for me to feel the weight transfer in a predictable and controlled way, and you could certainly throw the weight around with the throttle - but I didn’t hear a single scrape, bump or scratch all night. Bodywork clearance is far, far better than on the Exige which eats arch liners whenever you lower them to a decent level. I didn’t have any data logging in the car yet (an area I’m very fond of), but anecdotal evidence puts my Craner Curves minimum speed approx. 10mph higher than that of my Exige. It was pretty much flat with my lack of power, probably less so when it’s on song - but still felt bloody marvellous.

I finished the evening absolutely gutted that we lost a session, the car was just starting to ‘come to me’, but I’m salivating at the thought of my next trackday. Blyton Park mid August, a regular stomping ground and will allow me to really judge the car compared to my Exige. I just hope it’s a bit cooler!

After stopping for food on the way home, I had a lovely cool(ish) blast through the dark to get home. I’m happy to report that the car was back up to its rabid acceleration and power delivery once everything cooled off a bit, assuring me that nothing was broken - it had just got a bit toasty.

A very interesting read.

Do you know the shock specs and also spring rates?

What is the track and wheelbase compared to a S2?

I must say though my brakes on my early s2 are insane. I can shoot water out of the front washer when really standing on them. I wonder if anything is in common parts wise here?

I was at Dony yesterday at there was another plain yellow 211 in the garage next door, Martin Donnelly instructing. Looked great, son report it was brisk. Not yours I assume!

I believe the spring rates are around 450lbs front and 600 rear which puts them very similar to the Nitron Clubsports on my Exige, but of course the car is 200kg lighter so they’re proportionally stiffer. They’re 2-way dampers which gives options for controlling the body somewhat independently of ride quality which may help.

Track and wheelbase are, as far as I’m aware the same as the S2 Exige.

There are some subtle differences, different roll centre config to allow for the obscenely low rideheight (approx 95mm at front jack point vs 120 on my Exige) being the main one.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never had a complaint against the brakes in my Exige and I also squirt washer fluid out when I bother to fill it up :mrgreen: (there’s a non return valve which you can replace to fix that btw). The 211 is just next level.

Not me I’m afraid, a day of instruction with Mr Donnelly would be amazing though!

Adds weight if you have a non return valve.

I feel I need to experience these brakes. I guess as 200kgs is missing is certainly helps.

Useful info above, thanks

I like to write out my early plans for a car, always makes for entertaining reading later down the line when none of it goes to plan.

My Exige was somewhat unfinished business, I got 90% of the way there on a few bits but I had a few things I wanted to see through to the end. The 211 allows me to continue this journey fairly seamless but it does mean stealing some aftermarket parts from it.

Data logging and monitoring is something I get quite addicted to, even if I don’t know what to do with that data. After each trackday in the Exige I’d be pulling three different SD cards full of stuff - it was great.

This was largely facilitated on the Exige by the EMU Black ECU and the ECUMaster ADU Dashboard.

Between these two I could log parameters for pretty much everything the engine was doing, plus some driver performance metrics too via the GPS track logging (where allowed, obviously). I also had goals to add more, TPMS to review tyre warm up, EGT’s to make sure any ignition control such as launch/traction control wasn’t going to melt pistons and a few other bits and pieces were all in the pipeline.

As a passive benefit of running a standalone ECU, you do of course end up gaining power… it’s just one of those things. I’m keen not to blow up more C64 gearboxes than I have to in this car so creeping the power up is not on the agenda. For that reason I’d like for a “phase 1” to keep the ECU out of the car, and just run the dashboard instead. Another reason is that the 211 boasted a fairly trick adjustable TC setup when it first launched, probably old hat now - but I’d like to try it out a bit before sticking the EMU in. The EMU has its own variable TC setup, but it would be tuned by yours truly - and I really don’t think I’d do it justice.

The Lotus CAN stream is very limited on the pre-08 cars, so I’ll only be able to get basics like RPM, Coolant and Speed from it. Anything else will need a sensor connected directly to the ADU. Luckily it has I/O to spare, so there’s no real problem there.

I hope in the next few weeks to have the ADU fitted along with data for:

IAT (will be a new sensor into the boost pipes as the OE sensor data isn’t broadcast over CAN on the Lotus ECU)
Oil Pressure (Sensor taken from the oil filter sandwich plate)
Oil Temp (likely taken from the sump once a new baffled one is fitted)
Gearbox temp (taken from the redundant fill plug which sits just below the fill level)

The GPS addon for the ADU will be configured, which will give me speed (in addition to the VSS I’ll get via CAN) and my track logging stuff for allowable events.

Once I have some data, this will allow me to progress with item #2 on the list. Intake Air Temps.

I’ve been through a lot of this before with the Exige, I added auxiliary ducting, heatshields and all sorts. I made good gains, but not all of those will be applicable to the 211 architecture. Ultimately I went with an A2W chargecooler because I just wanted the best setup I could get. I was really hoping to avoid this on the 211 to stick to its lightweight roots wherever possible, but it may be inevitable.

My plan for now is to log as much IAT data as possible and work on some minor and subtle alterations. I don’t expect to gain much, but if I combine it with more ordinary operating temps (compared to the nigh 40C ambients we had at Dony) it might be enough for me to “live with” A2A intercooling longer term.

Item 3 is the gear shift, it really needs addressing. I don’t know for sure yet, but I suspect it’s an issue with the later ‘blue ball’ shifters that the earlier cars like my Exige were not subject to.

There are cases where this bush arrangement deteriorating has left people completely unable to select gears - so it may become more than just annoying. I’m not sure where to go yet, the replacement gear lever (bush not available on its own) seems to be an obsolete part, and I wouldn’t be too enthusiastic about buying a second hand one. Reverting to the 06 setup might be possible, but again I expect I’d run into supply problems and I don’t fully understand what specifically needs replacing.

There’s been talk of 3D printed/aftermarket solutions, some quite recent - but nothing ever seems to see the light of day unless somebody can correct me.

That’s quickly leaving just the option of an aftermarket shifter mechanism. There are a couple of options now, with more in the pipeline. Getting the exposed shifter from a later Lotus car would be the ideal, but again I’m going to end up scratching around for parts I think - and I’d much rather just get something all in one go, on a quicker timeframe.

I’ll continue research, but I’m open to suggestions.

Final item on the short term list is just tidy tidy tidy. It’s a very well presented car, but I’ll be taking off, cleaning/painting and fixing anything I find along the way. Front splitter is probably front of the queue, maybe with a fabricated replacement for the front ally undertray.

Great car Fonzy and loving the read keep it up.
I can personally recomend the Dolomiti shifer i fitted to my Exige. I went a bit silly fitting the Lotus open gear console etc but its designed to fit behind a std housing or beautiful if you leave exposed.
I can put you in touch with the chap who has mine im sure he will let you try it he is not a million miles from you.
It feels and performs better than the last Lotus geniune shifters.
WhatsApp me if you want Manuel’s number he is a lovelly guy.

As you all probably know/remember, We installed the Lotus open shifter into the Elise eleven project car
The shift after installation was 100% and the best gear change of any 4 cylinder car I have driven (Lots as you can imagine)
We have the change cables in stock to allow a ‘proper install’ as well
When we installed the lever mechanism, the fixing bracket also used the original fixings in the chassis, so no drilling, putting in rivnuts etc etc
Fomzey, If its any help I have the removed lever etc for the Elise, Its the early one with uprated cables, You are welcome to try it in your car

The install pics are in this linkhttps://www.exiges.com/viewtopic.php?t=20895&start=170