Much has been said about the Honda/VTEC conversion for the Elise/Exige recently. This Saturday I was in the fortunate position to have an open airfield, and the keys to the BLiNK Motorsport converted Elise, fitted with a standard Honda VTEC, putting out around 200bhp.
I’m technically inept, so looking under the boot/bonnet was no more than a “ooh look, there’s an engine in there” exercise, but it all seemed to be put together properly.
As the car runs on standard suspension, with super grippy tyres up front and hard tyres at the rear it wouldn’t be fair to comment on the cars handling, as that has little to do with the conversion. Suffice to say, it spins well
As far as straight line performance goes, it’s a very quick car, definitely faster than a 190bhp VHPD Exige, with more torque on hand (anyone know how they compare on paper ? )
Along the back straight, whatever the gear, the car just pulled and pulled. It could almost make you lazy, after being used to matching revs/gears to wring the most out of a VHPD 190.
I think the beauty of the conversion is it’s simplicity… OK, so you have some jiggery pokery to get the lump into the engine bay, but the engine itself is left stock and the VTEC lump is lengendary for it’s bomb-proofness (is that a word?), something that can’t be said about the K-series.
For those who have experienced K-series rebuilds, HGFs, oil seal problems, the thought of an utterly reliable, and more torquey engine would seem like a dream come true.
If outright power is your goal, then you could consider a tuned VTEC, but that’s going to cost more, and a question mark over engine longevity is raised… or, you could get a TT260 conversion, which is cheaper but has the same reliability issues (though mine has run solid for a year now).
As a way of getting a good hike in power PLUS gaining super reliability, the BLiNK conversion gets the thumbs up !
Is it faster than my TT260 ? No
Would I recommend the BLiNK conversion ? Most definitely