Engine Upgrades.......

My car is a standard 177, but I want to get more engine output. I’ve spoken to a dealer about fitting the 190 kit - Cost �433 +VAT and fitting a Sports exhaust, �300 + VAT all plus about �400, days labour. - I then to speak to Dave Andrews who quite rightly tells me that the 190 kit is pricey, and that he’s seen some upgrades that have’nt been finished correctly, ie timmings.

Dave’s upgrades total just over �2k, but with alot of engine modifications - End result aim 225bhp!

Anyone any experience of DVA? (Seems to know his stuff)

Am I going down the right route?

Any advice from any Exige engineers greatly appreciated!


Hi Dominic,
within the last two weeks I’ve had the 190 kit fitted to my car.As a sports exhaust was already fitted,my package came with everything less the exhaust and cost about �750 fitted.The kit did provide a 10 bhp gain at the wheels(177 std to 192 with upgrade, at the crank),verified on a rolling road.To be honest,for that sort of money I’d personally say that it’s not a must have.I think you either need to be an extremely competant driver or use the car daily to fully apreciate the gain.However,as with most things, money calls the shots and this was the most accepted upgrade I could get for my cash.Yes,the Dave Andrews route would be fantastic and he seems to have a great reputation,but financially I’m just not in that league.Ultimately,these things are so subjective only you can really decide!One thing I would say is that the car is definately lumpier at low speed with the 190 kit…this may or may not bother you!
Hope this info helps you,SI.

Hi Dominic,
Have a look at my website www.myexige.co.uk as this details the upgrades i have carried out.

What sort of spec was discussed as 225BHP almost certainly means a 8500 - 9000 rpm engine !!!


Nice site! When I spoke to Dave Andrews he mentioned Steve Butts’s car and then went on to tell me the spec!..He mentioned lots inc Porting the head, larger valves, Piper cams, verniers, Emerald M3D…the list went on, but the thing I liked was possible 225BHP

Im waiting for Dave to confirm prices via mail, and If there sensible then I’ll look to him to do the work. I’ve also looked at the TT260, but at �9,500+VAT Dave’s is bloody good value!

I hope he can fit me in asap so I can enjoy these dry roads!


Please note that LOTS of K series engines have been done the same way as Steve’s but NONE that i know of have ever matched his power or torque figure.
Anywhere between 210 to 220 is a more realist figure but its the drivability of the conversion thats makes it worthwhile and also be prepared for the extra costs in maintainance, that power increase will wear things out quicker than normal.
Oh it will be more economical too !!

Be prepared for a long wait to get it done

Good luck

Cheers Phil!

What wears out quicker?..nothing engine wise I hope!?

Extra maintainance? On my Elise and now this Exige I change the Oil and filters every 2.5Kmiles or sooner if its a Sunday and its raining and Im bored!!! (SAD!)

Is Dave that busy then?

Performance wise, where’s the power?


I have just had the first stage of Dave’s conversion done,i.e. an Emerald and Verniers and am booked in for the porting, bigger valves and cams. I can honestly say that I have been very impressed so far, even though the Emerald has basically only been loaded with a bog standard map from the range supplied. The car is much livelier, and there is a lot more grunt lower down in the gears, so you don’t drop out of the power band when changing up…

Note also that my 190 upgrade had been fitted incorrectly, using the original lobe of the inlet cam pulley, instead of the newly machined one that Lotus cut on the replacement pulley. (I have this on video !!)

I also have an appointment to finish it off at Emerald…

Yes, it will wear out faster, but we are all doing that anyway, so why not enjoy it!!!

In hindsiight I would have gone for an upgrade that Dave Andrews is offering, by comparison the 190 upgrade as not very good value for Money as it does not really adrress some of the weaknesess in the Set up for the Exige. IMHO there are 2 areas that let the set-up down, sluggish throtle response at antything below 5000rpm, and badly matched gear ratios for the engine torque delivery (UCR box can fix the latter), but if you can get a good fix with a more power at less than the price ofthe UCR thats definately the way to go.

There is absolutely no excuse for anything other than super crisp throtle response with mordern ECU’s I don’t think the problems with the Lotus engineers but the ECU is a typicall Lotus over compromise.

I am scheduled to have an Emerald fitted in August, and will need to get round to all the other upgrades later Throtle bodies etc… it will be intresting to see what differnce the ECU makes on its own.

Cheers Phil!

What wears out quicker?..nothing engine wise I hope!?

Extra maintainance? On my Elise and now this Exige I change the Oil and filters every 2.5Kmiles or sooner if its a Sunday and its raining and Im bored!!! (SAD!)

If you get to 200+bhp, then the big ends will not last for 100K miles etc.

realistically it depends on how it’s used, but I would suggest that with ‘normal’ use and occational trackdays, you would need to have them looked at every 10-15K.

Mine last ~3K of track-only use.