Lotus... they do have a laugh don't they?! They've got the keys to the toy factory and it feels like Christmas. The Elise has proved one of the greatest cars of the century with handling that can keep it up with supercars. So what did the chief toy maker want to do next? Many companies would have taken the extremely basic car and made a more civilised car with carpets and a roof. The Elise GL... mmm... like it... (VX220?!)

Track Day Friendly

Not Lotus, they took the Elise and made it more extreme with the 340R. They appear to have built one of the best toys money can buy. Even lighter than the Elise with an uprated engine, a touch of the most radical styling yet seen on a production car and beefed up engine too. Not only that, they've realised that the first thing an owner will want to do is to get it on a race track and find the true potential. This is the first production track day car.

So what have they done to make it track day friendly?

Brakes

The brakes are cross drilled, vented and 282mm in diameter. Racing hoses, Pagid brake pads, racing brake fluid and AP Racing opposed piston callipers will bring the car to a rapid halt.

Wheels & Tyres

Tyres aren't skimped on either. The 340R is fitted with super-sticky road/race rubber compound Yokohama A038R Tyres, with a highly distinctive tread pattern. The wheels are secured with racing style centre locks and Lotus even supply the torque wrench to get them back on at the correct tolerances. Adjustable shocks come as standard.

Power

The engine's sound insulating cover can be removed and if the ever more ridiculous noise regulations allow, the catalytic converter can be removed. A replacement ECU is then slotted in and power is up from 177bhp to 190bhp. In a car weighing 568kg, that's a serious number of horses. 60mph can be reached in a mere four seconds.

Cockpit

In the cabin a race-spec quick-release steering wheel and race harness adapter kit are available as part of the 'track pack'. There's a Stack race rev-counter with shift lamps and lap timing facilities, altough that would of course invalidate track day insurance...

 

Type Approval

A number of changes had to be made to the car since its debut last year. Type approval has required the following alterations and improvements:

  • A larger front grille aperture for improved cooling - it incorporates a pair of driving lamps.
  • The lower front bib spoiler has been broadened to form an aerodynamic wing; via vertical struts at its outer extremities; it is linked to a pair of F1-style 'winglets' which protrude either side of the nose-section above it.
  • A taller, more aerodynamically-shaped rear wing is fitted for highspeed stability and downforce.
  • The radiator ducts on the upper surface of the nose are deeper, for superior cooling.
  • Front and rear mudguards are longer for improved spray suppression and protection from stone chips.
  • The flanks are reprofiled and the side air-ducts altered for improved engine bay cooling.
  • The exhaust system is re-routed and redesigned.
  • The engine is now encased with a removable sound-insulated rear shield panel, to comply with noise regulations.
  • Revised rear lamp clusters, together with high-level brake lamp incorporated into the rear bodywork and rear fog lamp set into engine's grille shield.
  • Special Lotus-designed race-style seats.
  • Restyled facia and instruments. Unique magnesium wheels with F1 style centre lock system. 

Specifications

Engine: 4 cylinder in-line, 1.8 mid-mounted water-cooled engine with Lotus developed engine management system. Double overhead cmshafts with mechanical tappets. Electronic multi-point injection.
Performance (estimated): Maximum Power: 170bhp @ 7800 RPM
Maximum speed: 130 mph
0-60 mph: 4.3 seconds
Transmission: 5 speed transaxle driving rear wheels, close ratio gearbox
Body: Composite body panels with detachable clamshell with 2 radiator entry panels for battery and brake fluid and removable engine cover.
Chassis: Lotus-designed spaceframe structure of epoxy-bonded sections of aluminium extrusions incorporating Safety Devices speedster bar.
Suspension: Independent upper and lower wishbones, co-axial Eibach springs and adjustable platform KONI racing dampers.
Steering: Titan motorsport rack & pinion, non power assisted.
Wheels: Tecnomagnesion magnesium 10-spoke design specially developed for Lotus with Lotus centre lock system. Front: 6 x 15J, rear: 8 x 16J.
Tyres: Unique YOKOHAMA tyres, tested and developed with Lotus. A038 Front:195/50 ZR 15, rear: 225/45 ZR16.
Brakes: 282mm diameter cast iron ventilated cross-drilled discs. Non-servo split hydraulic system. AP Racing opposed piston calipers.
Exhaust: Lotus styled, JanSpeed developed exhaust with ceramic coated tubular manifold, rear silencer with needlemat/carbon cover.
Windscreen: Quick demist heated front screen.
Lighting:  High performance lamps, pre-focus Wipac dip modular assemblies - main beams in lower spoiler.
Instrumentation: Motorsport technology Stack digital instrumentation including speedo with LCD message display and tacho with sport shift lamp (tacho is interchangeable with optional race tacho).
Unladen weight: Road <600kg, Race 568kg.
Dimensions: Wheelbase: 2300mm, front track: 1448mm, rear track: 1470mm.
Fuel: Fuel tank capacity 40l/8.8gal, fuel grade 95 RON minimum.
Standard equipment: 4-point competition harness, competition style seats, immobiliser, Stack race dial instrumentation, battery trickle charge socket.
Track pack: CAT replacement, 190 bhp exchange ECM, titanium exhaust exit pipes, inlet camshaft pulley, 5-point harness kit, Pagid brake pads, racing brake hoses, racing brake fluid, Stack race tacho incorporating timer and multiple stage shift lamps, race battery.
Accessories: RAC race petty bar, fire extinguisher, oil cooler kit, close ratio straight cut gear set, racing damper kit, battery trickle charger, lightweight race battery, 5-point harness kit, Stack race data tacho, removable quick release steering wheelLotus centre-lock system socket, Lotus centre-lock torque wrench.