Friday 10th August 2001


PTP 165 ELISE

PTP165 upgrade kit tested

The echo that can be heard from Elise owners is of course, how to get more power? Depending how extreme you want to get there are of course the more expensive options such as the Turbo-Technics' supercharger conversions, but what's available at less expense? A whole range of options! Therein lies the problem for the enthusiastic owner looking for more power, but not looking to spend weeks and weeks researching the options and implications.

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That's where Power Train Projects have stepped in. Not only have they come up with the power hike desired, they've gone to the trouble to package it sensibly. Order a 165 kit from PTP and they'll send you a nice box o' bits, complete with fitting instructions. If it's not in the box then you don't need it. If you're handy with a spanner, it's a conversion that you can complete yourself, or just deliver your Elise with said box to your local specialist and they'll do the business for you.

Proof of the pudding...

What's it like in practice? Well PTP may be playing games with the numbers a little with the 165 demonstrator car achieving 165PS (just over 162bhp) only after the addition of a Janspeed performance exhaust, sports catalyst and ITG performance induction system. That said, it's a car capable of an indicated 145mph and provides the Elise with that extra glob of torque (140lbft) that makes climbing through the rev range a pleasing experience rather than a disappointing one.

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Driving the PTP powered Elise could almost be described as an unremarkable experience - the conversion has no perceivable foibles and you are soon lost in enjoyment whilst looking for the chinks in its armour. The power delivery is smooth and doesn't surge at any one point, nor does it drop off. It's more torquey than a standard 1.8, but it's no V8. Don't expect to pull away from standstill in fourth gear, but do expect a constant supply of torque as you slot your way up the gears, right up to 7,300rpm. Mid and high range improvements haven't come at the cost of low end driveability either.

You can never have enough power, but 160+ bhp in an Elise does at least go some way to unleashing the potential of the car, particularly on a track. Coupled with the passive nature of the conversion that won't adversely affect tootling around town, it's a very sensible option. Coming complete with a parts warranty it does make for a particularly painless upgrade path.

Demos near you

Elise owners considering a power hike will be getting the chance to try PTP's demonstrator out as they'll be taking it around track days and Fish and Chip runs etc, to give owners hands on opportunities. Aside from the sensible packaging, it seems that PTP are taking a sensible approach to marketing the product too. A well balanced package from a company with a well balanced approach it would seem.

Link: www.ptp-ltd.co.uk

For a test drive in the demonstrator contact Simon Watts on +44 1455 622229 or email simonwatts@ptp-ltd.co.uk

Who are PTP?

PTP is a subsidiary of Trinity Motors, franchised dealers in Land Rover, MG Rover and others.

Since the early 90's PTP have worked closely with Rover Group and more recently with Caterham, Westfield, TVR and Morgan.

Projects have included Lotus 135 Sport Kits, 340R engines and gearbox, Exige engines and gearbox as well as the Caterham Superlight R engine. They've even squeezed 220bhp out of the 1.8 litre Rover K series.

With an annual turnover of nearly 10million, this is no back street operation either.

What's in the kit?

The core of the 165 package is the brand new cylinder head, based on that used in the VHPD engine but tuned for optimum combustion efficiency. New camshafts are provided and a new EFI unit to remap the engine parameters. PTP also recommend a manual timing belt tensioner.

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Importantly it meets UK SVA/MOT legislative requirements regarding emissions, something often forgotten when evaluating upgrades.

The 165 Performance Cylinder Head kit is 2499 (ex VAT). See the PTP website for a complete list of components included.

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