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?!)
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?
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
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.
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.
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...
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
- 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
- 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
- The flanks are reprofiled and the side air-ducts altered for improved engine bay
- 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
||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.
||Maximum Power: 170bhp @ 7800 RPM
Maximum speed: 130 mph
0-60 mph: 4.3 seconds
||5 speed transaxle driving rear wheels, close ratio gearbox
||Composite body panels with detachable clamshell with 2 radiator
entry panels for battery and brake fluid and removable engine cover.
||Lotus-designed spaceframe structure of epoxy-bonded sections of
aluminium extrusions incorporating Safety Devices speedster bar.
||Independent upper and lower wishbones, co-axial Eibach springs and
adjustable platform KONI racing dampers.
||Titan motorsport rack & pinion, non power assisted.
||Tecnomagnesion magnesium 10-spoke design specially developed for
Lotus with Lotus centre lock system. Front: 6 x 15J, rear: 8 x 16J.
||Unique YOKOHAMA tyres, tested and developed with Lotus. A038
Front:195/50 ZR 15, rear: 225/45 ZR16.
||282mm diameter cast iron ventilated cross-drilled discs. Non-servo
split hydraulic system. AP Racing opposed piston calipers.
||Lotus styled, JanSpeed developed exhaust with ceramic coated
tubular manifold, rear silencer with needlemat/carbon cover.
||Quick demist heated front screen.
||High performance lamps, pre-focus Wipac dip modular assemblies -
main beams in lower spoiler.
||Motorsport technology Stack digital instrumentation including
speedo with LCD message display and tacho with sport shift lamp (tacho is interchangeable
with optional race tacho).
||Road <600kg, Race 568kg.
||Wheelbase: 2300mm, front track: 1448mm, rear track: 1470mm.
||Fuel tank capacity 40l/8.8gal, fuel grade 95 RON minimum.
||4-point competition harness, competition style seats, immobiliser,
Stack race dial instrumentation, battery trickle charge socket.
||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,
||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.