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Stark 236bhp Elise S1

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Stark 236bhp Elise S1

Post  Trigger on Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:38 pm

Reworked Lotus gets 236bhp Honda engine
By Roger Green

August 2008

On the face of it, £26,800 seems a lot for a series 1 Elise, even one thatís had its original Rover K-series engine replaced by a K20A Honda Civic Type-R unit, but then thereís much more to Stark Automotiveís ĎElise Rí conversion than that. The chassis is stripped and cleaned, the bodywork is resprayed and the interior is re-trimmed in Alcantara. Underneath, the suspension receives an equally comprehensive makeover, gaining adjustable Nitron Racing dampers, powder-coated wishbones and upgraded toe links and bushes.

The result is a car that not only looks and feels brand new, but is also one of the best trackday Elises Iíve ever driven. As youíd expect with 236bhp in such a lightweight machine, the Stark fires itself at the horizon furiously when the VTEC lobes come on cam. The six-speed Honda gearbox helps keep everything nicely on the boil and uprated brakes tirelessly keep everything in check. Meanwhile, understeer has been banished and replaced by balance and rear-end adjustability.

One drive is all it takes for you to realise that, far from being expensive, this little Elise is actually very good value indeed.

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