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Ohhhh never posted in the Elise bit....I like what you have done here!


Sad economic times have backed me into a corner with my freshly revitalised Esprit and I may be forced to sell it. Life without a Lotus may prove too much though and I have been looking at an Elise as a more cost effective option.

Bearing in mind I have been in one about 4 times and driven one only once, what should I be looking for?

I have to say I much prefer the styling of the s2 but what are the benefits of the Toyota engine over the K series? (if there are any)  presumably the horror stories of heads needing replacing etc etc even if true would have been sorted out now bearing in mind that I will be looking at cars about 12 years old? 

Tips and advice from Elise peeps would be appreciated.

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Early S2's had the Rover engine all the same mate. The Toyota is meant to be more reliable. 


They do suffer HGF but it's not expensive to repair in the big scheme of things should be happen, it's £500-ish so certainly not the end of the world. The K is good for 190bhp without taking it too far beyond it's capabilities so in normal tune in an Elise isn't that stretched. Unless a multi-layer gasket was used and the head skimmed, it can happen more than once. 


Worth checking rear toelinks, they often fail with quite dramatic consequences. Also, the early S2's suffer from problems with the heater resistor pack as the connectors corrode as it sits in a puddle (bad design!) which can be changed easy enough. Later S2's suffer too but you need to remove the front clam to replace. Check the heater works, and on all fan speeds. 


S1's are appreciating in price which may be worth bearing in mind too whereas S2's have bottomed out and are fairly static.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Guest surferphil

I managed to replace a heater pack without removing the clam, but not recommended if you have bear paws.

The HGF should be fixed with an uprated gasket as it was not the engine that was at fault, just the shitty gasket they fitted in the factory.


Probably not much difference between the two engines, the Toyota's can get worn and burn a fair amount of oil so maybe the emissions - hydro carbons test sheet from the MOT may be worth checking.


I liked the drive of the S2 better than the S1 but there wasn't much to compare as they are so different from the mainstream.

There is also the Europa.

Hard top may be a consideration too, generally they leak and are noisy.


Might be worth sending Will B an Email to see what he can advise as he knows more about them than anyone else I have met.

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