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Visit to Komo-Tec HQ

A couple of weeks ago we paid a visit to the HQ of our German tuning partner, Komo-Tec, based in Mendig. As well as seeing the impressive new showroom for their recent Lotus-Am-Ring dealership, we were able to have a sneak preview of the work-in-progress on all their latest developments for the V6 powered Exige and Evora cars.

 

Engine Upgrades

The next level of power upgrade for the V6 engine is the EX/EV460. This upgrade introduces the first chargecooler system available for the existing V6 cars. Fitting a chargecooler core to the existing engine configuration is no small task, due to the supercharger sitting within the vee of the engine. Komo-Tec have developed a clever solution to replace the existing inlet manifold with one which can house a core, the benefit of which is a very short post-core inlet length.

The resulting reduction in inlet temperatures allows yet more power to be safely made by the engine, with initial dyno mapping showing 452bhp and 360ft/lb of torque, an incredible increase of around 100bhp and 60ft/lb over the standard car!

Beyond the 460 power upgrade, there is also an EX500 upgrade in development. This is a much more serious upgrade path, that will be the basis of the 500+bhp upgrades. At this level, the engine internals need to be strengthened to cope with the additional loads, and also a larger supercharger is fitted to deliver increased boost levels.

The EX and EV 460 upgrade kits are scheduled for fitting to first customer cars in February 2016. The 500 kit will be undergoing significant testing in the new year with a view to the first customer cars fitted soon after that.

Transmission Upgrades

To compliment the power upgrades available for the engine, the close-ratio final drive kit is primarily designed to close the gap between 4th and 5th gears. On the standard gearbox there is a speed drop of some 44mph between 4th and 5th gear, whilst 5th and 6th remain quite close, the car is geared for a top speed of 195mph, which it is unlikely to achieve.  The gearbox actually has two final drives within, one for gears 1st to 4th, and a different one for 5th and 6th.  By modifying these final drive ratios, it is possible to achieve a better spread of the gear ratios, and also shorter gearing to give better acceleration throughout with little impact on realistic top speed.

An ideal supplement to the close-ratio gear kit, a limited slip differential is also now available. This is a Salisbury-type LSD, with preset ramp angles developed for fast road and trackday use, to suit the characteristics of the V6 powered cars (ramp angles can be modified prior to installation if required). With this fitted, wheelspin out of corners is minimised, and wheels locking under braking almost totally eliminated.  This is the perfect upgrade for the trackday driver, providing increased confidence and speed on corner entry and exit.

The ultra lightweight flywheel and uprated clutch kit, is specifically developed to deliver a more durable clutch system, as well as a reduction in rotational inertia in the drivetrain. A stronger clutch pressure plate and paddle clutch friction combine to give increased clutch bite, whilst the sprung friction plate means it retains road usability. The billet-machined lightweight flywheel provides sharper throttle response and increased speed and accuracy of gearchanges.

All transmission upgrades are now available via our online store.

Brake and Wheel Upgrades

For fast road and trackday use, a brake upgrade kit is now available. The kit retains the original brake calipers, but replaces the discs with a larger 343mm rotor mounted via a high-quality aluminium bell. Despite the increased size, this brake bell and rotor combination weighs approx 0.5kg less than the standard disc, but still delivers increased braking power and reduced fade.  Complimenting the disc upgrade, are a set of uprated pads, which deliver excellent bite from cold, right through to high temperatures.

For those looking for an alternative road wheel, whilst retaining an OEM Lotus appearance, Komo-Tec have exclusively commissioned a forged alloy wheel. The wheel design matches those used in the current Elise range, but is now available in sizes to suit the V6 powered cars. These wheels are a direct replacement, with no need for spacers or longer wheel bolts, yet is significantly stronger and lighter than the standard wheels.

A set of these forged wheels weighs 8kg less than the standard wheels, providing a useful saving in rotational unsprung weight. Available in the UK via Hangar 111 – current pricing in our online store.

 

It was great to catch up with Daniel and the team at Komo-Tec, and all their latest developments ahead of the Luxembourg motorshow debut for the Exige EX460.

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Hangar 111: Official Lotus Service Centre

Some important changes are happening at Hangar 111 over the next few months!

What’s happening?

On Monday 2nd November 2015, we will be announcing our new status as an Official Lotus Service Centre!  During 2015 we have been evaluated and inspected by Lotus and have now been given the thumbs-up.  After almost 14 years of serving the Lotus community we are proud to become affiliated with the sports car maker that we have always held so dear.

What does this mean?

The main benefit is to our customers. An authorised Lotus Service Centre receives full factory technical support, access to the full Genuine Parts range and the latest Technical Bulletins for newer vehicles.  As a Lotus Service Centre we are able to carry out those all-important warranty and recall items that may affect more recent vehicles.

The key benefits to our customers will be:

  • The ability to carry out factory authorised warranty work on newer Lotus vehicles.
  • The very latest factory diagnostics technology.
  • Access to the full Genuine Lotus Parts range and official Lotus Accessories via our website and parts counter.
  • Full factory-backed technical support.
  • Up-to-the-minute factory technical bulletins.
  • An official Lotus Service Stamp in your maintenance record.

So what will change?

While there are lots of added benefits to our customers, it will be more-or-less business as usual at our workshops.

Vehicles at Hangar 111 will still receive the same attention to detail that we have become renowned for, and the valuable Hangar 111 service stamp in your maintenance record will now feature the official Lotus roundel.  The performance parts and tuning aspects of the business will be unchanged. Our maintenance and servicing prices will still be outstanding value for money, and will continue to be carried out to the precise schedules as defined by Lotus.

Over the next few months you will see some tweaks and re-branding taking place on our websites and these updates will be announced in our newsletters.

Thank you for your continued support!

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Hangar 111 Racing – Lotus Cup UK Production Champions 2015

This years Lotus Cup and Elise Trophy championships went down to the wire at the final round, which was held at Snetterton on 31st October.

Our drivers James Little and Andrew Bentley only needed to score just 2 points to seal the Lotus Cup production championship. James was also in second position in Elise Trophy, with first an unlikely but still possible goal, and third just a couple of points behind us.  We still had some work to do…

With a hectic schedule of six sessions in one day, including the 90 minute Cup finale, the whole team were feeling the pressure to turn the car around, to our own high standards, in very little time. Things started well, with James delivering under pressure, putting the car on pole position for the first Elise Trophy race, and soon followed this up with a blistering pole for the Cup race by just over a second from the nearest competitor!

The first Elise Trophy race was a tense battle, with the first three cars running together throughout the whole 20 minutes. James did a great job to fend off the persuants, taking the chequered flag in first position by less than two tenths of a second.  The result edged James a little closer to the top of the table, but it would require a DNF from the current leader, and charge through the reversed grid for us.

In the second Trophy race, James battled through from 10th on the reverse grid to finish in a creditable 4th position. Not enough to make the jump up the championship, but the result sealed the runner up spot in this years Elise Trophy championship – very well done to James for his consistent performances throughout the season.

The final race of the day was the big one.  By qualifying in pole position, we had secured one of the two points we needed to confirm the championship, we really only needed to get to the chequered flag to take the overall class honours. James once again made a great start in his stint of the race, running for 50 minutes flat out, and pulling an impressive 15+ second gap over our rivals! A controlled, error-free pitstop was required, and delivered by the team, although some of the lead was eroded by an ill-timed safety car on track.  Next up, Andrew set about driving to the flag. Unfortunately, we were overtaken for the race lead on the final lap of the race, but second position was more than enough to secure a healthy championship victory.

Congratulations to James and Andrew on some very impressive and consistent driving in the Elise Cup R throughout the season, rewarded by sealing the Lotus Cup UK production championship.  With a runner up slot in the Elise Trophy championship also, James can be very pleased with his performances, in only his second season of racing.  Finally, well done to the team at Hangar 111 for delivering a very fast and reliable car throughout the season.

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Elise Supercharger Kit for all Toyota 2ZZ cars

We’ve been supercharging the normally aspirated Elise and Exige for a number of years now, continually evolving and refining the performance of our kits. While bolting on a supercharger is relatively straight-forward, making the package work dynamically with the car, delivering the power smoothly and safely has always been our aim. This is no different in our latest generation of Elise and Exige 280S installations which feature our super-efficient chargecooler and Komo-Tec’s latest engine management optimisations.

The cars can be run on the track without the power loss associated with the intercooled factory cars. Using a chargecooler (water to air intercooler), much lower inlet temperatures are achieved allowing the ECU to deliver consistent, reliable power. This effect is thanks to our in-house designed chargecooler systems that have been carefully developed over the last 5 years.

 

The 280S achieves 285-295bhp and around 180lb/ft of torque, delivered smoothly and with excellent road manners, and is available for all Toyota 2ZZ engined cars, including the 111R.

Full details of the kit can be found in our online store

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New Managed Car Storage Facility

We are pleased to announce that the latest expansion plans for our car storage facilities are now complete and ready for vehicles.

Our newly-built secure storage environment is equipped with battery conditioners, tyre protectors, and has 24hr CCTV in operation. A regular schedule of storage maintenance is included in the price to keep your battery, engine, gearbox and tyres ready for their next outing.  We can also accommodate any special requirements you may have, and of course, can carry out any servicing maintenance or upgrades to your car in our workshops while it is with us.

If you need storage for the winter or a longer period please contact us to discuss and book your place – spaces are going very fast!

GREG: Last 2 spaces remaining for Autumn/Winter 2015-2016 (as at 22nd Sept).

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K-Series Coolant Expansion Tank Failure

When checking the engine oil or coolant level of your K-Series Elise, Exige or 340R it is essential to also inspect the coolant expansion tank closely for cracking or splits. The older the vehicle, the more likely the tank will have become brittle and ‘crazed’ as can be seen in our video.

The solution however is very simple: replace the tank and cap when you notice the crazing appear!  Failure to spot this in good time will cause a gradual over-heating of the engine when the cooling system is unable to achieve the pressure required to keep temperatures down and the coolant moving efficiently around the system. Replacement is quick and simple and avoids potential head-gasket problems in the future.

You can purchase a new expansion tank and pressure cap from our online store here.

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