Car Feature>> A Madman’s Carbon Turbo Lotus

After seeing this car, the first thing I said to its owner was: “I’m guessing you need a change of underwear everytime it’s raining.” His response?

“Mate, you need a change of underwear even when you drive it in the dry.”

And that short exchange, in my opinion, perfectly sums up this carbon-clad, turbocharged street monster.

Indeed, it takes a certain type of madman – a mad madman perhaps – to turn the wick up on something like a Lotus. This car started life as a 2000 model Elise, a car that was aimed at purists. It was light weight, no frills, two seater, mid-engined and rear wheel drive. But even for purists, the Elise was at the very edge of what could be defined as a street car. For many, it was simply too raw, too unrefined, to be considered driveable on public roads.

But everyone has a different perspective. And for AP, the guy who owns and drives this beast, a standard Lotus Elise was simply too… underwhelming.

Enter City Performance Centre, the shop we profiled a few days ago. CPC’s owner Alessio Iera is known for building some crazy cars, so when AP came knocking, saying that his Lotus wasn’t exciting, they devised a plan to transform it into a more brutal street car.

CPC’s diagnosis for AP’s dilemma was to take the Elise and put it through boot camp. The aim: to harden it up.

Of course, there are compromises that have to be made when things are pushed towards the performance end of the spectrum. Things like negotiating speed humps and driveways have become a bit of a pain because of the low hanging front lip and carbon rear diffuser.

But small dilemmas like that aren’t worth mentioning when you start taking note of this creation’s finer details. Hidden away inside the Lotus, for example, is the golden wrapper of a MoTeC M800, which manages…

…The new engine setup. A 2.2litre 20V was dropped in and a turbo added for good measure.

Rather than using a traditional core, a water-to-air intercooler was used, while CPC also fabricated a one-off stainless exhaust especially for the Lotus.

Inside, a flat-based Sparco wheel gives AP enough room to fold himself into the Lotus. If you’re brave enough to join him for a ride, the tight confines mean you’ll practically be rubbing shoulders as he scares the living daylights out of you.

Here’s something you don’t expect to see in a street car: replacing the standard gauge cluster is MoTeC’s ADL dash, which stands for Advanced Dash Logger. The digital dash can display a variety of data channels and various warnings can also be programmed.

The Series 1 Lotus Elise was the perfect platform for AP. Why? Because it was already bare bones in stock form.

See what I mean?

Recaro Lotus Motorsport buckets have been wedged into the tight driving quarters. Behind them you’ll find a roll-cage…

…Which extends through the dashboard.

Of course, one of this Lotus’ most obvious modifications has been done to its exterior. The Elise’s entire body has been replaced with carbon panels intended for an Exige, which means AP’s Lotus now has a fixed roof.

Something that I approve of is AP’s decision to leave the carbon exposed. With a perfect weave like this, it would be such a shame to hide it under a coat of paint.

From a distance, the body takes on a flat grey hue. It’s only when you get close that you spot that this Lotus’ body is no longer fibreglass.

AP punishes his Lotus regularly on the track, so he raided various UK racing garages for some hardcore gear. Underneath you’ll find Nitron Stage 3 competition coilovers that provide 3-way adjustment, while Pilbeam Racing uprights and A-arms have also been fitted. The new uprights use spherical bearings instead of conventional bushings.

Under the hood you’ll spot the remote reservoirs for the Nitron shocks.

With the car weighing so little, passengers can expect to faceplant the windscreen whenever AP decides to stomp on the middle pedal. Its ferocious stopping power comes courtesy of AP Racing Pro 5000+ brakes (6-piston up front and 4-piston rears).

On all of AP’s cars you’ll notice that he isn’t the type to have an allegiance to one particular aftermarket brand, a certain modifying ethos or even a specific country for that matter. The forged rims are of Japanese origin, namely SSR. Staggered sizes of 16×7 and 17×9 are used with sticky Toyo R888 semi-slicks wrapped around them.

For AP, practicality simply wasn’t on the agenda for this street driven monster. But that said, neither was a huge power figure.

Instead, what AP instructed City Performance Centre to do was make it stronger in the three areas that mattered most to him: response, braking and handling. It’s kind of what Lotus intended originally, just on a madder, more insane, level.

– Charles Kha

Photos by Casey Dhnaram

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City Performance Centre



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wallpaperssss!! this is a beast


I think this phrase resumes the sensations that this car gives: takes a certain type of madman - a mad madman perhaps -

Mad madman. Not crazy, not insane, not even out-of-his-mind. Mad madman. (technically that should be mad­²man)


JIZZED in my pants


That is so sexy. I want to see it on the track.


don't you think this is a little off the sleepers theme?


now that is a beautiful car.


please can we have desktops of this monster


I hope the owner didn't use a Seibon kit for this Elise (it's a fact that the wet carbon fiber Seibon kit is actually heavier than the stock panels).


Where did that motor come from? Is that Rover? Or Toyota? Or VW?


one of the greatest elises out there. stays true to its engineered purpose.


This is my new favorite Lotus. Desktops?


And the Figures are????

btw im shitting in my pants right now


this is crazy;D id like to own an opel speedster turbo with carbon body panels


I recognise that alley way in Artarmon! I remember seeing some Lotus bits in the back of one of the shops last time I was there too.

I don't think i've seen this car on the road just yet though, I cannot wait to hear the thing on boost one day hopefully!!

AP - Drop past the used car section of Ford in Ryde so I can have a look!! haha usually just work Week days. What a weapon!


Man this is beautiful! Love the old series 1 Elise style


Sick car!!!!!


but what does it weigh? the entire premise of this car is to lighten it up a bunch to gain can you do an entire write-up without mentioning the weight savings?


damn i wanna see a video of this beast rolling round .... awesome write up :)


sick car feature but why so little info on the motor....what motorswap? what turbo? hell, even what power number?


i want that is all


It's a mini McLaren F1. Brilliant car this.


WOW, best car in a long time on Speedhunters


Can't even imagine how much all that carbon fibre must cost, I wonder how much the car weighs?


This thing is amazing. The only thing I would change is the seatbelts haha.


awesome, must be lay down some crazy lap times at the track.


I know that laneway! If I'd only taken the 1 minute walk up from work on the day.


This is so hardcore it's scary!


is it me or are the rotors mounted backwards?



You can do wallpapers of the 3rd and 5th photos, please?


Awesome car. I spotted this a few months back and it's just gorgeous.


Power should be somewhere in the region of 500bhp. 400cc stroker + pretty large turbo on a 20VT motor should be in that region.


thats pretty tough.


+1 on the video. i'd love to see this thing rip around a track. i wonder after being boosted if its just as fast as an r35 or faster


Loads of meaningless twoddle with no mention of anything important or technical. No mention of power output or weight !!

My 500 BHP project in the same chassis at least gives a full breakdown of genuine parts and effort that went into my project.


How much power?


Hey Mr. kha, great post, love the car. Would you happen to know the horsepower and torque numbers the engine puts out?


Best Lotus ever!


Defintely agree with Dennis. Best car in a long time on Speedhunters, but this is really not what you call a "sleeper", lol! Fantastic job on this Elise BTW, congrats to the owner. Out of curiosity I would like to know how much money it takes to make a car like this one... even just the all CF body...


Wow, this is probably the most awesome car I've seen in a while. Is that one of those 20v VAG engines or not?


I assume it's this car:

Video claims it has an "Audi S3 engine transplant. 550hp, 750kg total weight".


It's pretty rare to see a car that reaches a point where you wouldn't add, remove, or change a single thing the builder/owner has done. Even more amazing when you consider for every car that balance is a different blend of components. Outstanding car and another brilliant feature by Speedhunters.


it looks great and I presume it's a K-Lite Car


Awesome car! It reminds me of the Lotus Elise GT-1 prototype, and damn, this thing must fly!

According to some comments and the video that was posted there, the 20V engine is from an Audi, right?


"he isn't the type to have a...modifying ethos" I think his ethos is to make the car faster by selecting intelligent parts and put the money into where it counts. Good feature. This is what need for speed is all about.


How much power is that thing putting out?


This is a seriously hot Elise. For those wondering it's a stroked Audi motor with 550hp. The CF body is from the US but not sure what brand it is. The only thing I don't like about this far are the standard seat (they're not Lotus racing buckets).

There is a video on YouTube of this car going through Kings Cross Tunnel, will see if I can find it.


Interesting choice to select a VW powerplant. I would like to hear more from the owner itself.


The seats are Stock Lotus Elise S1 seats...

How do i know? Because i also have a set.


Those seats are stock S1 Elise seats.... How do i know? Because i got a pair myself...


This Lotus simply is the boghm

And if it's body is corboon fiber it's 0-100 is darn good


Yawn. Not another Golf right? Indeed, looking at the car above I'd understand if you felt it lacked the shock value to be on Speedhunters. So I'll let the facts do the talking. 650HP. 3.6litre conversion. All-wheel drive. 0-100 in 3.2 seconds


Wow the level of modification and detail on this car is amazing!!!Such a ferociously hardcore street car; you only a madman would not appreciate it!
Well done on this build and story.