Stark Elise

Reworked Lotus gets 236bhp Honda engine

Evo rating
Price
from £26,800
  • Dynamics, engine, finish
  • Slightly dated looks, but little else

On the face of it, £26,800 seems a lot for a series 1 Elise, even one that’s had its original Rover K-series engine replaced by a K20A Honda Civic Type-R unit, but then there’s much more to Stark Automotive’s ‘Elise R’ 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 I’ve ever driven. As you’d 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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

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

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1998cc
Max power236bhp @ 7400rpm
Max torque170 lb ft @ 5900rpm
0-603.9sec (claimed)
Top speed160mph (claimed)
On saleNow (www.stark-automotive.co.uk)
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/lotus/elise/6238/lotus-elise-s1-review-specs-and-buying-guide
Lotus Elise convertible

Lotus Elise S1: review, specs and buying guide

10 May 2020
Visit/lotus/elise/202579/lotus-elise-classic-heritage-editions-celebrate-past-grand-prix-legends
Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions celebrate past Grand Prix legends

6 May 2020
Visit/lotus/elise/202455/lotus-elise-cup-250-review
Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise Cup 250 review

12 Apr 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/news/22743/gordon-murray-automotive-t50-revealed-the-real-mclaren-f1-successor
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 revealed – the real McLaren F1 successor

Gordon Murray’s T.50 is the pinnacle of supercar engineering on the eve of an electrified future
4 Aug 2020
Visit/features/202947/bmw-m3-gts-vs-mini-gp-vs-renault-sport-megane-r26r
Features

BMW M3 GTS vs Mini GP vs Renault Sport Mégane R26.R

You could spend £250,000 on a 700bhp hardcore machine, but is there just as much fun to be had – if not more – with less power and for less outlay?
1 Aug 2020
Visit/ford/202957/mountune-ford-focus-rs-m520-2020-review-less-hot-hatch-more-throwback-to-group-b
Ford Focus RS

Mountune Ford Focus RS M520 2020 review – less hot hatch, more Group B throwback

The idea of a 500-horse Focus won’t be for everyone, but for the rest it’s a glorious dose of internal combustion madness
31 Jul 2020
Visit/bmw/m2/202954/bmw-m2-cs-2020-review-plenty-to-worry-a-porsche-cayman-gt4
BMW M2

BMW M2 CS 2020 review – there's plenty to worry a Porsche Cayman GT4

The most enjoyable and rewarding M car to drive for quite some time. Potentially, a future classic.
31 Jul 2020