TUNING TOPICS Vegantune ventures
RECENT announcements from Vegantune at Cradge Bank, Spalding, Lines are interesting both for their tuning merit and their applications to former LOWS products.
Most ambitious venture is into an updated Lotus Elan which they have dubbed the Evante. Production at the rate of one a week is scheduled to begin next March at a price around 0,750 in component form.
Over their years of Elan restoration work Vcgantune have evolved the following major changes to Elan specification: racing style space frame chassis; alternative, fully adjustable, suspension to suit wide wheel applications and incorporate rear anti-squat; replacement Salisbury differential; five-speed ZF gearbox; driveshafts with CV joints to substitute for the legendary “wind-up” rubber couplings; the Vegantune VTA engine (more on that later); leather interiors and new soft top; revised bodywork with the inevitable front and rear spoilers.
Vegantune founder and MD George Robinson commented that the Evante was the result of realising that Elan owners were investing up to £10,000 “in what is still essentially a 15-year-old car with a 15-year-old number plate,” and that Vegantune could offer a better car through their experience for a sixrdlar sum.
MOTOR SPORT has not experienced the Evante, but we did recently enjoy a run in Caterham Cars Development Seven with the 1,599 c.c. (80.9 mm. by 77.6 mm. stroke) Vegantune VTA engine in a milder state of tune than the 150 b.h.p. at 6,250 r.p.m. that is quoted for she VTA with its 10.5:1 c.r. in the Evante. Primarily our impressions were of how much Caterham’s per development engineer Clive Roberts has improved the handling over adverse cambers and bumpy B-roads with some subtle steering modifications. The extra cockpit accommodation (some 1, in.) afforded by the deletion of a rear space frace tube was impressive too.