Tag Archives: VX220

The Crumpled Cup Auto Solo – Rolls Royce Car Park Filton

On Sunday I headed down to Queen Square for the regular second Sunday of the month Avenue Drivers Club meeting only to find all access roads blocked by Bristol Half Marathon stewards one of whom apparently had no idea where Queen Square was, which made for an interesting point of departure for a conspiracy theory which I shall refrain from repeating here.

MCW Metrobus MkII, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Later at mid day I made my way over to the Rolls Royce Car Park at Filton for the Bristol Pegasus Motor Clubs first Crumpled Cup Autosolo. Upon reflection I wish I had stopped off longer at The Ark Bus, 1982 MCW Metrobus, a faith in motion project, to ask for some much needed devine intervention to help me to remember the three different routes through the 31 cones that were to make up the three timed tests of the event.

01 Crumpled Cup_5894sc

The Volkswagen Golf Mk IV Estate is not an obvious choice of vehicle for this type of event and certainly not when carrying more than half a tank of fuel, but I determined that I would have fun and that I did in spades despite the fact that of my nine runs, three times through each of the three routes I actually only managed to complete the course correctly on five occasions ! Fortunately this was still better than some so I did not come last in the front wheel drive class.

Honda Civic, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton,

Martyn Mitchell warned me that his Honda Civic would only be in contention for the slowest time of the day and perhaps next time he will join me by the bus in some requests for devine intervention on the memory front.

Citroen Saxo, George/Ashley Pope, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Father and son George and Ashley Pope shared their Citroën Saxo to take front wheel drive honours with Ashley only scoring two clean runs on the final test which ironically was the only test on which George scored only one clean run, George was the comfortable winner of the front wheel drive class and would have finished 3rd overall had the event been run as an open competition between all eight competitors.

Westfield SEiW, Andy Moss, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Struggling with the turning circle of his self built Westfield SEiW was club chairman Andy Moss.

Vauxhall VX220, Martyn Lidbury, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Despite having the smaller Lotus Elise size front tyres on his Vauxhall VX220 Martyn Lidbury also struggled with the turning circle of his car which otherwise made all the right noises as he drove it to third in class on his first event with the club.

Westfield SEiW, Ben Bishop, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Second in the rear wheel drive class was Ben Bishop in his Westfield SEiW with the second best score overall too.

Mazda MX5, Chris Buckley, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Lowest scores of the day were recorded by Chris Buckley in his supercharged Mazda MX5 who only scored maximum points on his very first run of the afternoon.

Everybody seemed to enjoy the event which I hope shall be the first of many to come, my thanks to Pete Goodman for getting permission from Rolls Royce to use the venue, to Alan Spencer for organising the event, to Tim Murray the events secretary and score keeper, marshals Ann Mitchell and Nick Woods and not least my fellow competitors who made the 4 hours of the competition fly by.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Crumpled Cup Auto Solo” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Mercury Monterey. Don’t forget to come back now !


Uncompromising Acquired Taste – Lotus Elise Sport 135R

The second series Lotus Elise shares the same 111 type number as the original Elise despite sharing the same up dated Elise chassis as the Vauxhall VX220 (Lotus Type 116) which I looked at last week.

Lotus Elise Sport 135R, Race Retro

To meet new safety regulations Series 2 Elises goined over 100 kgs in weight but they were also more powerful which made up for some of the in creased weight.

Lotus Elise Sport 135R, Race Retro

One of the major differences between the VX220 and second Series Elise is that the Lotus has 16 inch front wheels and 17 inch rears where as the Vauxhall has marginally compromised the handling of the VX220 by having 17 inches wheels all round.

Lotus Elise Sport 135R, Race Retro

For those who can master the technique of getting into an Elise the handling and acceleration are said to go kart like as is the absence of any carpets, fuel gauge engine temperature gauge or central locking.

Lotus Elise Sport 135R, Race Retro

This 2002 Sport 135R version comes with sports suspension, for ever closer to go kart like handling and a Rover K series motor tuned to produce 135 hp.

Lotus Elise Sport 135R, Race Retro

In this trim an Elise is said to be able to accelerate from rest to 62mph in 5.4 seconds and on up to a top speed of 129 mph.

Thanks for joining me on this “Uncompromising Acquired Taste” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Vauxhall VX220 – Lotus 116

In 2000 Lotus needed to upgrade the Lotus Elise Series 1 to meet new European Crash Protection regulations. At the same time former Lotus owners General Motors were looking to build a new sports car for their Vauxhall (UK), Opel (Europe) and Daewoo (Asia) brands that would eventually also be restyled for the Saturn brand in the US.

Vauxhall VX220, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

General Motors employed Lotus to design and build the new Vauxhall VX220, Opel GT and Daewoo Speedster models which are powered by mid mounted motors giving 145 hp normally aspirated or 197 hp in turbocharged form. Exterior design is credited to Niels Loeb and Martin Smith and interior to Steven Crijns.

Vauxhall VX220, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Since the Type 116 is powered by variants of motors that were originally designed for Opel by Lotus while the similar Lotus Elise Series 2 are powered by Rover K series and later Toyota sourced motors arguably the Type 116 has more Lotus input than the Lotus Elise S2 with which it shares the same chassis design.

Vauxhall VX220, Pegasus Sprint, Castle Combe

The turbocharged version of the 116 seen in these photos as the Vauxhall branded VX220 was capable of reaching 62 mph in just 4,0 seconds with a top speed of 150 mph.

Vauxhall VX220, Bristol

Production of the 116 in all it’s forms except the Saturn ran from 2000 to 2005 at Lotus’s Hethel factory in Norfolk.

Thanks for joining me on this “Vauxhall VX220” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !