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View Full Version : poor man's elise, 1,500lbs ,170hp for 25k



celicatrd93
09-03-2007, 07:26 PM
found this will searching the net, its a company that makes this, ans yes the title said poor man's elise, its a mr2 body with a 4age 1.6 turbocharged pushing 170hp with 1,500lbs of weight, its 0-60 time is 4.3. i would rather save up few grand more and grab a real elise. check it out and what you think? its overpriced thats for sure.

here is the site where the car came out on

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/05/16/poor-mans-elise-1-500-pounds-170-hp-25k/

and here is there site where they build the car and tons of pics.

http://www.grabercars.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

cms-gt4
09-03-2007, 07:39 PM
My only grip is no hardtop. Some of us still love to drive in the rain.

Slider
09-03-2007, 07:43 PM
I don't think it's street legal either

squall leonhart
09-03-2007, 08:19 PM
25k sans engine and transmission....so add how much more for the drivetrain?

not worth it at all, imho.

Mr Celica
09-03-2007, 08:23 PM
yea its not road legal. i'd rather save and get an elise. :) they look cooler, too

Cavanagh
09-03-2007, 08:25 PM
25k sans engine and transmission....so add how much more for the drivetrain?

not worth it at all, imho.
Not too much, just 2-4kish depending on what motor you get. Its a cool idea, but i dont like how it looks. I wouldn't invest in it.

Slider
09-03-2007, 08:27 PM
I would rather build one of these Locosts http://cheapsportscar.net/ for $10,000

T-spoon
09-03-2007, 08:30 PM
25k sans engine and transmission....so add how much more for the drivetrain?

not worth it at all, imho.

Read down to the bottom of the comments on the article.

Ricksta
09-03-2007, 08:37 PM
25k for that? you can pick up an elise for 40k.

cms-gt4
09-03-2007, 08:47 PM
If you look hard enough you can get a used elise for 28-33k.

Futant3
09-04-2007, 01:36 AM
rather have a ls1/302 miata or a factory five cobra kit

celicatrd93
09-04-2007, 01:53 AM
yeah rather have a turbo miata. it is pricey for a turbo 4age on a gutted mr2 frame. i just like the rear of the car. and like cms-gt4 said if you look hard enough you can find one for cheap, i seen one for 28k.

GT4SOM
09-04-2007, 02:25 AM
Thats pretty stupid. Looks like a waste of time and money. I really thought it was gonna be a MR2 SPyder with a 2zz swap and a super charger.

Cavanagh
09-04-2007, 02:47 AM
I would rather build one of these Locosts http://cheapsportscar.net/ for $10,000
:stupid: All you gotta do is then turbo it, and i bet it will run a 0-60 4.3-5ish

celicaGT90_05
09-04-2007, 03:46 AM
I honestly dont like it, and it looks more like a poor mans S7, and I wouldnt pay $25k for somethin I cant even drive on the streets

Ghosty
09-06-2007, 12:59 AM
I thought the MR2 was the poor man's Elise...

burnyd
09-06-2007, 01:10 AM
oht hat sucks

Slider
09-06-2007, 03:30 AM
I thought the MR2 was the poor man's Elise...

Too heavy

alltracman78
09-06-2007, 03:38 AM
I thought the MR2 was the poor man's Elise...

Poor mans FERRARI

VikingJZ
09-06-2007, 03:39 AM
That's just like the Ariel Atom.

The Atom is it's own chassis though I believe. It does have a Honda engine with the option of a supercharger.

toyotatuner
09-06-2007, 02:50 PM
that car is pointless if you can't drive it on road.
with 25k....could finally come close to finishing my celica (the money pit). haha

turbo4ag
09-06-2007, 05:35 PM
IMHO: Poor man's Elise = MR-S + Carbon Fiber hood & engine lid w/2ZZ-GE + TRD SC. It will most likely cost you around $25k to build and be very street legal and emissions compliant if done properly.

Though I've talked to that guy Steve Graber a couple of times over on the MR2 board he's a very cool guy. Matter of fact, he is where I got my base maps for the Megasquirt I have on my engine. He built the La Bala w/ a turbocharged 4AGE w/ MS and a tube chassis frame. The whole build up of the car is somewhere on the net. Very nice build, but not worth the money.

Denver_whiteST185
09-06-2007, 06:12 PM
really, if you truely want a poor man's elise, find a rust free mk1 mr2 (with or without an engine, hard top preffered) and build/lighten the crap out of it. you could make a very quick car for less than 10k.

the modern version would be a mr-s, but you don't necessarily need a 2zz swap. lighten it up a little, and make that little 1zz FI

darthripley
09-06-2007, 09:48 PM
really, if you truely want a poor man's elise, find a rust free mk1 mr2 (with or without an engine, hard top preffered) and build/lighten the crap out of it. you could make a very quick car for less than 10k.

going that route right now with our MKI MR2 (which is a hardtop with no power options) total cost with engine/tranny swap, all upgrades & maintenance, paint & body should be ~$7K total :bigthumbu

our MKI MR2 weighs ~2000-2100lbs with full interior, a/c & cruise ... so i don't get the "too heavy" comment that was made earlier... it's certainly a lot lighter than the Celica.

it'll be a lot of fun till we save up enough for an Elise/Exige in a few years :)

Slider
09-06-2007, 09:59 PM
I was a bit general, I was talking about the mk2 which is 2700lbs.

darthripley
09-06-2007, 10:07 PM
gotcha slider b/c i was thinking :wtf: lol

cms-gt4
09-06-2007, 11:50 PM
I really wonder which chasis is better. MK1 or Mk2 mr2.

turbo4ag
09-06-2007, 11:55 PM
I really wonder which chasis is better. MK1 or Mk2 mr2.

MK2.... simply for rust reasons.

The MRS is still the lightest of the 3. Thats why its the poor mans elise. You need a 2ZZGE not only for the power output, but the drivetrain setup (6sd) makes it feel more euro, and the powerband (9k... possibly). Besides the fact that the Exige ACTUALLY CAME with the 2ZZGE. Talk about coincidence.

Elektr0de
09-07-2007, 12:47 AM
Too heavy

mr-s is about 200lbs heavier than an elise

If you remove the soft top and get a carbon fiber hood, frunk, bumpers etc youd prob get pretty close to the same weight. If your super anal about weight you could remove the underbody panels, radio, and ac.

With a 2zz swap you'd have something mildly comparable, tho im sure the elise handles much better (if its anything like the exige)

cms-gt4
09-07-2007, 02:05 AM
SCC did an article about setting up a mr2 to take on an elise. It was a good article for once. While they were able to build a slightly faster car on the course for less, the confidence of the car during a full out run, they would still pick the elise.

7thgenreject
09-07-2007, 03:08 AM
25k sans engine and transmission....so add how much more for the drivetrain?

not worth it at all, imho.

$500-$1000 for a B16 with tranny, stick a turbo on that if you feel like it but that would be overkill with only 1500 lbs. to haul around.

ToyotaSupra
09-07-2007, 04:42 AM
Have any of you guys actually sat in a Elise? The interior consist of just a few gauges, flat metal panels, two racing seats, and it feels pretty cheap when you sit in it. The exterior looks awesome though.

IMO, the interior basically reminds me of a stripped down MKI MR2.

And the extra weight of the MKII MR2 isn't all that bad because the looks make up for it. :D

Most people can shave down the weight to 2,400/2,500 with fiberglass pieces, wheels, and racing seats.

I still think a Starlet with a 4AGE turbo would be better though. :cool:

goretro77
12-08-2007, 03:21 AM
Have any of you guys actually sat in a Elise? The interior consist of just a few gauges, flat metal panels, two racing seats, and it feels pretty cheap when you sit in it.


:) I always think "this is all I need" when I sit in it.
The original designer of the Elise wanted a minimalist approach and feel to the car.

grayscale
12-08-2007, 10:48 AM
Showoff! :D

goretro77
12-08-2007, 03:50 PM
Showoff! :D

:bigthumbu

goretro77
12-08-2007, 04:50 PM
mr-s is about 200lbs heavier than an elise

If you remove the soft top and get a carbon fiber hood, frunk, bumpers etc youd prob get pretty close to the same weight. If your super anal about weight you could remove the underbody panels, radio, and ac.

With a 2zz swap you'd have something mildly comparable, tho im sure the elise handles much better (if its anything like the exige)


One of my best buds has an MRS. I love that car. He spun a rod bearing on the 1ZZ engine and this started the transformation for the car. He decided to strip the car down first:

http://jezlyn.smugmug.com/photos/157020798-L.jpg
http://jezlyn.smugmug.com/photos/156865448-L.jpg
http://jezlyn.smugmug.com/photos/156865269-L.jpg
http://jezlyn.smugmug.com/photos/156866297-L.jpg

goodbye 1zz.
http://jezlyn.smugmug.com/photos/156865134-L.jpg

spare parts to re-use:
http://jezlyn.smugmug.com/photos/156865681-L.jpg

rolling Fred Flintstone style :
http://jezlyn.smugmug.com/photos/156865227-L.jpg

Yes, I got on his case about using Cinder Blocks! :eek:

more to come....

goretro77
12-08-2007, 05:06 PM
So he finally locates a good 2ZZGE (out of a Matrix XRS):
The 2ZZGE is so small and light 2 guys can easily move the entire engine.

Here it is arriving home in the back of his FJ Cruiser:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/238/524452265_dd46859cf8_o.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1001/524450873_972fc318f3_o.jpg

Unwrapped:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/221/524396112_5861848238_o.jpg

with a 6 speed trans:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/251/524454791_3c73ce1a7d_o.jpg

one more shot of the 2ZZ:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/211/524396776_30a1195f82_o.jpg

He then tore into it and swapped out the lift bolt (known to wear out on the earlier 2ZZs). Checked the cam timing, notice the Yamaha designation on the head. This is what sets it apart from the original 1ZZ engine:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1008/834089412_bb6332ae58_o.jpg

Pulled parts off the engine that needed inspection and replacing:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1315/834090110_a572a03fb1_o.jpg

Added intake and headers and painted the valve covers:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1058/833223413_86d55199ae_o.jpg
Pulley side:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1138/833223871_cb75657bed_o.jpg

more to come...

goretro77
12-08-2007, 05:21 PM
I got on his case - i always felt strongly about never adding more power unless you increase the handling capabilities of the car. So he also decided to upgrade the suspension. TRD Sportivo matched springs/shocks/sways:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1136/833224945_369bcd12db_o.jpg

For reduced weight and better balance, lightweight battery relocated to the front of the car. Custom battery mount. (And Sportivo swaybar in background.):
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1072/833225499_ab3789fa0f_o.jpg

More weight reduction, softtop assembly is gone!:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1315/834091744_6afa9aa90e_o.jpg

more to come....

goretro77
12-08-2007, 05:37 PM
pic of the interior removed. Took the AC out, added a shifter kit that mated to the new transmission and lightened the car by taking out the sound deadening under the carpets. It is now more Elise-like! :)

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1213/993033260_e9c3b179f9_o.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1051/992183629_7e9e53fc2c_o.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1014/993032886_9eaee6e138_o.jpg

we had to have something to sit on while working on the car, eh?
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1330/992182013_a415a0b187_o.jpg

got it back together, engine in and suspension upgraded while the car was lightened:

posing on the driveway:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1215/993029600_63dde68580_o.jpg

2ZZ in its new home:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1214/992179961_a215ba3bfb_o.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1111/993030404_13c13a58a4_o.jpg

nothing much to see up front except for a glimpse of the smaller/lighter battery and front antisway bar:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1046/993030816_81d7937c1e_o.jpg

Then...after driving the car for a bit, he realized that the upgraded suspension's potential can be fully utilized if you stiffen up the chassis. :rockon:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1325/993031308_48c5439552_o.jpg

And here it is installed, underneath:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1022/993031684_db6066f4ca_o.jpg

The car drives great even though it has struts/trailing arm suspension - it does not have the all-around double wishbone suspension of the Elise/Exige but its performance is very, very good!

It can use some lighter body parts, thats for the future.

Thats all I got....whew!

Cavanagh
12-08-2007, 07:15 PM
Wow, very cool transformation. That thing went from slow and ok handling to quick and beast handling.

Oh and i cant even imagine the price on the TRD suspension. :wedge:

grayscale
12-08-2007, 08:28 PM
Odyssey batteries:bigthumbu

goretro77
12-08-2007, 11:46 PM
Wow, very cool transformation. That thing went from slow and ok handling to quick and beast handling.

Oh and i cant even imagine the price on the TRD suspension. :wedge:

Its a beast! He's opened up the exhaust now and its pretty much a straight pipe coming out the back. It is LOUD when it switches to the bigger cam profile!

Yes - he pretty much got killed on the TRD suspension. This project turned into some big buck$.

This is not to say it was not worth it - in the end its what your happy with. I love the car! I think it turned out great. Of course with these things its always going to be work-in-progress.

Joeye27
12-11-2007, 12:16 AM
i love that car, cool pics too!