How much boost pressure can a Lotus Elise handle? Apparently it can take it all. Most of the motoring press will tell you that the golden age of So Cal hot rodding is over, but Frank Profera refuses to accept this. His car caught the discerning eye of our favorite late night host, and on the latest episode of Jay Leno’s garage, uploaded to YouTube Dec. 14, he explains the details of this 9 year build.
His Lotus Elise was nearly destroyed in a freeway accident, and his insurance insisted that it be totaled. Not willing to relinquish his pride and joy to the crusher, he made the decision to build a modern Can-Am masterpiece. Taking inspiration and actual body panels from the incredibly rare Lotus 2-Eleven racer, Frank added Naca ducts and carbon fiber canards for downforce. The product of all these efforts is the incredible Ronin RS 211.
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Once the body was complete he needed more power. The original Elise 1.8 has a Toyota ZZ series four cylinder engine that is strong in stock form. Frank swapped the internals for forged pieces in order to handle the pressures from a turbo. Not content with a normal sized unit, he chose a turbo that looks as large as the engine itself and generates an astonishing 36 pounds of boost.
Normal cars would self-destruct at this pressure, so a unique fuel system was developed. At pressures over 20 pounds, Ronin transitions from pump gas to alcohol injection. Alcohol allows this monster to make 680 hp at the rear wheels. With a curb weight of only 1,700 lbs, the Ronin RS 211 is all that is right about hot rodding and creativity in the automotive world.