THE DURATEC’S ORIGINS
Mazda’s L-Series engine is the root of Ford’s Duratec engine in its 1.8- to 2.5-litre guises. It’s an all-alloy four-cylinder with cast-iron liners, with a twin-cam 16-valve head, forged con-rods and a one-piece crank. Later versions also benefit from such modern trickery as intake cam-phasing VVT, variable-length intake, and ‘tumble control’ VTCS. As you’d imagine from a modern Japanese motor, it loves to rev and is highly tunable; in Elfed’s case, the 2.3 running hot cams is good for 228 bhp, and his next move will be to upgrade from the DCO/SP carbs (below) to throttle bodies and forged internals, shooting for a reliable 280 bhp. A little wasabi hidden inside this oh-so British classic!