The fastest, most hardcore Lotus production car ever has been unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The Lotus 3-Eleven is built around a bespoke version Lotus’s extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, with power coming from a mid-mounted 450bhp, 334lb/ft version of the Toyota-based 3.5-litre supercharged V6 found in the Evora 400.
Two versions will be available: Road and Race. Both use the same motor, but send the power to the rear wheels via different gearboxes. Road gets a conventional six-speed manual ‘box, while Race has paddle-shift sequential unit. Both have a limited-slip differential and specially tuned traction control.
At its lightest, the 3-Eleven weighs less than 900kg, so performance is… vivid. As 0-60mph in under three seconds. The extra downforce the bigger splitter and spoiler on the Race version generate – 215kg at 150mph – hold the top speed back to 174mph, against the Road’s 180mph.
Not that a lack of top-end speed prevented the 3-Eleven becoming the fastest car ever around Lotus’s Hethel test track, with a lap time of 1:22s.
That light weight is largely thanks to a body made from light weight composite materials. Both versions have full rollcages; there’s extra bracing in Race to bring it up to FIA safety standards.
Forged aluminium wheels wrapped in 225/40 ZR18 tyres at the front, and 275/35 ZR19s at the back keep the 3-Eleven on the ground. The brakes are gripped by four-piston AP Racing calipers.
Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales said: “We always say that to make a sports car better, you make it faster and lighter. the new Lotus 3-Eleven carries that philosophy to a new level.
“This new car is a giant slayer,” he continued, “capable of embarrassing far more expensive rivals. It condenses our engineering know-how into one, hardcore package, and is so focused that it won’t suit everyone. This is a perfect demonstration of the faster and lighter concept, something which will be crucial to all Lotus cars in the future.”
There may be more expensive rivals out there, but the pricing is still strong for the 3-Eleven. As in £82,000 for Road and £115,200 (incl. VAT) for Race.
For more information click here
By Only Motors