Watch out, supercars. British manufacturer Lotus has unveiled the fastest car it has ever built, the 3-Eleven, and it’s blisteringly powerful and lighter than a bag of crisps.
Forget about passengers, the Lotus 3-Eleven is for flying solo at great speed. It has a revised version of the 3.5-litre V6 in the Evora 400 tuned to produce 450hp and 332lb/ft (450Nm) of torque, the latter available from 3,500rpm.
In its lightweight Race version, which weighs less than 900kg, 0-60mph takes less than three seconds and the top speed is 174mph. Quick enough, then, to make a Ferrari 458 Speciale think twice before challenging you, especially when the power-to-weight is 500hp per tonne.
The Race model differs from the Road, thanks to a more aggressive aerodynamic kit (this is why the Road version can hit 180mph), six-speed sequential gearbox, oil cooler, semi-dry sump and a six-point harness. A limited slip differential is standard in both cases, as is a Lotus traction control system.
AP Racing four-pot calipers, 332mm discs at the front and rear, forged aluminium alloys and either Michelin Pilot Super Sport or Michelin Cup (depending on spec) tyres build on the track-annihilating credentials.
Downforce is 215kg at 150mph in its Race version, going some way in explaining how it lapped the Lotus Hethel test track in one minute and 22 seconds, faster than any Lotus before it. No word on CO2 or fuel economy, not that it really matters for a car of this type.
Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales said at the Goodwood Festival of Speed unveiling: “This new car is a giant slayer, capable of embarrassing far more expensive rivals.
“It condenses our engineering know-how into one, hard-core 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.”
A Lotus 3-Eleven Road starts from £82,000 including VAT, while the Race starts from £96,000 before VAT. Chuck in the government’s slice of the pie and you have a £115,200 Lotus. Production will begin in February 2016, with deliveries starting in April of the same year.
Hardly cheap, then, but just 311 will be built and each one will make cars ten times the price look madly overpriced. On the other hand, they have more than one seat and a boot.