As Morgan boasts its EV3 multi-centurial hybrid on the Goodwood Speed Festival, Lotus proudly stands by what they are calling their “quickest and most expensive series production car ever.” The Lotus 3-Eleven is their latest track-burning car and speeds up from 0 to 60 mph in just under 3 seconds. As we speak of this low rider, it has already clocked a 1 min 22 sec lap at Lotus’s Hethel track – a speedy record.
For practical users, The Road version is all legal speeds and specs, but for the lovers of adrenaline, The Race comes with an aerodynamic kit to add the rush. With a power to weight ratio of 500 bhp per tonne, the vehicle is a lightweight version, tipping the scale at under 900 kg.
The double clamshell body with an open cockpit doesn’t speak elegance, but the what the 3-Eleven doesn’t look like is more than made up for by its aerodynamics thanks to which it is able to achieve a downforce of up to 215 kg at 150 mph and pave its way to the race tracks. A bespoke chassis has been made from extruded and bonded aluminum sections and the roll cage’s twin side bars, which aren’t all it has. Additional side bars bring it at par with international racing safety requirements.
Its shell, Lotus says, is 40% lighter than glass resin, made from an all-new lightweight resin infusion composite. By minimizing the cross section, Lotus has kept the drag down and optimized cooling of the engine and gearbox by large openings in frontal body, as well as side scallops from the front wheel arches.
There’s room for more than one, with a passenger seat fitted in the tonneau panel. And its about time we speak abput what makes this Lotus roar. The 3.5-liter V6 engine is a newer version of Evora 400’s, with integrated water-to-air charge cooler and a supercharger. We are talking 450 bhp and 450 Nm of torque! The Road has a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox with a Torsen-type limited slip differential, a performance clutch assembly, and an oil cooler under the hood, a family geared up to produce top speed of 180 mph. The Race, on the other hand, reached 174 mp with a six-speed sequential flappy-paddle gearbox, a semi-dry sump, oil cooler, and limited slip differential.
Double-wishbones front and rear, with an adjustable front anti-roll bar and Eibach springs with Öhlins adjustable dampers make the models bespoke suspensions, and come with a traction control system. Lightweight forged aluminum wheels with a choice of Michelin Pilot Super Sport or Michelin Cup 2 tires between the two versions, take the racer on a fine stroll. Braking is no biggy with AP Racing four-piston calipers with two-part grooved and vented 332 mm front and rear discs. The Race comes with upgraded pads for the track.
The interior of the car is an ambiance of a race on the road. The instrument cluster is based around a color TFT screen which flips between rad and track modes. Standard lotus sports seats come with a four-point harnesses, a quick-release steering wheel. The Race also comes with an optional data logger system, FIA approved race seat, six-point harness, a battery kill switch and a fire extinguisher.
Limited to the production of just 311 units, Lotus is set to deliver by April 2016 to those who pay a whopping £82,000 for The Road and £96,000 for The Race.