The Lotus 3-Eleven, claimed to be the company’s quickest ever model, was unveiled overnight at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Like the earlier 2-Eleven that this vehicle is essentially a successor to, the 3-Eleven uses visual elements from the contemporary Exige S, such as the head- and tail-lights. Lotus claims, though, that the 3-Eleven is built on a bespoke chassis, which utilises the company’s now signature extruded and bonded aluminium sections.
Wrapped around the car’s roll cage and underlying structural elements are body panels made from a new resin infusion method that’s said to be around 40 percent lighter than glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).
The 3-Eleven is powered by a version of the supercharged 3.5-litre V6 from the recently unveiled Evora 400. For the 3-Eleven power output has increased to 336kW at 7000rpm, while maximum torque has jumped up to 450Nm and is available from 3500rpm to 6500rpm.
Between the Toyota supplied engine and the rear wheels is a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission and a Torsen-style limited-slip differential.
The 3-Eleven will be sold in both road-going or race trims. The more expensive race version weighs under 900kg, and is capable of a 0-60mph (0-97km/h) time of under three seconds and a top speed of 280km/h. The road-going car can manage a v-max of 290km/h.
Up front the 3-Eleven wears 18-inch wheels with 225/40 rubber, while at the rear there’s 19-inch rims attached to 275/35 tyres. Stopping power is provided by a AP Racing four-piston calipers and 332mm vented discs at both ends.
Suspension-wise, the 3-Eleven uses a double wishbone arrangement at both the front and back. The front anti-roll bar is adjustable, as are the Ohlins dampers connected to the vehicle’s Eibach springs.
On inside, the cabin is sparse, minimal and focussed. Ahead of the driver is a quick release steering wheel and a colour thin-film transistor (TFT) instrument display. The car’s seats are fitted with four-point harnesses in road-going form. Racing versions have FIA-approved seats with a six-point harness, fire extinguisher and battery kill switch.
In keeping with its name, just 311 examples of the 3-Eleven will be built. Production begins in February 2016, with deliveries scheduled to start in April.
We’ll update this article with Australian availability and pricing soon.