With Lotus setting their sights on a new generation of sports cars, their current lineup has its days numbered – and the 3-Eleven is one of the first models which they bid adieu. As a proper send-off for the hardcore track machine, the Chinese-owned British manufacturer produced the 3-Eleven 430 as the last word in Lotus’ line of trackday-spec vehicles.
Limited to just 20 units total, the 3-Eleven 430 is clear-cut in the sense that it boasts its power figures in its name: 430 HP (435 PS) out of a 3.5-liter V6. Backed with 440 Nm of torque, the 3-Eleven 430 propels itself from 0-100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 290 km/h. These figures trump the previous 3-Eleven by 0.2 seconds on the sprint and 10 km/h in top speed.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission with a torsen limited-slip differential to handle traction. Variable traction control also adjusts power delivery via the ECU to further augment grip.
Known for following Colin Chapman’s ethos of ‘Simplify, then add lightness,” Lotus is keen to point out that there is more to the 3-Eleven 430 than just the power figures. A higher mounted straight-cut rear wing with re-profiled end plates, a long front splitter and lip spoiler, and a flat floor with rear diffuser all boost the downforce by 44 kg to a total of 265 kg at top speed.
With this special officially ending the 3-Eleven’s production run, what else will Lotus have in store for us for its next generation of sports cars?