Lotus made big news in this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed with the launch of their track-ready sports car, the 3-Eleven. Available in Road or Race models, the 3-Eleven is “An uncompromised manifestation of the Lotus spirit” and follows Colin Chapman's philosophy of “simplify and add lightness.”
"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, and is perfectly in keeping with our brand values. 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.” said Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer for Group Lotus.
With an emphasis on weight reduction, Lotus says the 3-Eleven is up to 40% lighter than glass reinforced plastics thanks to its use of light composite materials such as carbon fiber. The 3-Eleven comes with a clamshell hood with large air intakes to keep the car cool for the demands on the race track. To keep the car light, the 3-Eleven does not come with a windshield but instead, comes with an optional tonneau cover. It comes with a rollcage mounted behind the occupants. At the back, it provides added downforce with the addition of a rear wing and diffusers.
The same lightweight philosophy continues inside. The 3-Eleven does not come with a carpet nor radio, only offering the speedometer, tachmometer, light controls and the start button. It also comes with a quick release steering wheel and Lotus sports seats with four-point harnesses are fitted as standard. For Race models, it is available with a data logger system, FIA approved driver’s race seat, and six-point harness as well as a fire extinguisher & battery kill switch.
Lotus says the 3-Eleven is their fastest car to date. With a 3.5 liter supercharged V6 putting out 450 PS, the 900 kg sports car is claimed to hit 100 km/h in the 3 second mark and can hit 300 km/h. The 3-Eleven also comes with a Limited Slip Differential standard, a Lotus Traction Control system and a close ratio 6-speed manual transmission. The Race model comes with a close ration 6 speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters.
Production for the track focused Lotus will begin on February 2016. First customer cars are expected to make their way by April 2016. Production will be limited to just 311 cars.