- - Sunday, June 28, 2015

For the car buyer who wants to add not just a little pizzazz, but just about the biggest bang to be made, the all new Lotus 3-Eleven might be the ticket. A few facts from the folks at Lotus include that production will be limited to just 311 vehicles and this vehicle will have the quickest production of any Lotus road car ever. With an all-new lightweight composite body there will be two versions, the Road and Race, both developed through Lotus Motorsport.

The folks at Lotus said at the recent unveiling “Designed as an uncompromised manifestation of the Lotus spirit, the new car is focused on providing an undiluted driving experience, and underlines the company’s ability to deliver legendary handling and blistering speed.”

The Lotus concept idea for the 3-Eleven was that less is more, but at the same time the team kept a close look at Lotus in the past combining the two, this new option features an all-new lightweight body, with an open cockpit design and a revised V6 supercharged engine.

Choosing between the Road or the Race, both will deliver an impressive combination of high performance, agility and precision. Based on the Road version, the Race includes a more aggressive aero kit, a sequential gearbox and an FIA approved driver’s seat with a six-point harness.

The 3-Eleven will offer in excess of 500 horsepower and the Race will be capable of sprinting from 0-60 mile per hour in less than 3.0 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 174 miles per hour or 180 miles per hour for the Road version.

Jean-Marc Gales, chief executive officer for Group Lotus plc, stated, “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.”

He also added that “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.”

The new Lotus 3-Eleven will also have an aerodynamic downforce of up to 215 kg at 150 miles per gallon for the Race version with a chassis based on the Lotus design of extruded and bonded aluminum sections. The Road roll-cage incorporates twin side bars for side impact protection and the Race cage has additional bars to meet international requirements for motorsport.

The Lotus 3-Eleven’s suspension features lightweight, double-wishbones front and rear, adjustable front anti-roll bar and Eibach springs with Öhlins adjustable dampers. This allows owners to fine tune the vehicle’s handling characteristics.

The engine is supercharged and charge-cooled with a 3.5-litre, V6 engine, Limited Slip Differential and the Lotus traction control system.

Maximum power output has increased to 450horsepower at 7000 rpm and torque has increased to 332 pounds feet of torque available from 3500 rpm through to 6500 rpm.

There is also a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox with a Torsen-type limited slip differential, featuring a performance clutch assembly and oil cooler all standard on the Road version. The Race model has a 6-speed sequential transmission with a semi-dry sump, oil cooler, limited slip differential and paddle shift.

Lightweight-forged aluminum wheels are fitted as standard on the 3-Eleven, with either Michelin Pilot Super Sport or Michelin Cup 2 tires depending on if it’s in Road or Race configuration and in case you need the brakes AP Racing four-piston calipers are complemented by two-part grooved and vented brake discs, front and rear with upgraded brake pads fitted to the Race version.

For a look at the overall sex appeal of this Lotus 3-Eleven, the exterior design has lightweight body panels and a dramatic silhouette underlines the car’s performance-focused nature. There is an extreme design evolution from past Lotus options and the 3-Eleven has a front clam shell that incorporates larger openings to deliver the necessary cooling for the powertrain and transmission helping to give the vehicle a much more aggressive stance. There are also side scallops provided for an easy exit from the front wheels arches, and the car’s profile is dominated by an aerodynamically significant roll bar cover. The car is without a windscreen and doors, with the roll bar fully enclosing the rear cage. As well as generating downforce, the roll bar forms a vital part of the car’s homologation to international motorsport safety standards. As well, the rear diffuser and under-tray has been developed to ensure minimum drag and to complements the exhaust system in order to minimize back pressure and enhance engine performance.

Inside the Lotus 3-Eleven, it’s a race car interior. There is a TFT instrument cluster that can be switched from road to track modes as well as an aeroscreen and the optional passenger seat. A quick release steering wheel and Lotus sports seats with four-point harnesses are fitted as standard, while the Race variant has the option of a data logger system, FIA approved driver’s race seat, and six-point harness - as well as a fire extinguisher & battery kill switch.

Should You Need to Know: The Lotus 3-Eleven will be handmade at the Lotus Headquarters and will enter production in February 2016 with deliveries around April 2016.

Miles Per Gallon: Official fuel consumption figures and CO2 emissions figures for the Lotus 3-Eleven are not available at this time, but will be provided on the Lotus website www.lotuscars.com as soon as available.

Cost: Prices start at £82,000 for the Road version (including VAT and on the road costs) and £96,000 excluding VAT for the Race version (£115,200 including VAT).

For more auto tips and information, follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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