Car News 24 Feb 2016

New 450bhp Lotus 3-Eleven unveiled at Goodwood

New 450bhp Lotus 3-Eleven unveiled at Goodwood

Lotus has unveiled the first of its new generation of sports cars – the Lotus 3-Eleven.  Delivering 450bhp and weighing in at under 900kg, the new car is the fastest and most expensive model Lotus has ever built.  Two versions – Road and Race – will be available, costing between £82,000 and £115,200, depending on specification.

Revealed at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the 3-Eleven is the brainchild of new Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales.  Gales describes the car as “an uncompromised manifestation of the Lotus idiom” that delivers “legendary handling and blistering speed”.  The Race model recently lapped Lotus’s Hethel circuit in just 1min 22sec, a full 10 seconds faster than the next-quickest Lotus.

In race trim, the 3-Eleven can top 174mph, while the Road version, on a slightly taller gearing, can reach 180mph.  Maximum power is 450bhp at 7000rpm.  The transverse, mid-mounted engine is a new version of Lotus’s 3.5-litre, Toyota-sourced V6, with Hethel-designed supercharger, integrated charge cooler and engine management electrics.

A new composite material, 40% lighter than standard glassfibre, has been used to form the 3-Eleven’s striking silhouette, the first application of the material in a production car.  For Road car owners, there is the option of a tonneau panel covering the passenger’s side, which can be replaced with an optional passenger’s seat.

Lotus anticipate strong worldwide demand for the 3-Eleven, and expect to take two years to build the planned run of 311 cars.  The first deliveries will be next April.

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