In honour of our event at Stoneacre Durham on Wednesday February 10, we’d like to explore what makes our star attraction - the new Lotus 3-Eleven - the exhilarating car it is and what makes it one of the most exciting new cars of 2016.
Uncompromised - Unhinged
Lotus has produced the new 3-Eleven to be a machine that exudes the firm’s spirit without limits and has been built to give the most undiluted driving experience available. As a result, the 3-Eleven will showcase Lotus’ ability to offer an unparalleled combination of handling and outright speed.
The b-road blasting track specialist
The 3-Eleven makes no secret of its track-orientated style, but Lotus has ensured those who want to take theirs on the road can do so and still offer the visceral nature you’d find on the track.
To achieve this, Lotus has created the 3-Eleven in both Road and Race guises in order to appease the demands of both types of driver. You’ll find the same supercharged 3.5-litre V6 in both, but while the road-going version offers a tasty 410hp, the Race version is optimised for the track with a hefty 460hp and a punchy 387lbs ft of torque. A sub-3.0sec 0-60mph time for the Race 3-Eleven should be of no surprise.
To further tune the 3-Eleven for the track, you’ll find numerous other alterations on the Race version, such as a more aggressive aero kit, a sequential gearbox with paddleshift and an FIA-approved driver’s seat complete with a six-point harness. The aero kit has been designed to offer 215kg of downforce at just under 150mph, while advanced aerodynamics see the rear carbon wing become adjustable.
Perhaps most impressive are the two versions’ power-to-weight ratio, which sees the Road 3-Eleven’s at 443hp/tonne and the Race version’s at a mightily impressive 517hp/tonne.
Lotus has given the new 3-Eleven a state-of-the-art construction that includes an extruded aluminium chassis-tub that brings not only superb torsional rigidity, but also a lightweight frame to bring balance in combination with the mid-engined layout.
Even the alloys have been created in forged aluminium - front and back - to bring an overall weight of a mere 890kg. Carbon body panels add further to this lightness, while the carbon driver seat on the Race version is evidence again of Lotus’ determination to ensure the 3-Eleven is as agile and effective as possible.
Those wanting to take it to the extreme can option for the likes of an FIA-compliant cage (Race version only) that drops the passenger seat and ensures a truly focused and uncompromised experience on the track.