Designed as the pure expression of the Lotus spirit, the 3-Eleven will be available in two variants: Road and Race.
The 3-Eleven has a dry weight of below 900 kg (Race version), with a power-to-weight ratio in excess of 500 hp per ton, and is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds and reaching a top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h) for the Race version and 180 mph (290 km/h) for the Road version.
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 new Lotus 3-Eleven will enter production in February 2016. Production will be limited to just 311 vehicles in total.
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).
Manufactured from very light weight composite materials, optimizing vehicle weight, aerodynamic and structural requirements, the 3-Eleven’s composite body adopts a new resin infusion composite technology that is 40% lighter than the GRP equivalent.
The sculpted body has a minimized cross sectional area that keeps drag to a minimum while optimizing cooling.
As an extreme design evolution of Lotus predecessors, the Lotus 3-Eleven’s new front clam shell incorporates larger openings to deliver the necessary cooling for the powertrain and transmission. This helps give the vehicle a much more aggressive stance.
Two front splitter configurations are available, depending on whether the vehicle is configured for road or race use, and the front arches are wide enough to cover the car’s wide track and the new 225/40 ZR18 tires.
Dramatic side scallops provide a clean 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.
The rear clamshell emphasizes the aggressive stance of the car, with different fixed spoilers available, depending on whether the vehicle is specified for road or race use.
The new rear diffuser and under-tray, which has been developed to ensure minimum drag, complements an exhaust system designed specifically to minimize back pressure and enhance engine performance.
The interior is minimal and focused on the driving experience: the second seat for the passenger is optional: it can be removed and the optional tonneau panel fitted to envelope the driver and improve overall aerodynamics.
The instrument cluster has been designed around a colour TFT screen, and can be switched between road and track modes, providing relevant information direct to the driver.
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.
The 3-Eleven is powered by a revised version of the 3.5-litre V6 engine first shown in the Evora 400, which includes a supercharger with integrated water-to-air charge cooler. Maximum power output has increased to 450hp (456 PS / 336 kW) at 7000 rpm and torque has increased to 450 Nm / 332 lbs ft with maximum torque available from 3500 rpm through to 6500 rpm.
The engine is coupled with a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox with a Torsen-type limited slip differential – the Race model has a 6-speed sequential transmission with a semi-dry sump, oil cooler, limited slip differential and paddle shift.
The basis of the 3-Eleven is a bespoke chassis that adopts the trademark Lotus construction system, with of extruded and bonded aluminum sections.
The Road roll-cage incorporates twin side bars for side impact protection, whilst 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.