The Lotus 3-Eleven made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend
Lotus has unveiled its latest track-burning car at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Billed as the company’s “quickest and most expensive series production car ever,” the Lotus 3-Eleven launches from 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds and has already clocked a record 1 min 22 sec lap at Lotus’s Hethel track.
The Lotus 3-Eleven comes in two versions: The Road, which squeaks in as a road-legal ride, and the Race, which is based on the Road, but has an aerodynamic kit that ups the ante along with other options. The latter also emphasises the model’s light weight, coming in at under 900 kg (1,984 lb) and a power to weight ratio of 500 bhp per tonne.
The 3-Eleven is its much more aggressive style over 2007’s 2-Eleven, though in a form-follows-function way. What the open cockpit and double clamshell body lacks in elegance, it makes up for in aerodynamics, allowing the Race to achieve a downforce of up to 215 kg (475 lb) at 150 mph (240 km/h), and reinforce the impression that the 3-Eleven is really all about the track.
Underneath the shell is the bespoke chassis made of extruded and bonded aluminum sections, and the roll cage’s twin side bars. Meanwhile, the Race has additional bars to meet international racing safety requirements.The shell itself is an all-new lightweight resin infusion composite that Lotus says is 40 percent lighter than glass resin. Drag is kept down by minimizing the cross section, which also optimizes cooling for the engine and gearbox by means of large openings in the front clamshell and side scallops from the front wheel arches.