"Heralding the next generation of Lotus high performance sports cars, the 3-Eleven is the Lotus’ quickest and most expensive series production car ever. Designed to deliver an undiluted experience, the Lotus 3-Eleven utilises an all-new lightweight composite body, and a bespoke chassis based on the proven Lotus design of extruded and bonded aluminium sections." - That's how Lotus Cars describes their track-focused machine.
The car was introduced back in 2015, and now, four years later it is still the fastest production Lotus, soon to be superseded by the new Lotus Evija. This one is very special. Number 311 of 311 produced, finished in black matt paint with two glossy black stripes. It looks stunning in the flesh, and I haven't seen better looking 3-Eleven yet.
3-Eleven is powered by the same 3.5 V6 litres Toyota engine you can find in Evora and Exige, and it is bumped to 460 bhp in a race version (410 bhp for a road-going car). With the weight of just under 900kg, you can expect power to weight ratio at around 500 bhp per ton (as a comparison, Bugatti Veyron is 490 per ton). This is probably more horses than you need, but in the end, this is a serious car and hard to call it a toy. With 3 second sprint to 60mph, up to 215kg of downforce and a price tag around 100k, you must be one of those guys who know how to use it. Take it where it belongs - asphalt around Silverstone Circuit or Spa-Francorchamps, and it will put a big smile on your face.
ps. It lapped Nurburgring Nordschleife at 7:06 (faster than 911 GT3 or GT-R Nismo).
Lotus decided that the last 20 road versions of the car will benefit from increased power to 430 bhp. It improved car's Hethel track time by over 2 seconds comparing to the previous model, and faster than the Exige Cup 430 by 0.8 second.
"This new car is a giant slayer, capable of embarrassing far more expensive rivals. It condenses our engineering know-how into one, hardcore 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."
- Jean-Marc Gales, Lotus CEO.
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Interior won't spoil you with gadgets and toys to play around. Just a couple of essential buttons, a steering wheel and a gear lever (or sequential transmission gear flaps). Without a roof, it will force to you always wear a helmet, but that's nothing new in a track-focused car from Lotus. It was the same for the predecessor, Lotus 2-Eleven that was based on the previous series of the Exige/Elise. By the way, I love the 211, and I find it more engaging, a little bit more human-friendly and less terrifying.
I hope there is a Lotus 4-Eleven in plans. With the release of the lastest Lotus Evija, I wouldn't be surprised if the new version gains a little bit of electrification. It is only a matter of time when race cars become fully electric. As a petrolhead, I might be not entirely happy with that fact, but it is an exciting future, and undoubtedly, the major benefit will be lack of noise limitations on track days.
If you are more into photography than cars...
These photos were taken in a warehouse in the middle of the day. I did not have to replace the background and do extensive photo manipulation to get the right mood. I always try to do as much work as I can on the set, rather than spend too much time photoshopping later. Lights panels in the background and ground reflections are real, and I used large LED panels to give these picture a unique feel. They did not provide enough light to lit the car as it was fairly dark. Godox strobes helped me to get the details out of the car's body and wheels. I have to say, it is my second time I was properly shooting a black matt car, and it is so much easier than normal glossy black.
You can find all photos for purchase on my website and choose the format. If you want just a regular poster or something a bit more hardcore like acrylic aluminium print, it is all there!