Lotus has unveiled the successor of its much-loved 2-Eleven – the Lotus 3-Eleven – claiming that its the fastest and most focused Lotus for road and track yet.
Anticipating for the launch had been building up ever since a giant wooden crate containing the secret new car first made appearances at the Festival of Speed. The wooden crate was emblazoned with ‘It’s not for you’ stencilling and everyone had been intrigued until Friday morning.
At about 10:30am, Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales literally drove this box-fresh car straight out of the box – to the glee of the packed FoS audience.
“There is no better place than Goodwood to present a completely new car – especially the fastest Lotus ever.” said Jean-Marc. “To make a better Lotus you need to make it lighter and faster and the 3-Eleven does exactly that.”
Another important bit of information that was revealed by Jean-Marc was that the company will be making only 311 3-Elevens.
Lotus is yet to reveal the specifications of 3-Eleven in detail, but we do the following. The 3-Eleven is capable of getting from 0-62mph in ‘under 3 seconds’. Top speed is 180mph, or 174mph for the race version. In that race trim, with race seat and harness, and more aggressive aero, it weighs under 900kg, more in road trim.
Power is 450bhp, courtesy of a revised version of the supercharged V6 from the Exige S and Evora 400. Lotus say it is faster than either around the Hethel test track – by as much as 10-seconds for the race version.
The road car gets a six-speed manual box while the Race car has a six-speed sequential transmission. Both versions have standard limited slip diff.
The car will go on sale next year with a price tag of £82,000 in the UK and the final cost that one will have to pay to own it is £115,200 including VAT.
‘Eleven’ is a significant name for Lotus. The First Lotus Eleven (and first Lotus with a name starting with an E) marked the start of serious Lotus production when it came out in 1956. By 1959 270 of them had been built.
Then in 2007 the 2-Eleven stunned everyone with what was for the time a radical new look. Much loved by owners, 358 2-Elevens were built and are as enduringly popular as track cars at Goodwood and elsewhere today as ever.
Andy Elliman, chairman of Lotus’s longest continually serving dealership Bell & Colvill in Surrey and who has a stand at FoS this year, said the new 3-Eleven is exactly the right sort of new Lotus.
Jean-Marc summed up: “It’s a very exciting time for Lotus and we have lots more to come in the next two years.”