|The radical Lotus 3-Eleven recently completed its two-week test trials at Germany’s famous Nurburgring NordSchleife (North Loop). The test session saw the Lotus 3-Eleven complete over 2,000 kilometers as part of the 3-Eleven’s development program.|
The 3-Eleven is the quickest and most powerful production Lotus ever. Following a stint with the 3-Eleven, nominated driver Marc Basseng commented, “I know the Nürburgring Nordschleife very well and have driven many cars around the circuit. I can say that the 3-Eleven is the perfect car for a fast lap here. It is so sharp and so focussed; a true weapon! This was proven in the sector times set and I’m sure, with the track completely to itself, the car could push towards a 7 minutes flat lap time.”
As a matter of fact, the Lotus 3-Eleven managed to achieve one of the fastest ever lap times around the Nürburgring, comparable to any class of car and many supercar variants. Heralding a new generation of Lotus high performance sports cars, the 3-Eleven features an all-new lightweight body, with an open cockpit design and a V6 supercharged engine developing 450 hp. The 3-Eleven re-affirms Lotus core values, offering the ultimate pure driving experience and providing the perfect demonstration of “faster and lighter” which comes from Lotus’ roots in competitive motorsport and underlines the company’s ability to deliver benchmark handling.
In what was its first turn of a wheel outside of Lotus’ Hethel HQ, the new 3-Eleven was piloted by three different drivers with individual areas of expertise and vehicle set-up with specific focus: aerodynamics, engine calibration, chassis tuning and suspension geometry.
Gavan Kershaw, Technical Manager for Lotus Motorsport and Lotus 3-Eleven Development Driver, remarked, “It has been a hugely successful test for us in which we have thoroughly investigated areas of the car which are a specific focus for high performance driving. We have methodically worked through a test matrix concentrating on, aerodynamic balance, suspension settings, tyre and brake development, optimizing engine calibration and throttle mapping to reach the required benchmark for performance.”
With clear running on the circuit an inhibiting factor over the course of the two week period, in which the track was not designated solely for the use of Lotus, the 3-Eleven lapped regularly on or below the target simulation time. By combining the quickest sector times achieved during the fastest 2 laps on the “Sport Auto” magazine lap configuration, a total lap time of 7:06 seconds was recorded by the vehicle’s data logging acquisition system.
The Lotus 3-Eleven is scheduled to go into production in February next year, and delivery is set to take off in April. Only 311 units are up for grabs, in honor of the car’s 3-Eleven designation. Starting price for the Lotus 3-Eleven is 82,000 pounds for the Road version and 96,000 pounds for the Race version.