Goodwood LIVE: 2016 Lotus 3-Eleven
Buyers can choose between a Road and a Race version
Lotus has introduced the new 2016 3-Eleven at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed that is currently taking place in England.
Heralded as the quickest and most expensive car Lotus has ever built, the 3-Eleven is designed to provide a pure, undiluted driving experience. It is based on the Exige, but it boasts a model-specific open-top body with sculpted panels crafted out of composite materials in order to save weight. The 3-Eleven eschews a windshield in favor of a tiny aeroscreen, and its rear end is fitted with an aggressive air diffuser. 18-inch forged aluminum wheels up front and 19-inch units out back come standard.
The 3-Eleven ships with a single bucket seat fitted with a four-point harness, but a second seat can be ordered at an extra cost. Inside, it offers a track-derived cockpit with a quick-release steering wheel and bare metal floors, while the instrument cluster consists of a color TFT screen that can be switched between road and race modes.
Power for the street-legal version of the 3-Eleven comes from an evolution of the Evora 400's supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that has been tuned to make 450 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 332 lb-ft. of torque from 3,500 to 6,500 rpm. The six-cylinder spins the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and a Torsen limited-slip differential.
A Bosch-designed ABS system tweaked by Lotus and AP Racing four-pot brake calipers keep the power in check.
Buyers who are exclusively interested in hitting the track can order more extreme version of the convertible dubbed Race. The Race model turns the dial up to 11 with a more aggressive body kit that provides nearly 500 pounds of downforce at 150 mph, a six-speed sequential transmission and a FIA-approved driver's seat fitted with a six-point harness.
Production of the 3-Eleven will kick off in February of next year in Lotus' Hethel, England, factory, and the first deliveries are scheduled for the following April. Production will be limited to - you guessed it - 311 examples.
In its home country, the 3-Eleven Road will carry a base price of £82,000 (about $129,000) while the Race model will command a hefty £115,200 (roughly $181,000). Lotus is not currently planning on offering the 3-Eleven in the United States.
Live Images by Ben Hsu.