Lotus 2-Eleven

The Lotus 2-Eleven is an uncompromised trackday car - driveable, if not comfortable, on the road, but unsurpassed on a circuit

Talk about a one-track mind. As it’s designed to be the ultimate track-day machine, we don’t need to tell you the new Lotus 2-Eleven has few creature comforts.

However, it is street legal – despite having no windscreen, roof or doors. In fact, the threat of road debris means a helmet is advisable. But once properly togged up, you’ll be surprised at how driveable the 2-Eleven is on a country road.

It’s more stiffly sprung than the Caterham Sigma, and so less compliant. Yet the Lotus isn’t as edgy or aggressive as you might expect, and tends to hop and skip only over very rough surfaces.

On an open circuit, however, it comes alive – only the Porsche GT3 RS and Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera could keep pace with it. The supercharged Toyota engine produces 252bhp which, combined with the 745kg kerbweight, has kept the power-to-weight ratio down, and the six-speed manual gearbox is a joy. The motor really sings when the variable valve timing kicks in above 5,000rpm, while the supercharger provides far more flexibility than most track-day specials.

Without power assistance, the steering and chassis precision are superlative, while non-existent body roll and excellent high-speed grip help the driver commit confidently to fast corners. In slow bends, there is a bit of understeer, but it can be delicately countered by the throttle.

The dampers are fully adjustable, while the traction control can be altered using a dial in the cockpit. And although the 2-Eleven is pricey, few other track-day cars are as well engineered or as totally suited to the job as this is. What’s more, it delivers pace to match vehicles costing four times as much.

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