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460bhp Lotus 3-Eleven: New details and video released

Lotus's quickest-ever car, the £82,000 3-Eleven, is available to order now in both road and track spec

Back-to-basics Lotus have got even more hardcore with this: the 3-Eleven. First shown at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, it's the fastest car the Norfolk firm has ever put into production an is on sale now.

The track-ready 3-Eleven sports a supercharged 3.5-litre V6 producing 460bhp (or 410bhp in the road-spec version), and an 890kg kerbweight making it the fastest car the Norfolk-based firm has ever produced. It also starts at £82,500 for the road legal model, with a race-spec version at £116,500. Customer deliveries will commence in March.

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The 3-Eleven is a reinvention of the highly-focused 2-Eleven that we tested back in 2007, but the performance figures are in another league. Its power-to-weight ratio of 510bhp-per-tonne means it sprints from 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds and tops out at 174mph for the track version and 180mph for the road-legal model.

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Whereas the old 2-Eleven featured a 1.8-litre four cylinder engine, the 3-Eleven gets the supercharged 3.5-litre V6 from the Evora S sports car, mated to either a conventional six-speed manual in the road version and a six-speed sequential gearbox for the track car.

Lotus claims it laps its Hethel test track a full ten seconds faster than the next quickest car it makes. It has also now claimed that, during a 1200-mile development drive session at the Nurburgring, its fastest lap was 7-minutes and 6-seconds. This video shows how they did it:

The styling is also an adaptation of the 2-Eleven, with an Exige-based front end, an open cockpit design and sleek composite body. It based on a 'bespoke' extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, with roadgoing version featuring a twin side bar rollcage and racing versions receiving a full cage to comply with FIA regulations. The roof scoop and rear spoiler combine to produce 215kg of downforce at 150mph.

The suspension is a lightweight double-wishbone design all-round, with an adjustable anti-roll bar, Eibach springs and Ohlins adjustable dampers. It also gets a limited-slip differential, lightweight forged alloy wheels and 332mm vented brake discs with four-piston calipers.

The interior doesn't give away much compromise to road use, with four-point harnesses (six-point in the racer) a removeable steering wheel and a TFT information display. 

Lotus boss Jean Marc Gales describes it as a "giant slayer, capable of embarrassing far more expensive rivals", showing its speed projection towards the latest hypercars.

He went on to state "It condenses our engineering know-how into one, hard-core package, and is so focused that it won’t suit everyone". 

Get all the latest news from the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed here...

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