First seen at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the lightweight Lotus 3-Eleven just set an impressive lap time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The Lotus 3-Eleven lapped the infamous ‘Ring in 7:06 -- in traffic.
During its two-week test and tune period at the track, the Lotus 3-Eleven covered more than 1,240 miles, while lapping the ‘Ring at or below the target simulation time. Lotus notes that “the track was not designated solely" for the automaker. The 3-Eleven's 7:06 time was achieved by using Sport Auto magazine's lap configuration and combining the car’s quickest segment times from its two fastest laps recorded by the on-board data logger.
“I know the Nürburgring Nordschleife very well and have driven many cars around the circuit,” said Marc Basseng, one of the three Lotus 3-Eleven drivers, in a release. “I can say that the 3-Eleven is the perfect car for a fast lap here. It is so sharp and so focused; 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-minute flat lap time.”
Highlights of the Lotus 3-Eleven include a new lightweight body with an open cockpit design and a Toyota-sourced supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 making 450 hp. The configuration fits perfectly with Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s “Simplify, then add lightness” mantra.
The two-week testing session at the Nürburgring was the Lotus 3-Eleven’s first time driven outside of the automaker’s Hethel headquarters testing facility.
Production of the new Lotus 3-Eleven will begin in February with cars arriving at dealers in April. Just 311 examples will be produced. The road version will be priced at £82,000 (including VAT and other fees) or approximately $125,900 U.S. The Race version will sell for £96,000 excluding VAT for or $147,500 (£115,200 including VAT or $176,700). Lotus will sell the 3-Eleven as a race car in all markets and a road car in Europe and Asia.