Lotus debuted the 3-Eleven at Goodwood earlier this year, calling the car its "quickest and most expensive series production car ever." But just how quick is it? To find out, the carmaker has been testing the 3-Eleven at the Nürburgring, and it turns out it's faster than even Lotus thought.
OK, so we already knew the 3-Eleven was no slouch based on the figures that Lotus provided when the car dropped. It will hit 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in less than three seconds, with the the road-legal version of the car topping out at 180 mph (290 km/h) and the Race version hitting 174 mph (280 km/h).
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The automotive rite-of-passage that is the Nürburgring Nordschleife, however, breathes color into those figures, giving an insight into just what a car can do under track conditions and compared to its contemporaries. Lotus says that, over the two-week testing period during which it clocked up over 2,000 km (1,243 mi), the 3-Eleven "lapped regularly on or below the target simulation time," (which Gizmag has asked Lotus to divulge, without response as yet). This despite it being an industry pool test period, and the track not being reserved solely for Lotus.
We also asked Lotus what the fastest full lap completed by the 3-Eleven was, and are waiting to hear back. In a press release, however, Lotus explains that by combining the quickest sector times achieved during its two fastest laps, the 3-Eleven can be shown to be capable of a hypothetical 7 minutes, 06 seconds lap time.
To put that into context, Group Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales calls it "one of the fastest ever lap times around the Nürburgring for any class of car and faster than many other supercars." Were it an official time, it would put the 3-Eleven behind only the Radical SR8LM, the Radical SR8, the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce, according to nurburgringlaptimes.com.
One of the three drivers involved in the testing reckons that the 3-Eleven could actually go faster than the sector-aggregated time. "I know the Nürburgring Nordschleife very well and have driven many cars around the circuit," says Marc Basseng. "I’m sure, with the track completely to itself, the car could push towards a seven-minute-flat lap-time."
Prices for the 3-Eleven start at £82,000 (US$126,000) for the Road version and £96,000 ($148,000) for the Race version. Deliveries are scheduled to begin from April 2016.Source: Lotus View gallery - 3 images