Hypercar Slayer: The Lotus 3-Eleven

If one was to define the most uncompromised expression of the Lotus philosophy, the new 3-Eleven is pretty much it. Just run these numbers through your brain. Are you ready? 460hp. 525Nm. 890kg. 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds. A top speed of 180mph.

If you are looking for a savage driving experience straight out of the box, I’m not sure this can really be topped…

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The 3-Eleven makes the best from the established supercar and hypercar makers look almost slow. It’s a no-brainer. Sort of…

Lotus-Day-Japan-16-41

It’s a Lotus after all, so this sort of performance comes at a cost – and I don’t mean financially. Okay, that too – the 3-Eleven isn’t cheap, but I’m talking more about the compromises.

Lotus-Day-Japan-16-48

For starters, it doesn’t have a roof or even a windscreen, so I’m sure you can see what I’m getting at. You wont find a LaFerrari or Pagani owner giving a second glance to this car; it’s just something they probably wouldn’t be too interested in. The 3-Eleven is a car built primarily to get your juices flowing at the track on a Sunday; it just happens to be built for the street too.

Lotus-Day-Japan-16-44

As you might imagine, there isn’t much in the way of equipment. You get a 6-speed manual transmission (Xtrac sequential in the race version of the car), a steering wheel and three pedals. That’s my sort of spec list!

Lotus-Day-Japan-16-45

Its supercharged Toyota 3.5L V6 is mounted in the same midship position as the Exige (the platform it’s based on), so coupled with a stiff extruded aluminium chassis, double wishbone suspension and sticky rubber, it delivers handling dynamics on par with serious race cars.

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The race version has an adjustable wing that’s able to generate 215kg of downforce at 240km/h (149mph).

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Looking over the car at the recent Japan Lotus Day, one thing that surprised me is the wheel sizes Lotus has gone for: 18-inch at the front and 19-inch at the rear. Thanks to cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and 991 GT3 RS, Michelin provides its Pilot Sport rubber all the way up to 21-inch fitments, so no worries there. But still, 19-inch wheels on a Lotus?

Lotus-Day-Japan-16-49

Design-wise, the 3-Eleven is one angry looking fish; I can’t fault it in any way. It’s been designed to do one thing, and it does it perfectly well I’m sure. Now I just have to get behind the wheel of this thing to find out for myself!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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34 comments

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1

awesome looking car with great ideas (and money) behind it.
still would not want to work on it.
would sell/10

2

Speedhunters this thing is gonna be a big deal

3

The version with the 6 sp manual 'only' has 410hp though.

4

And, a Lotus 7 version would be called a...

5

Saw one last year at Goodwood (in green) and I was rather taken with it, but in grey it looks even better still!

6

Wow. It looks more front-engine than it really is.
Also... look at that side. LOOK AT THAT SIDE! LOOK AT IT!

7

Hydrolastic 620R?

8

Awesome.....but please with windshield LOL!

9

I take it your neighborhood hasn't been invaded by the 7-Eleven convenience store chain yet?

10

Hydrolastic :) I get you bud

11

Love the 3-11! Did you check out its LCD gauge cluster? The exposed gear linkage is sexy as well, and I find it hilarious that Lotus just slapped the Exige side indicator on the fender and it still says "Exige" on it. Simplify and add cost savings!!

12

I can't believe it's powered by the same engine that powered the Toyota Camry ... with custom intake + supercharger , and Lotus' own ECU , and Lotus' own exhaust , and probably strengthen internals ...

13

Dino,
"Design-wise, the 3-Eleven is one angry looking fish; I can’t fault it in any way." Yet you question the wheels by stating, "But still, 19-inch wheels on a Lotus?"  Have you given any thought that larger ones would have upset the visual esthetic and not provided that much (if any) increased performance?  IMHO the proportion of vehicle to wheel size is perfect.

14

Can it be road registered?

15

JoeKendall I think he meant the wheels should have been smaller...

16

I'd love an excuse to get the 1920's style goggles and a flat cap!

17

'angry fish' lol. Good likeness though.

18

I'll take mine with a set of 17x10 ce28s and a voltex type 7 please, thank you.

19

But still, 19-inch wheels on a Lotus?
-----------------------------------------------------


Come on man where have you been the last 10 years? Develeopment anyone? 19" arent something special nowadays, even on a Lotus. 
Those 16-17" wheels are outdated. No need to use them. You have better handling with 19" compared to 17 or 18". More direct feel and better feel on brakes in my opinion. Negative is, the rearend will break out easier.

20

I agree with you on the most part but i think the author was referring to the notion that its interresting how such big wheels were designed for such a little car. But i wouldnt say smaller wheels are outdated since there are New small driver cars such as the miata that require 17 inch wheels for a proportionate and functional fit.

21
Dimitry Mochkin

Lotus has used Toyota engines before. For example 2ZZ-GE on the Elise.

22
benedict cumberbatch

swap em out for 18s and we're good to go. my name isn't xzibit, i don't need big flashy wheels.

23

I would assume with lotus going to 19+ inch rims might be due to Michelin not making the specific tires to suit smaller sized rims.

24

Dimitry Mochkin
I know the 2ZZ , but that was from Celica , not a Camry . :P

25

Looks like a Honda s200 with half the body cut away.

26

RDS Dimitry Mochkin They've used the 1zz as well, so it still applies

27

yes i want this car :D i dont car if it doesnt have a top it doesnt have carpets to get wet either lmfao

28

LukeCollins No. Not in the slightest.

29

seffy 
Yeah , that would be one case .

Another one would be the supercharged 3ZR-FE that they use to replaced the discontinued 2ZZ-GE .

30

They went out of their way to stagger the diameter, which is odd, especially for a "race" car.
Regardless of what's popular, if you want to run lap after lap you want a smaller (aka cheaper) tire. And making the setup square gives you more spares for the day instead of guessing how many front and rear wheels you should buy.
For a track focused car, its an odd decision. Its also a lot of wheel to have the dampers contend with

31

Super cool build...love Lotus and this particular one would definitely turn my head

32

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33

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