21st February 2018
- Substantial power increase to 430hp
- 920 kg and 467 hp per tonne
- 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds, top speed of 180 mph
- Lightweight full carbon bodywork – exposed on the flanks
- Higher performance brakes and enhanced aerodynamics
- Limited to 20 vehicles worldwide
Quickest Street-Legal Lotus Sports Car
As a final evolution to retake the title of “Lotus’ quickest street-legal sports car”, the new Lotus 3-Eleven 430 was developed. On the famous, nay, some say infamous Hethel circuit, the 3-Eleven 430 is 0.8 seconds quicker than the Exige Cup 430 racing car, and two seconds quicker than the old 3-Eleven, resulting in a new lap record of 1 minute 24 seconds.
As the model name implies, the upgraded, re-optimised, supercharged and charge-cooled 3.5-litre V6 engine produces 430 hp and 440 Nm of torque. The extra grunt shoots the new 3-Eleven 430 from 0-60 mph in only 3.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds) and a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h) – up from 3.3 seconds (0-60 mph) (3.4 seconds 0-100 km/h) and 174 mph (280 km/h) for the old Lotus 3-Eleven.
Designed to provide enthusiast drivers with the purest and most direct of driving experiences, the 3-Eleven is cut from the same cloth as the most iconic Lotus cars. Following the late Colin Chapman’s edict, it employs a lightweight carbon-composite body and a bespoke extruded and bonded aluminium chassis. Sculpted part-exposed carbon side panels and striking carbon interior panels all contribute to the exceptional light weight.
“Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.” – Colin Chapman
The original 3-Eleven was unveiled in the summer of 2015 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, setting new standards for speed and agility at any price.
Entering the company’s 70th anniversary, the new 3-Eleven 430 is a celebration of pure performance and intelligent engineering, as new updates to the Exige and Elise sports cars are also expected.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc commented: “When we first unveiled the Lotus 3-Eleven it heralded a new generation of truly focused, world-class sports cars. It altered perceptions of what was possible at this price category, and today the new 3-Eleven 430 moves the benchmark to remain the ultimate weapon in focused road driving and track work.”
Less is More
With new part-visible weave carbon-composite bodywork, the 3-Eleven shows off its lightweight engineering. The 430 edition road car has a dry weight of 920 kg (5 kg less than old model), giving a power to weight ratio of 467 hp per tonne – an increase of 23hp per tonne.
They also improved the aerodynamics. Already noted for its high levels of downforce, the new 3-Eleven 430 has a higher mounted straight-cut rear wing (50 mm higher than before) with re-profiled end plates, a long front splitter and lip spoiler, and a flat floor with rear diffuser to increase downforce by 44 kg to 265 kg at maximum speed.
With a Torsen-type limited slip differential, Öhlins DFV one-way adjustable dampers and Eibach® adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, the engineering intentions are clear. In addition, 6-position variable traction control, linked directly to the ECU, with five pre-set traction levels (1%, 3%, 6%, 9%, 12% slip and “off”) allows owners to tune their preferred setup. These features are expressed through Lotus’ six-speed manual gearbox and acclaimed open-gate design – precisely engineered for fast and seamless shifts.
The Lotus 3-Eleven 430 is shod with Michelin® Cup 2 tyres (225/40 ZR18 front and 275/35 ZR19 rear) for traction. This mechanical grip, combined with the considerable aerodynamic downforce, allows drivers to achieve lateral acceleration potential of up to 1.5 g whilst cornering.
The Lotus 3-Eleven relies on AP Racing four-piston callipers front and rear and new, two-piece J-Hook brake discs (332 mm front and rear) for improved bite and debris clearance with reduced distortion and vibration. Each corner is fitted with Lotus-designed ultra-lightweight forged aluminium wheels, finished either in gloss or satin black.
This new Lotus is the future of sports cars at any price.
It is meant to be a super-car killer.
Announced today, the 3-Eleven 430 is available as a limited series production road car of 20 vehicles and can be ordered now, priced at £102,000 including tax and on-the-road costs.
Truth be told, I’m sure the uptake has already surpassed availability.
3-Eleven 430 Retail Prices
UK: £102,000 (incl. VAT at 20%)
Germany: €129,000 (incl. VAT at 19%)
France: €130,100 (incl. VAT at 20%)
Italy: €132,300 (incl. VAT at 22% and transport)
UK IVA option where markets allow
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).