Lotus has commenced production of the 3-Eleven and Elise Cup 250 this week at its Hethel plant in Norfolk.

Even though the 3-Eleven was unveiled exactly one year ago at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s only now the first customer car has left the Hethel production line. Billed as being Lotus’ fastest and most expensive road-going production car ever, the 3-Eleven has set a sub-7 minute lap time around the Nurburgring, but we’ll believe Lotus when it will release video proof. The people from Norfolk did publish a video with the car at the ‘Ring last November, but that wasn’t the record-breaking attempt.

As a refresher, the 3-Eleven is motivated by a Toyota-derived supercharged V6 3.5-liter engine pushing out 460 horsepower (343 kilowatts) and 387 pound-feet (525 newton-meters) of torque in the Race version. It runs to 62 mph (100 kph) in just three seconds (0-60 mph takes 2.9s) and tops out at 180 mph (290 kph).

First Lotus 3-Eleven production car at Goodwood

The Road model is as you would expect weaker, with the six-cylinder engine being rated at 410 hp (305 kW) & 302 lb-ft (410 Nm). That’s still enough to allow the 3-Eleven complete the sprint to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds (0-60 mph takes 3.3s) and reach a respectable top speed of 174 mph (280 kph).

Lotus is making only 311 units of the sub-900kg 3-Eleven and is asking £82,000 for the Road model whereas the hardcore Race version will set you back £115,200.

The other car which celebrated its production debut this week is the Elise Cup 250. It’s the quickest Elise model Lotus has ever made and has shaved off 46 pounds (21 kilograms) compared to the Elise Cup 220. It now weighs just 931 kg (2,052 lbs) and there’s an optional Carbon Aero Pack which will slash an extra 10 kg (22 lbs). In addition, the model has received 26 hp for a grand total of 243 hp (181 kW) coming from its supercharged 1.8-liter engine that has a peak torque of 184 lb-ft (250 Nm).

With more power wrapped in a lighter package, the Elise Cup 250 needs just 4.3 seconds until 62 mph (0-60 mph takes 3.9s) and will do 154 mph (248 kph) or 149 mph (240 kph) if you take the roof down.

Lotus has plans to make just 200 units of the Elise Cup 250 annually and will charge you extra for the optional hard top.

Source: Lotus

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