The Lotus 3-Eleven is arguably the fastest vehicle around the Nurburgring, and it looks great there in these new videos.
Lotus is giving us two more brief looks at the track-focused 3-Eleven’s development at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Unfortunately, neither clip shows a full lap, but it’s still fun to watch the roadster weave through traffic while the famous circuit is open to the public.
Last year, there was brief controversy about the 3-Eleven’s circuit in seven minutes and six seconds when Lotus claimed the vehicle “achieved one of the fastest ever lap times around the Nürburgring for any class of car." However, the statement was somewhat misleading because driver Marc Basseng never managed that impressive number during a single time around the course. Other vehicles got in the way during public testing, so Lotus combined the quickest sector times over his two best laps.
These newly released clips also come from the 3-Eleven's public testing a year ago, and they provide a better idea about the number of other cars on the track at the time. Basseng slices right past them, though, including being right on a Porsche's rear end.
Lotus offers the 3-Eleven in two trims. Both use a mid-mounted 3.5-liter supercharged V6. In the 2,039-pound (925-kilogram) Road version, the mill produces 410 horsepower (305.7 kilowatts) and 302 pound-feet (410 Newton-meters) of torque. Its aero kit also makes 331 pounds (150 kg) of downforce at 150 miles per hour (240 kilometers per hour).
Opting for the hardcore Track model pushes the engine's output to 460 hp (343 kW) and 387 lb-ft (525 Nm). The dry weight also drops to 1,962 pounds (890 kg). The addition of canards on the front corners and an adjustable rear wing increases downforce at 150 mph to an impressive 474 pounds (215 kg).
If you watch these two clips and want to try to beat Basseng’s time around the 'Ring, there’s still time to order a 3-Eleven. Lotus intends to build just 311 of them. Production just began in June, though.
Lotus 3-Eleven on the Nürburgring
Wild Ride - the Nürburgring in the Lotus 3-Eleven
• Visceral ride around the infamous Nordschleife circuit
• Never seen footage of most powerful production Lotus
• Experience the car’s test & development laps with two new videos
Marking the anniversary of its landmark lap times when testing at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, two new videos of the Lotus 3-Eleven in full flight have been released, allowing enthusiasts to experience the car’s visceral, white-knuckle ride around the “Green Hell” for themselves.
Offering never-seen-before views, the 60 second videos provide a car’s eye view of the facinating track, as it’s piloted by Nordschleife expert and professional racer Marc Basseng, during its Nürburgring testing and development programme.
The videos not only show the car’s blistering straight-line speed, but also how fast and composed it is when cornering, thanks it to its advanced aerodynamics. At 150 mph (240 km/h) the Road version produces 150 kg of downforce, while Race version with its twin front canards and adjustable rear wing produces 215 kg.
Since the car’s appearance at the Nürburgring, deliveries of the hypercar-humbling Lotus have begun with the first lucky owners finding out what this road-legal racer is truly capable of. Speaking about the car’s Nordschleife debut, Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer, Group Lotus plc said, “The 3-Eleven’s time on the track gave us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate its phenomenal pace. It’s the fastest, most focused production road car to ever leave the Lotus factory, and remains true to our values of intelligent and efficient engineering. However, you don’t need to be a professional racing driver in order to tap its potential, and it will embarrass so-called hypercars with six-figure price tags. It remains the perfect template for how we will approach the design of all Lotus sports cars in the future”
With lightweight carbon composite bodywork as standard, the Lotus 3-Eleven has a dry weight of 890 kg and maximum power of 460 hp (Race version). This provides an enviable power-to-weight ratio of 517 hp per tonne, and the car is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds ahead of a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).
The Road version with a dry weight of 925 kg and a maximum power of 410 hp reaches 60 mph in 3.3 seconds before reaching a top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h).
The videos also show how driver Marc Basseng had to deal with other cars also on the Nordschleife circuit during the evening public sessions. In what was its first turn of a wheel outside of Lotus’ Hethel HQ, Marc was one of three different drivers helping to develop the car – each one with individual areas of expertise and focussing on aerodynamics, engine calibration, chassis tuning and suspension geometry.
The Lotus 3-Eleven is the most powerful road car to wear a Lotus badge and Hethel’s quickest ever road car. It joins the ranks of those rare cars that can reach 60 mph in under three seconds and 100 mph in six seconds. To complement these figures, the Lotus 3-Eleven possesses a purity of the driving experience and the benchmark handling for which all Lotus cars are renowned.