It’s the fastest and most powerful Lotus ever created!

As Lotus prepares to enter a new chapter in its life, the British automaker is saying goodbye to the pee-inducing 3-Eleven with an even more limited version of the already limited track superstar. Confused? Don’t be. The Lotus 3-Eleven 430 is the true limited edition model here because only 20 models are going to be made. It also happens to be the fastest and most powerful car Lotus has ever created, a staggering boast considering that its predecessor was already cable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds before setting off to a top speed run reaching 174 mph. If you thought the 3-Eleven was fast, Lotus will beg to differ. The 3-Eleven 430 has taken its place on that throne.

What makes the Lotus 3-Eleven 430 special

2018 Lotus 3-Eleven 430 Exterior
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The Barchetta-styled sports car even shows up in a sexy red outfit with trims of black and silver for good measure

Maybe I should get inside a Lotus 3-Eleven 430 because, by the looks of it, this bad boy has evil intentions.

You only need to look at it to know what I mean. The 3-Eleven 430 draws plenty of similarities to its predecessor, the 3-Eleven. It has a body made from a lightweight carbon-composite material and a bespoke aluminum chassis. The Barchetta-styled sports car even shows up in a sexy red outfit with trims of black and silver for good measure. Throw in all the fancy aero bits, including the large splitter, reshaped fenders, and that enormous wing at the back that’s mounted higher than the one found on the standard 3-Eleven, and you have a car that looks like the quintessential definition of a sports car. Mercy me, it doesn’t even have a roof! And that exposed rollover hoop at the back? That’s another sprinkling of sexy and functionality in one package.

There was nothing ordinary about the 3-Eleven when it debuted in 2016. But when it comes to the overall cosmetic package, it has nothing on the 3-Eleven 430. And for what it’s worth, Lotus even found a way to strip five kilos from the car’s dry weight, allowing it to tip the scales at a svelte 920 kilos, or right around 2,028 pounds. Remember the weight because it’s going to play a huge part in the car’s performance, which I’ll get to later.

2018 Lotus 3-Eleven 430 Interior
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Not only is that a significant departure from the one-seater 3-Eleven, but it also provides the opportunity to give an unsuspecting person the ride of a lifetime.

In the meantime, let’s look at the 3-Eleven 430’s interior. Unfortunately, Lotus couldn’t be bothered to give the sports car’s cockpit anything that resembles class and luxury. It’s still as spartan as the 3-Eleven, though it does have one important element that its predecessor lacked. Notice it? Yep! There are two bucket seats now! Not only is that a significant departure from the one-seater 3-Eleven, but it also provides the opportunity to give an unsuspecting person the ride of a lifetime.

While I’m in the subject of the “ride of a lifetime,” it’s worth noting that one of the biggest improvements Lotus made on the 3-Eleven 430 sits under the hood of this carbon fiber pocket rocket. There’s a 3.5-liter V-6 engine in there, one that produces a mouth-watering 430 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. It’s capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, making it 0.2 seconds quicker off the line than the 3-Eleven. The 3-Eleven 430’s top speed number is also trending in the right direction. It doesn’t just stop at reaching 174 mph like the “old” 3-Eleven. It adds another extra six mph into the equation, helping it achieve a top speed of 180 mph.

All that power coming out of that V-6 engine is channeled to the wheels by a six-speed manual transmission. To improve traction, Lotus also gave the 3-Eleven 430 a Torsen-type limited slip differential and a six-position variable traction control, the latter of which is directly linked to the V-6 engine’s ECU.

2018 Lotus 3-Eleven 430 Exterior
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The Lotus 3-Eleven 430 is a fitting swan song for Lotus as it prepares to close this chapter of its life.

Oh, and remember what I mentioned about its weight? Put the weight and power numbers together and the result is a power-to-weight ratio of 467 horsepower per ton. Not only is that an increase of 24 horsepower per ton over the 3-Eleven, but it’s higher than what the Ferrari 488 GTB — 454 horsepower per ton — is capable of.

When the Lotus 3-Eleven was unveiled in 2016, it was hard to imagine the automaker developing a more extreme version of what’s already an extreme car. And yet, here we are. The Lotus 3-Eleven 430 is a fitting swan song for Lotus as it prepares to close this chapter of its life. The 3-Eleven 430 is limited to just 20 units with each model carrying a price of £102,000. That’s around $143,000 based on current exchange rates. Sure, it’s not cheap, but then again, most things in life that come in this package aren’t exactly bargain bin finds.

If you’re interested in being one of the lucky few to score a 3-Eleven 430, you better hurry up because the automaker is already taking orders for the car.

References

Lotus 3-Eleven

2016 Lotus 3-Eleven High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus 3-Eleven.

The new Lotus 3-Eleven 430 has retaken the title as Lotus’ quickest street-legal sports car - a fitting send off for the company’s legendary road racer.

The most extreme machine that Lotus builds, the new 3-Eleven 430 is the fastest Lotus road car to lap the challenging Hethel circuit, 0.8 seconds quicker than the second place Exige Cup 430, and two seconds quicker than the previous 3-Eleven, delivering a benchmark time of 1 minute 24 seconds.

Upgraded and specifically re-optimised for the 3-Eleven, the supercharged and charge-cooled 3.5-litre V6 engine produces 430 hp and 440 Nm, propelling the 3-Eleven 430 from 0-60 mph in an astonishing 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 previous version of the 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. Remaining true to the company’s edicts, 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.

Originally unveiled in the summer of 2015 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the 3-Eleven was met by rapturous crowds and universal acclaim. Its unashamedly aggressive styling, lightweight design and hypercar-humbling performance set new standards for speed and agility at any price. From remarkable sector times on the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit during its development, the original Lotus 3-Eleven went on to lap the Hockenheimring short circuit in an incredible 1 minute 6.2 seconds at the hands of “Sport Auto Magazine”, setting a production car lap record for the German publication.

As the company enters its 70th anniversary, the new 3-Eleven 430 is a celebration of the company’s legacy of pure performance and intelligent engineering, as it readies its new range of sports cars.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, 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.”

About the Lotus 3-Eleven 430

Historically, Lotus’ ‘Eleven’ nomenclature is reserved for models which bridge the gap between road and track in the most direct way possible. As a result, these open-cockpit specials have become some of the brand’s most collectable – revered for their lack of embellishment or gimmickry.

As production draws to a close, this final evolution of the formidable 3-Eleven raises the bar beyond the reach of aspiring rivals. Packing more power than before, thanks to the development of Lotus’ signature supercharged V6 engine, it’s a suitable send off for such a respected and highly capable sports car.

With new part-visible weave carbon-composite bodywork, the 3-Eleven shows it mettle as the very epitome of lightweight engineering. Revised for the 430 edition, the road car has a dry weight of 920 kg (5 kg less than the previous model), giving a power to weight ratio of a mighty 467 hp per tonne – an increase of 24 hp per tonne.

With an increased performance envelope, the Lotus 3-Eleven 430 has also evolved its aero accordingly. Already noted for its high levels of downforce, the carefully optimized design integrates a higher mounted straight-cut rear wing (50 mm higher than previous model) 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.

The car’s standard specification does little to belie its intentions, with a Torsen-type limited slip differential, Öhlins DFV one-way adjustable dampers and Eibach® adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars. 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 joined by Lotus’ slick, six-speed manual gearbox and acclaimed open-gate design - precisely engineered for fast and seamless shifts.

The Lotus 3-Eleven 430 employs Michelin® Cup 2 tyres (225/40 ZR18 front and 275/35 ZR19 rear) to transfer its considerable power to the road. This mechanical grip, combined with the considerable aerodynamic downforce, allows drivers to tap into the model’s 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) which provide improved bite and debris clearance and reduce distortion and vibration. Each corner is finished by Lotus-designed ultra-lightweight forged aluminium wheels, finished either in gloss or satin black.

Launching the new Lotus, Jean-Marc Gales said, “The development of the original 3-Eleven focused our thoughts on a Lotus of pure simplicity and advanced our thinking on the sports cars of the future. The 3-Eleven 430 is the ultimate conclusion of that work, a super car killer and something that we’re all immensely proud of.”

To find out more about the Lotus 3-Eleven: www.lotuscars.com/3-eleven.

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 VAT and on the road costs.

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