Lotus signs off the 3-Eleven in style with its craziest version yet

The Lotus 3-Eleven might be nearing the end of its production, but it’s going out with a bang (of the internal combustion kind). Before you say goodbye, say hi to the Lotus 3-Eleven 430.

This year is a special one for Lotus: 2018 is the British motoring marque’s 70th birthday. In honour of hitting this landmark, and to coincide with winding down the 3-Eleven, Lotus is making its street-legal road racer even faster.

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The 3-Eleven 430 has a supercharged and charge-cooled 3.5-litre V6 engine that’s been upgraded and re-optimised to produce 430hp. It sports a lightweight carbon-composite body, an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, sculpted carbon side panels, and striking carbon interior panels, for an exceptionally light dry weight of 920kg. Lotus always has loved shaving that excess weight.

The result is a a power-to-weight ratio of a whopping 467hp per tonne, a 0-60mph time of 3.1 seconds (0-100kph in 3.2 seconds) and a top speed of 180mph (290kph). Nippy, in other words.

That all means nothing without handling to match, of course, so downforce has also been tweaked. The straight-cut rear wing is now 50mm higher than on the standard 3-Eleven, and has re-profiled end plates. There’s a long front splitter and lip spoiler, and a flat floor with a rear diffuser to increase downforce by a huge 44kg, now up to 265kg at maximum speed.

A Torsen-type limited-slip differential, Öhlins DFV one-way adjustable dampers, Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, six-position variable traction control, and a six-speed manual gearbox with an open-gate design round things off.

Oh wait, you might want brakes with that. The Lotus 3-Eleven 430 has AP Racing four-piston callipers front and rear, and two-piece 332mm J-Hook brake discs for stopping power.

This thing has already clocked in 1 min 6.2 seconds at the Hockenheimring short circuit, which is actually probably the most impressive number of the lot. Apart from maybe the £102,000 price tag.

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