Lotus sends the 3-Eleven name off with a more hardcore version dubbed the 430, which the British sports car company claims is the quickest and most powerful production car yet.
The Geely-owned company said in a statement that it will be the last 3-Eleven model to be produced by the company since its debut in 2015 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and only 20 units will be built, each costing around £102,000 in its home country.
“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,” Lotus Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Gales said in a statement.
Under the hood, the 3-Eleven 430 sports a modified supercharged 3.5-liter V6 that pumps out 430 hp and 440 Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. Coupled with a dry weight of 920 kilograms, it can sprint itself to 100 kph (62.5 mph) in 3.2 seconds, and reach a top speed of 290 kph (181 mph). The combined grunt and lightness gives the 3-Eleven 430 a power to weight ratio of 467 hp per ton – more than a Bugatti Veyron. A Torsen limited slip differential and a six-way traction control are fitted to handle the immense grunt in the corners.
It proved itself around the company’s Hethel test track where it lapped round in 1 minute and 24 seconds, 0.8 seconds faster than the Exige Cup 430 and a full two seconds faster than the base 3-Eleven.
Aerodynamics have been revised as well, with the noticeable change being the new huge rear wing which produced more rear downforce than the original, as well as a new front splitter, and a flat floor with a rear diffuser. All the aerodynamic changes allow for an increase of 44 kg of downforce, totalling 265 kg at maximum speed. The car also employs Ohlins adjustable dampers, Eibach adjustable anti roll bars, AP Racing brake calipers, and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for maxiumum mechanical grip, which Lotus claims that will reach a maximum of 1.5g on the skidpad.
“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 beast of unbound abilities and something that we’re all immensely proud of,” Gales added.