Lotus 2-Eleven: Spotted

Originally dubbed the Circuit Car, Lotus's answer to the Ariel Atom began life as the brainchild of a Lotus employees' 'Saturday Club'. Sharing so much of its DNA with existing Lotus products - what Lotus doesn't? - meant that it took just 11 weeks of out-of-hours tinkering to create, and, having met with considerable enthusiasm upon its Shelsley Walsh debut, it got the green light to enter development.

This process was slightly more time consuming, taking 20 months to arrive at the car we know today as the Lotus 2-Eleven. Underpinned by the same bonded aluminium tub as the original Elise and powered by the same supercharged Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine as the Exige S, it was so far so Lotus. Also in true Lotus fashion, though, the 2-Eleven tipped the scales at a featherweight 670kg - the entire, 13-piece, Coremat bodywork accounting for just 38kg of that. And as for that engine, it was now producing 255hp.

This endowed the 2-Eleven with the ability to hit 60mph in 3.8 seconds, and 100mph in 8.9 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 150mph. It also made for one of the most engaging and responsive track cars that £41,000 could buy.

For an extra £1,100 Lotus would, as it did in the case of today's Spotted, make the car road legal. This involved the fitment of mundane items such as headlights, a horn, and a catalytic converter, and the removal of exciting ones like the Track Pack's carbon rear wing and enlarged splitter. But it also put the entire 246,000 miles of the British road network at the 2-Eleven's mercy.

In that case, the vision-tunnelling performance of the 2-Eleven might seem a little OTT, which is why, for £32,500, Lotus also sold the car we have here: a naturally aspirated version. Sure, it 'only' does 0-60 in 4.3 seconds, but with 192hp it's hardly wanting for power or pace. This particular example also features a Larini exhaust, a K&N filter and is described as having "beautiful bodywork and an immaculate cockpit."

At £29,995 after 17,000 miles, depreciation could be described as minimal, but it also opens our Spotted up to some fairly compelling competition. For the same money you could have a Caterham 310R with nearly a third as many miles, you're only £3,000 shy of a very nicely appointed Ariel Atom, and KTM X-Bows will be within budget as well. Which one of that lot to buy for the weekend would be a wonderful problem to have, each offering its own appeal, but whether any of them will hold the same classic status as the Lotus is likely to in decades to come is another question. Where would your money go?


Engine: 1,796cc, four-cyl
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 192@7,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 133@6,800rpm
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 17,000
Price new: £32,500
Price now: £29,995

See the original advert here.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (61) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Turbobanana 03 Jan 2018

    Nice car, rubbish lead photo (and parking, for that matter).

    Edit: now changed I see. Carry on.

    Edited by Turbobanana on Wednesday 3rd January 15:31

  • LindsayMac 03 Jan 2018

    Not too many around for sale, heard they can suffer from cooling issues on-track. Fancy one myself

  • Cotty 03 Jan 2018

  • RobM77 03 Jan 2018

    I loved mine smile I bought it from PHer 'Stephanie Plum', who had the excellent taste to spec it from new in Lotus 49B colours. It was an original Lotus Sport built one. Three years of track days and occasional road use followed my attempt at quitting motor racing, but after three years I sold the 2-Eleven to go back into racing!

  • Frimley111R 03 Jan 2018

    LindsayMac said:
    Not too many around for sale, heard they can suffer from cooling issues on-track. Fancy one myself
    Not heard that but the fact it does not have wheel arch liners can be an issue.

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