Lotus's 70th anniversary celebrations continue with perhaps the maddest one yet
There can't have been many people who found the Lotus 3-Eleven wanting for performance, boasting as it did 416hp, a 925kg dry weight and about as much circuit ability as is available new for less than £100k. Still, the devil makes work for idle hands - particularly in East Anglia - and so here we are with the Lotus 3-Eleven 430.
Built to commemorate the end of the 311-car production run, the 430 is described by Lotus as its "quickest street-legal sports car" and a "fitting send off for the company's legendary road racer." To that end it has the same power boost as found in the Evoraand Exige equivalents, 436hp and 324lb ft sufficient for 3.2 seconds to 62mph and 180mph - improved from 3.4 seconds and 174mph for the 416hp version.
Perhaps more impressive, though, is an improvement of two seconds in its Hethel lap time, Lotus quoting 1:24 for the 3-Eleven 430. This has been achieved thanks to a 5kg weight drop but, far more importantly, thanks to aero enhancement that includes a higher (by 50mm) and reprofiled rear spoiler, a longer front splitter, and a new diffuser; as a result downforce at top speed is up 44kg to 265kg. Also, while not credited with a direct improvement, the new AP Racing 'J-Hook' discs will have probably contributed something to the lap time.
Jean Marc Gales described this Cup 430 "a supercar killer and something we're all immensely proud of." Should you want one, set aside £102,000, or £20k more than the regular 3-Eleven retailed at. Add the titanium exhaust, two-way adjustable Ohlins dampers (one-way adjustable are standard) and the removable steering wheel and you're looking at £110,000; an awful lot of money, yes, although we can't imagine they'll be around for long - get your order in now!
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