Anyone who joined us for Sunday Service at Prescott Hill Climb yesterday will know just how incredible a Lotus Exige V6 sounds. Of all the cars that tore up the mile-long course, from 911 GT3s to Ben’s Clio 172 Cup, it was the array of special edition V6 Exiges that had spectators flocking to the start line for a front seat to the six-cylinder symphony that was about to unfold.
Remarkable that an engine that also features in a Toyota Avalon, Camry and even the Alphard people carrier can produce such an evocative exhaust note. Okay, so the supercharged variant of Toyota’s 3.5-litre V6 was almost exclusively used by Lotus – and still is to this day with the Emira – but the architecture is the same as what you’ll find in cars of a far humbler nature. That’s beside the point, anyway. The closer you can get to said engine, the better – enter the Lotus 3-Eleven.
Has there been a Lotus that better represents Colin Chapman’s adage of ‘simplify, then add lightness’ since the 3-Eleven? I certainly can’t think of one. Yes, the Exige V6 has received its fair share of track variants and special editions, but the 3-Eleven was arguably the most extreme of the lot. Following the formula set out by 2-Eleven, Lotus ditched the roof, windows and doors, shedding around 200kg over the Exige V6 in the process. Somehow, the company managed to make the interior even more basic than the Exige’s with a digital dash, a carbon panel housing various buttons and dials, and an exposed gear linkage so you can see the six-speed manual gearbox in action.
Not only was 3-Eleven the lightest Lotus on sale when it launched back in 2015, it was also granted the most power. The V6 developed 416hp and 302lb ft of torque, though a track-only edition added even more output and ditched the manual ‘box for a racier sequential transmission instead. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a 3-Eleven with all the performance of the track model that could be driven on the road without attracting the attention of the rozzers?
Well, the previous owner of this 3-Eleven thought just that and set about making it a reality. Hilton and Moss, who we recently visited to film the Noble M12 they have for sale, say the car has been ‘tastefully modified’ with various upgrades from German-based Lotus specialists Komo-tec. It’s a road-spec car, though power has been upped to 490hp courtesy of a new exhaust manifold, carbon airbox and a remap. Understandably, the brakes have been upgraded to handle the extra power and it gains a race-spec seven-speed sequential gearbox, complete with a limited-slip differential.
It's Lotus’ most hardcore model to date, made even more extreme with, apparently, £40,000 worth of upgrades. It’s also said to have been used as a press car early in its life, so there’s a very good chance you’ve seen this car before – only without the crazy mods. It’s listed at £108,000, which is a lot of money for a car that’ll batter your face on a spirited drive. But if you’re after a track day hero with an exhaust note up there with the all-time greats, look no further.
SPECIFICATION | LOTUS 3-ELEVEN
Engine: 3,456cc V6, supercharged
Transmission: seven-speed sequential (six-speed manual stock), rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 490@7,000rpm (416hp stock)
Torque (lb ft): 302@3,000rpm (stock)
Year registered: 2016
Recorded mileage: 5,000
Price new: £82,000 (road version)
Yours for: £108,000
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