Final edition 3-Eleven 430 to be fastest street-legal Lotus

Yet another hardcore special edition from Lotus and, for now at least, the fastest road-legal car to lap its Hethel circuit

Lotus has unveiled its new 3-Eleven 430, the final edition of its track day favourite and the fastest street-legal car ever to lap its Hethel circuit.

The 430 is the latest in a stream of run-out special editions to emerge from Norfolk. In the last 12 months alone Lotus has announced no fewer than ten new cars to its line-up of Elise, Evora and Exige models.

For the time being, the new 3-Eleven is the fastest road-legal car from that crop, having set a 1min 24sec laptime around Lotus’ circuit, 0.8 seconds faster than the Exige Cup 430 and two seconds faster than the previous 3-Eleven.

Power comes courtesy of a 3.5-litre supercharged V6 borrowed from the Exige 430. It produces, as the name suggests, 430bhp and 440Nm of torque, and that is directed through a six-speed manual gearbox. The result is a 0-62mph dash of just 3.2 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the previous generation 3-Eleven.

A mechanical limited-slip differential and tractional control help manage the transfer of power to the tarmac.

Despite the 50mm larger rear wing, revised dive plans and new front splitter, it is still capable of 180mph flatout – a 6mph gain. The updated aero package brings a 15 percent increase in downforce, rounding the total up to 265kg at top speed.

Carbon-composite bodywork and an aluminium chassis contribute to a dry weight of 920kg. That gives a power-to-weight ratio of 467bhp per tonne, the same as the 2017 Ford GT. Only 20 will be built, commanding a £102,000 price tag without options.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus said: ‘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.’

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