New Lotus 3-Eleven unveiled at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Lotus 3-Eleven

This is the Lotus 3-Eleven, which has been unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this morning.

Costing between £82,000 and £115,200 - depending on whether buyers go for road or track specification - the new model is the most expensive to ever emerge from the Norfolk brand's Hethel factory.

It's also the quickest production Lotus ever built. Thanks to a combination of a 443bhp supercharged 3.5-litre V6 engine and a kerb weight of under 900kg, the 3-Eleven is capable of blasting from 0-62mph in under three seconds, and will go on to a top speed of 180mph.

That engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox in road-going versions, with track-only models getting a six-speed sequential item. Both feature the same suspension setup, though the track version gets a full roll-cage.

Lotus 3-Eleven

Lotus 3-Eleven

Inside – though barely, given the lack of roof - the cabin is as pared back as possible, with the instruments displayed on a single TFT screen. Four-point harnesses replace regular seatbelts and there's a quick-release steering wheel to aid getting in and out, though a passenger's seat is an optional extra.

Speaking at Goodwood, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO for Group Lotus plc, stated, "We always say that to make a sports car better, you make it faster and lighter. The new Lotus 3-Eleven carries that philosophy to a new level, and is perfectly in keeping with our brand values.

"This new car is a giant slayer, capable of embarrassing far more expensive rivals. It condenses our engineering know-how into one, hardcore package, and is so focused that it won't suit everyone. This is a perfect demonstration of the faster and lighter concept, something which will be crucial to all Lotus cars in the future."

To prove its giant slaying credentials, Gales intends to not waste any time in getting the 3-Eleven to the Nurburgring to set a lap time, where it aims to match the sub-seven minute times laid down by the vastly more expensive McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder.