Back in the 1950s, Lotus had a lightweight, open-top race car called the “Eleven” that was quite successful in endurance racing, earning a number of class victories in races held at prestigious tracks like Le Mans, Monza and Sebring. Last decade, Lotus revived the Eleven name when it introduced the 2-Eleven, a track car based on the Elise and designed with a similar ethos to the original Eleven.
Now a successor model to the 2-Eleven is in the works, with Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales telling Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport that a new “3-Eleven” will be unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show in September. The 3-Eleven is said to be based on the platform of the Exige but with enhancements to make it even stiffer.
Power will come from a V-6, most likely the supercharged 3.5-liter fitted to the Exige S, and output will be capped at around 420 horsepower. The projected curb weight will be a lithe 1,962 pounds, which combined with the 420-hp output should ensure the 3-Eleven is hard to beat when it comes to track duty.
Some of Gales’ reported performance claims include a top speed approaching 180 mph and a Nürburgring lap time in the vicinity of 7:09. Lotus will establish an official ‘Ring time for the car before the debut in Frankfurt.
Just 311 examples are expected to be produced.