The 2016 Lotus 3-Eleven has just set an unofficial lap time of 7 minutes and 6 seconds around the Nurburgring Nordschleife making it one of the fastest road cars to lap the circuit. There’s one catch however.
The time of 7 minutes and 6 seconds isn’t entirely genuine as Lotus has simply combined the quickest sector times achieved over two laps of the ‘Ring. Consequently, the time won’t be recognised as one of the fastest around the facility and if Lotus does plan to set a continuous lap time, it’s unlikely to come until the current speed limits are lifted.
Nevertheless, the Lotus 3-Eleven has clocked over 2000 km of Nurburgring testing and the British marque claims that its Nurburgring time makes it the quickest Lotus road car ever produced.
Discussing the time, Lotus chief executive officer Jean-Marc Gales said “The success of this test session is proof that our development philosophy for the 3-Eleven is the right way to go. We’ve always said that to make a car faster you must make it lighter and this new car carries that philosophy to a new level. It condenses all of our engineering know-how into an undiluted performance-focused package and we’re pleased to showcase to the world, the quickest and most powerful production Lotus to date. The 3-Eleven achieved one of the fastest ever lap times around the Nürburgring for any class of car and faster than many other supercars”.
Powering the Lotus 3-Eleven is a tweaked variant of the 3.5-litre supercharged V6 from the already potent Evora 400. In 3-Eleven specification, it has been upgraded to deliver 450 hp at 7000 rpm and 332 lb-ft of torque between 3500 and 6500 rpm. That exceptional engine is then mated to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels through a Torsen-type limited slip differential.
The 918 did it in 6 mins and 55 seconds. For real. One lap. None of this piece meal stuff.