Watch the Lotus 3-Eleven Run Circles around Porsches on the 'Ring

The philosophy at Lotus focuses on lightness. A car doesn't have to be very powerful to be fast as long as it doesn't weight too much, they say, while also stating that light equals nimble equals fun.
Lotus 3-Eleven 1 photo
Photo: Lotus
However, even a company that doesn't emphasize its cars' engine power, has to have one model that sits on top of them all in terms of what comes out of its engine, and in Lotus' case, that car is called the 3-Eleven.

Built in the most classic British sports car manner, the 3-Eleven looks like a Caterham that finally decided to join us in the 21st century. It is essentially a chassis with a body added for increased aerodynamics and a very big wing bolted at the back. And by that description, we mean to say that it looks good. Very good.

Not that its design would have mattered one bit given the way this car drives. Any open-top sports car that makes the driver wear a helmet or risk permanent face damage is a winner in our book, but the 3-Eleven rises above all else (not that there's too many of them). It's a single-purpose car that will make whoever buys it and takes it to the track a very happy man. And possibly the fastest one on the circuit that day.

Lotus has just released an onboard clip showing a 3-Eleven crisscrossing through a few Porsches, a Toyota GT86, and pretty much everything else it encountered on the way. The Lotus' Nurburgring performances have been a subject of debate after the British company claimed its car could lap the Green Hell in seven minutes and six seconds. Just to get an idea, that is faster than a Nissan GT-R Nismo and just a tad slower than a Lamborghini LP 750-4 Superveloce.

It turned out that Lotus patched together segment times from two different laps to come up with that very impressive seven minutes and six seconds, but this trick could be balanced by the fact that it was a busy track that day. The race version of the 3-Eleven gets its power from a 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 460 hp, which is more than enough to give the 1,962-lbs (890 kg) car an enviable power-to-weight ratio.

Sadly, the 3-Eleven isn't just the most powerful Lotus, but also the most expensive. And as if that price tag of nearly $170,000 for the race version wasn't enough, the company will only build 311 of them. If you're asking yourself "why?" we're afraid we don't have the answer either. It's just one of life's great mysteries.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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