The Lotus 3-Eleven: The Ultimate British Track Car?

Lotus has what I'd consider to be a pretty good recipe for making track cars. Step 1: Take one of their already-rapid sports cars and completely remove the roof, windshield and anything else that makes it look like a normal car. Step 2: Take a car that was already supposed to be as light as possible and remove yet more weight from it. Step 3: Add a massive rear wing and other bits for the sake of aerodynamics. Step 4: Add power. Eight years after Lotus last followed this recipe and gave buyers the wonderful 2-Eleven, they've followed it up with an even more insane bit of machinery, appropriately named 3-Eleven.

As you can see from the pictures, the 3-Eleven looks like an Exige S that got angry and decided to be a racecar, and that's a good thing. The 3-Eleven is powered by the same supercharged V6 as the Exige, but here it's been tuned up to a beefy 450 horsepower. Just think about that, 450 horsepower in a car that only weighs about a ton. With that kind of power-to-weight ratio, 0-60 happens in under three seconds (or, for added perspective, about the same time as the Lamborghini Aventador) as it screams towards its top speed, somewhere around 150 mph. But, to this car, top speed does not really matter. Being a track car means the biggest priorities are acceleration, braking, and cornering grip, and the 3-Eleven definitely has those accounted for.

Being a Lotus, it's pretty much a given that the 3-Eleven is going to handle like a dream. But, when you add the aerodynamic bodywork, low weight, a limited-slip differential and a very clever suspension setup into the equation, you'll start to realize that the 3-Eleven won't just corner better than any other Lotus money can buy, but pretty much any other car money can buy. However, despite the car's savage nature, it's still road legal! Sure, there is a track-only version that comes with better brakes, better tires, a FIA-approved roll cage and even less weight, but the standard car can be purchased and used (theoretically) for your daily commute! Given, there's not really any storage space to put anything and the interior isn't what most people would call well equipped, but just imagine pulling up to work in something that looks like the 3-Eleven does. Come on, how cool is that?

This beautifully insane track toy was fittingly revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where fans of all things fast got the opportunity to marvel at Britain's newest, and possibly most aggressive-looking, lightweight track-killer. 311 will be built at a cost of around $130,000 apiece, which seems to me like a bit of a bargain. So if you've got the cash and you're in the mood for something strikingly fast, look no further...