Lotus 3-Eleven Outpaces Porsche 918 by a Hair
Records are broken year after year in the auto industry, but it isn’t common for a car as small as the Lotus 3-Eleven to outpace a name like Porsche. Sport Auto, an independent magazine, took the Lotus 3-Eleven to the legendary Hockenheim short circuit to put tread to pavement in order to take on the Porsche 918 Spyder’s record time. The race was almost too close to call – almost.
When these two hypercars went tire-to-tire, the Lotus 3-Eleven came out on top, but only by a hair. Posting a time of 1:06.2, the tiny car edged by the Porsche 918 Spyder by 0.1 second. You read that right. The Porsche 918 Spyder posted a time of 1:06.3.
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Not only did the Lotus outpace Porsche but it also broke the production lap record at Hockenheimring. Shockingly enough, the Lotus’s record was set with standard road tires, not racing tires. Even more shocking is that a Lotus driver wasn’t behind the wheel. Sport Auto’s lead Road Test Editor Christian Gebhardt had that honor.
As if this record-breaking run could get even more shocking, Lotus not only outpaced the Porsche 918 Spyder but the rest of the speed demons in the auto industry as well. The Ferrari 488 GTB, Corvette ZR1, and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series are all on the list of cars the miniscule-by-comparison Lotus 3-Eleven beat. Once you’ve seen the Lotus’s specifications, it all becomes clear.
Under the hood is a 3.5-liter supercharged V6 engine that pumps out 460 horsepower and 387 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential transmission.
Weighing in at just a pinch over 2,000 pounds, the Lotus 3-Eleven leaps from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 180 mph. The compact design, which is complete with an open-top aerodynamic package that includes a carbon rear wing, actually results in a power-to-weight ratio of over 500 horsepower.
Ready for the kicker? Lotus only plans to build 311 units over the next two years. Even worse, the Lotus 3-Eleven hypercar will never see American shores.
Video: Watch the Lotus 3-Eleven’s Record Breaking Lap
Joseph Pudlewski is somewhat of a writer and editor living in the village of Anna, Ohio. A graduate of Wright State University, he holds a B.A. in English and enjoys reading anything by Jules Verne. A third generation American, he chose to forego joining the Air Force, unlike his father and grandfather before him. He would much rather keep his feet on the ground, hence his interest in the automotive industry, although he has no fear of flying. In addition to reading and writing, he also enjoys playing video games and spending time with family.