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Lotus aims for Nürburgring lap record

Lotus is beginning to bounce back from its recent slump with the updated Evora 400 and plans to expand production and sales, but it also has a more ambitious goal.

Because nothing says “take us seriously” like a Nüburgring lap record.

Lotus has a model in the works that it believes can capture that record, CEO Jean-Marc Gales said in a recent interview with Top Gear.

That model is a planned successor to the 2-Eleven track car (pictured above). Due in roughly two years, it will produce 400 horsepower and weigh just under 1 ton.

Like the last 2-Eleven, this one will most likely be based on the Elise, but with all of the creature comforts stripped away.

A small, ultra-lightweight sports car is very much in keeping with the Lotus philosophy, but the competition will be tough.

Related: Lotus honors Formula One heritage with Exige LF1

Lotus will have to top the 6:57 time set by the Porsche 918 Spyder. Beating the $845,000, 887-hp hybrid supercar would make for quite the David and Goliath story.

McLaren claims its P1 also lapped the ‘Ring in under seven minutes as well, and Koenigsegg is gunning for the record with its Agera R and One:1.

Beyond the glory-seeking 2-Eleven successor, Lotus plans to launch updated versions of the Elise and Exige alongside the Evora 400 over the next few years.

CEO Gales said each new model will be “lighter and faster” than its predecessor, but given Lotus’ limited resources, the changes probably won’t be too dramatic.

It would be swell if Lotus could make the cars comply with current U.S. safety regulations, though, so the Elise and Exige could be sold here again.