Shrouded in darkness, Lotus’ track-focused 3-Eleven patiently waits for its public debut

Lotus 3-Eleven teaser
Lotus has published a teaser image — a rather unforthcoming one, as you can see — intended to preview the upcoming 3-Eleven, which is a more hardcore version of the Exige designed primarily to hit the track. Billed as a successor to the 2-Eleven, the 3-Eleven is scheduled to greet the public for the first time later this month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The teaser image reveals precious little but the 3-Eleven is expected to take the form of a lightweight roadster with a short windshield, welded-in doors, and a built-in roll cage. It will further stand out from the Exige thanks to a model-specific body kit consisting of a front splitter, side skirts and a large rear wing out back. The 3-Eleven is being primarily designed for competition, but buyers will reportedly be able to make it street legal by paying extra for required add-ons such as turn signals.

Inside, the 3-Eleven will boast a minimalist driver-focused cockpit with a pair of composite bucket seats, a simple, easy-to-read analog instrument cluster, and not much else. Even in its street-legal configuration the roadster will forgo niceties like a stereo, navigation, and a climate control unit in order to keep weight in check.

The 3-Eleven will use a tuned version of the Toyota-derived supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that currently powers the Exige. Precise technical details are still under wraps, but sources close to Lotus hint the mid-mounted six-cylinder will send at least 420 horsepower to the rear wheels, a jaw-dropping figure in a car that’s expected to weigh less than 1,800 pounds. The roadster will be able to sprint from zero to 62 mph in under three seconds and reach a top speed of at least 180 mph.

Stay tuned, we suspect Lotus will publish a full set of details about the 3-Eleven in the days leading up to its debut on June 25. British media outlets report the convertible will cost about £70,000, a sum that converts to nearly $110,000,  but there’s no word yet on whether or not it will be sold in the United States.

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