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Lotus Exige GT3 and 2-Eleven

Published: 08 March 2007

Not one, but two hardcore Lotuses? Tell me more...

Lotus pulled the wraps off two adrenalin-fuelled racers – the racetrack-biased 2-Eleven and the hardcore Exige GT3 (above). Based on last year’s GT3 championship winner, the mid-engined GT3 is currently being billed as a concept, but expect it to make production by the end of the year as a fully road-legal car, wearing a rather steep £55,000 price tag.

Fast. Expensive. We like them

Dear it may well be, but you’ll be buying a lot of speed for your money. It will be one hell of a track car – beneath that wide and squat bodywork sits a heavily reworked version of the roadgoing Exige’s 1.8-litre supercharged engine. Now featuring a water-cooled intercooler, the feisty four-pot punches out 271bhp – enough to rocket the GT3 through its six-speed close ratio gearbox to 60mph in a tyre-smoking 3.9 seconds, and on to a 160mph maximum speed. To tame all that muscle, there are 308mm AP racing discs and brake callipers, a carbonfibre front and rear splitter and diffuser to suck the coupe down onto the road, and an advanced traction control system. Which means come September, there will be little out there that will be able to keep up with GT3, both on the road and the track.

And what's this 2-Eleven track-day special?

The 2-Eleven will turn you into a track god at the turn of a key. The radical racer uses a version of Lotus’ supercharged 1.8-litre engine that features a repackaged watercooler for enhanced performance. Something the 255bhp grin-inducer should have plenty of – weighing it a mere 700kg and fitted with adjustable Ohlins dampers, rollbars and an FIA-approved rollcage, the 2-Eleven should be scaring drivers witless later this summer. You’ll need deep pockets though – the 2-Eleven will cost £40,000 plus another £1100 to make it roadworthy if you want to drive it to and from tracks. And be stared at. A lot.

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars

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