The Lotus 3-Eleven has set the fastest lap time ever recorded by German car magazine sport auto at Hockenheimring. The quickest (and most expensive) series production car to come from Hethel was driven by the mag’s road test editor Christian Gebhardt, and lapped the Hockenheimring Short Circuit in 1 minute 06.2 seconds.

Impressive, considering that the 3-Eleven was on standard road tyres and the fastest lap was completed in less than perfect weather, where temperatures did not get higher than eight degrees Celsius. The Lotus is now at the top of the sport auto production cars lap time chart.

1. Lotus 3-Eleven, 1.06:2 min
2. Porsche 918 Spyder, 1.06:3 min
3. Gumpert Apollo, 1.07:2 min
4. Radical SR3 SL, 1.08:1 min
5. Lamborghini Gallardo Squadra Corse, 1.08:2 min
6=. Corvette ZR1, 1.08:3 min
6=. Ferrari 488 GTB, 1.08:3 min
8. Porsche 911 GT2 RS, 1.08:4 min
9. Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991), 1.08:5 min
10. Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series, 1.08:6 min


The Lotus is quite the giant killer, and it’s all down to the weight, or rather the lack of it. The mid-engine 3-Eleven utilises a new lightweight composite body and a bespoke chassis based on the proven Lotus design of extruded and bonded aluminium sections.

With a revised 3.5 litre supercharged V6 engine developing 466 PS and 525 Nm of torque having just to haul 890 kg, the 3-Eleven provides over 500 hp per tonne and is capable of sprinting from 0-100 km/h in three seconds flat. Top speed is 290 km/h. With an open cabin and no windscreen, helmets are a must.

As part of its development, the 3-Eleven spent time at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, where it was one of the fastest road going cars to ever tackle the track, capable of a sub-seven minute lap time. The Lotus 3-Eleven is now on sale, with production limited to 311 cars to be built over the next two years.