All of the (mostly) fantastic cars developed by Lotus have names that inspire visions of excitement, speed and just a touch of terror, like Esprit, Elise and Exige (we’re not too sure about Evora, which could also be a brand of hand-cream for sensitive skin).
The latest model, however, is named the Lotus 3-Eleven. The successor to 2007’s equally oddly-named 2-Eleven track car, what it lacks for in name it more than makes up for in its stats. It’s the quickest production road car in Lotus’ history, for one thing. While the previous version was powered by a supercharged 1.8L engine, the latest edition boasts a supercharged 3.5l V6 block developing 450hp. 0-100km/h is achieved in a mere 3.0 seconds. We don’t have to tell you that’s seriously fast, with a power to weight ration of more than 500hp per tonne.
It’s quite the attractive looking car too, even if it seems like Lotus merely lopped the roof off an Exige and added a massive spoiler. There’s no doubt it looks like a thoroughbred track car, with larger air intakes on the bumper giving it a more aggressive stance, as does the new rear diffuser on the back, and the sharp side scallops. The rear in particular is a beautiful piece of work, with echoes of the Ferrari 458 Spider in the taillights.
We here at Car Craic aren’t really the biggest fans of motorbikes, mostly because we can’t drive them, and also because of an unfortunate incident involving a bicycle when we were six. Still, there’s something undeniably cool about the C-01 – the first ever motorbike from Lotus.
Lotus aren’t the first car manufacturer to produce a motorbike – Caterham have already got in on this act – and on first glance, it doesn’t appear as though they’ve done a terrible job. It’s not quite modern in its style – more of a blend of a drag racer and early motorised bikes. It’s early days yet, however, and until the design comes to life and our roads, we can’t really tell if you’ll look really cool, or a like a twat.
Designed by Daniel Simon of the VW Group – the man behind the design of large parts of the Bugatti Veyron and a futuristic Tron motorbike – the C-01 will be powered by a 4 stroke 200 bhp V-Twin engine, while weighing in around 181 kg. There’re no official figures available just yet on how fast this thing will go, but expect the surrounding countryside to blur into oblivion. Only 100 units of the limited edition motorcycle are going to be made, which instantly makes two things clear – it’ll be in huge demand, and it will undoubtedly be expensive.
Now that Lotus have dipped their toe in unfamiliar waters, perhaps it’s time for Lamborghini and Ferrari to take things in a different direction? For now, a prototype of the C-01 has been built, equipped with 200 bhp to tear along the roads in test mode. Keep an eye out on a ditch near you.
The RIAC National Classic Car Show will be on at the RDS on the 1st and 2nd March (Saturday and Sunday for those of you who haven’t got the energy to open the calendar). And if you love cars, then you’re going to want to be there this year.
Amongst the usual litany of classic cars, trucks, motorcycles and various other vehicles will be the Lamborghini Miura, also known as the world’s first supercar. Produced by the Italian automaker between 1967 and 1973, the Miura is believed to be behind the move towards two-seater, mid-engined sports cars. When it was first launched, it was the fastest production car you could get your hands on, powered by a 3.9L V12 engine which churned out around 350 horsepowers with a top speed of 283 km/h.