Lotus outdo themselves again

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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.

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Aston Martin – the next generation

VuI_01-newsheroSeemingly taking its name from the Star Trek universe, but more suitably from the Roman god of volcano fire, meet the Aston Marin Vulcan, undoubtedly the next supercar to feature on the walls of children (young and old) the world over.

While there are hints of the current Aston Martin stable, it’s very much a more forward-looking design (possible contender for understatement of the year) with its carbon fibre body, sleek lines and sharp edges, massive spoiler and rear diffuser, not to mention those spiky rear lights (we really love those lights).

Sitting below that sculpted bonnet and the massive air vents is an 800bhp 7.0L V12 engine developed by Aston Martin Racing. Take a moment to let that sink in. And, drawing on the car manufacturer’s racing heritage, the Vulcan will also feature Brembo racing callipers working with carbon ceramic racing disk brakes, Michelin race tyres, a six-speed sequential gearbox and, of course, a rear wheel drivetrain.

Due to make its début next month during the 85th annual Geneva International Motor Show, it has been described by CEO Dr Andy Palmer as “a true sports car for true sports car lovers,” and one which “sets a whole new standard in the ultra-high luxury supercar class,” not hyping the Vulcan up by any means.

Unfortunately, as some of its specifications may have already hinted, you’ll never get the chance to see this particular model on a road near you; Aston Martin have dashed some dreams with the announcement that the Vulcan will be a track-only supercar. Prospective owners will be first invited to build their experience on a number of high performance Aston Martins, including the V12 Vantage S and One-77 road cars.

Considering only 24 Vulcans will be built, you can’t really blame Aston Martin for this – evidently simply sitting into the Vulcan and driving off for a lap of the track will end sooner than expected, probably in a ditch, or a wall. On a more positive note, however, the company did mention “a design language hinting at the next generation of Aston Martin sports cars,” so we may see a distant cousin hurtling around the roads some day.

The £1.5m price tag may prove to be something of a hurdle, but we can’t wait. For the moment, a look at the new DB10 would suffice.

Teaser video at the link.