Germany's Sport Auto magazine routinely takes world-beating supercars around the short circuit at the Hockenheimring: Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis... the works. But the top of the leaderboard has now been claimed by something altogether smaller and less powerful in the form of the new Lotus 3-Eleven.

The most extreme expression of the Elise/Exige platform to date, the 3-Eleven is a track-focused machine of the highest caliber. At its heart sits a relatively humble 3.5-liter supercharged V6, tuned to produce 460 horsepower. But with composite body panels and a low curb weight, it rockets to 60 in under 3.0 seconds flat, and more poignantly laps the company's own test track ten seconds ahead of the Evora 400.

Now it's clocked a lap around Hockenheim – sometimes host of the German Grand Prix – in just 1:06.2, just edging out the previous record held by a Porsche 918 Spyder. It also bests the Gumpert Apollo, and the similarly track-focused Radical SR3 SL... not to mention everything else Sport Auto has ever taken to the track. What's even more impressive is that the magazine's road test editor Christian Gebhardt completed the lap on stock rubber and on a cold track that didn't get any warmer than 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Just imagine what it'd do on even semi-slicks and a warm track surface.

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'HYPERCAR-KILLING' LOTUS 3-ELEVEN SETS HOCKENHEIMRING LAP RECORD

- Lotus 3-Eleven raises the bar by establishing a new "sport auto" production car lap record around Hockenheimring
- Lotus 3-Eleven now heads the lap time list which features exotic hyper cars and track-focused supercars from some of the world's most prestigious manufacturers
- Lap record set by "sport auto" magazine's top road tester Christian Gebhardt

The Lotus 3-Eleven, the quickest series production car to come from Lotus' Hethel Headquarters, has set the fastest lap time ever recorded by the leading and highly-respected German car magazine, "sport auto".

Driven by Christian Gebhardt, a highly accomplished driver and Road Test Editor for "sport auto", the Lotus 3-Eleven lapped the Hockenheimring short Circuit in an incredible 1 minute 06.2 seconds. This time was even more 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 8 degrees Celsius.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, "Christian set a fabulous lap in less than ideal conditions. We knew from the outset that we have created a simply phenomenal car that is capable of great things, and this lap record proves that beyond doubt. This is the ultimate embodiment of the Lotus design philosophy; it's a beautifully engineered machine that doesn't carry one ounce of excess weight. With 460hp on tap and race car handling at your disposal, this car is the ultimate giant killer".

The Lotus 3-Eleven is now at the top of the "sport auto" lap-time chart which includes some of the most expensive and extreme roads cars on sale, from leading German, Italian, American and British manufacturers.

Christian Gebhardt, Road Test Editor for "sport auto" said, "The Lotus 3-Eleven is an amazingly fast and track focused car in which to have a lot of fun at the limit. It is the fastest series-production car in the test history of "sport auto" on the Hockenheimring Short Circuit."

The "sport auto" Top 10 times (production cars) at Hockenheimring Short Circuit

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 April (4) issue of "sport auto" Magazine, which includes the Lotus 3-Eleven lap time is on sale from today 11 March 2016

The Lotus 3-Eleven in more detail:

Heralding the next generation of Lotus high performance sports cars, the 3-Eleven is the company's quickest and most expensive series production car ever.

Designed to deliver an undiluted experience, the Lotus 3-Eleven utilises an all-new lightweight composite body, and a bespoke chassis based on the proven Lotus design of extruded and bonded aluminium sections.

The 3-Eleven offers a giant-slaying power-to-weight ratio, thanks to a revised V6 supercharged engine developing 460 hp, to provide in excess of 500 hp per tonne. It is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).

As part of its development the Lotus 3-Eleven spent time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where it was one of the fastest road going cars to ever tackle the track, capable of setting a sub-7 minute lap time.

The Lotus 3-Eleven is on sale now with production strictly limited to 311 cars to be built over the next two years.

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