Light and small, this trackday car will surprise a lot of heavier metal
Like the original Lotus Eleven, the Lotus 2-Eleven is very light and compact, but packs a punch from a small but powerful engine. The Lotus Eleven was a truly sensational car in its day, not just for its light weight, but also for its very low drag – a real trend-setter.
Maybe the 2-Eleven lacks the stunning originality of the Eleven, but it does look different, and is lightweight. The modern twist is the use of a supercharged version of the Toyota 1.8 liter engine from the Elise, and the result is a 0-60 mph time of under 4 seconds and 0-100 mph in a little over 9 seconds– well up among supercars in performance. The Lotus 2-Eleven is a good-looking car with a simple open body with a short nose, wedge lines and short tail. Simple and minimalistic. The body is very light.
Accelerates like a Ferrari F430
How fast is that? Well, the Ferrari F430 has a power-to-weight ratio of 330 bhp per tonne, and the Lamborghini Gallardo 360. Both take 4 seconds to get to 60 mph, and the Gallardo takes 9.8 seconds to get to 100 mph, so you can see that the little Lotus is up with some pretty hot stuff – just like the original Eleven. Top speed is 155 mph. These days, Lotus has to base all its models on the same twin side-member aluminum frame, which is both light and stiff, so all its models, from the 2-Eleven to the Europa S are similar, but geared to different uses. The Lotus 2-Eleven is the most extreme, stripped of all unnecessary stuff to reduce the weight to 1,477 lbs (670 kg). This gives a power-to-weight ratio of 375 bhp per tonne – the key to the stunning performance. To get that power, the Toyota 1.8 liter engine, which has variable valve timing and lift, is supercharged, like the Exige, but for the 2-Eleven the power is boosted from 218 to 252 bhp at 8,000 rpm, with torque of 179 lb ft (242 Nm) at 7,000 rpm. with the aid of a large intercooler. As with other Lotus supercharged engines, a sealed-for-life Eaton supercharger is used.
Higher boost from turbocharged Toyota engine
As Lotus expects many 2-Elevens to be used on the track, an Accusump engine oil accumulator unit is included. This ensures that even on long and very high-g corners, when the oil in the sump might be thrown away from the pick-up, oil is delivered under pressure to the engine. This is a simple alternative to a dry sump system. Power is transmitted through a heavy-duty clutch to the standard close-ratio Toyota box, and there is an engine-torque controlled traction control, but no limited slip diff. The traction control can be switched off. The frame differs from the Exige in that it is high-sided, a roll-over cage and energy absorbing front and rear structures.
Low ride height
Suspension is by unequal length wishbones, but the geometry has been altered to suit the low ride height of the car. At the front there is an adjustable anti-roll bar and Öhlins 2-way adjustable dampers and coil springs. At the rear there is a double track control arm designed to cope with the way trackday drivers clout kerbs when cornering hard. As with all current Lotus models, the transverse engine results in a 38 per cent front/62 per cent rear weight distribution, which gives plenty of traction, yet thanks to good suspension design, gives good handling Despite the amazing performance, the Lotsu 2-Eleven manages on quite narrow Yokohama A048 R LTS tires, which are special to Lotus: 195/50 R16 front and 225/45 R17 rear, mounted on lightweight forged aluminum alloy wheels. The brakes are also upgraded, and does include ABS. Air conditioning is also standard on the road car version. Two versions of the 2-Eleven are available initially: a street-legal model and a stripped down trackday car which has no headlamps, but FIA-type rear lamps, a front airflow splitter, and fixed rear wing. Sounds like a lot of fun for around $75,000 (£39,995).
Around $75,000 (£39,995)
Two-seater open sports car or sports racer
Main dimensions (L x Wx H):
150 x 67.3 x 43.8 in (3822 x 1,709 x 1,112 mm)
Wheelbase and track:
90.6 x 57.4/63.3 in (2,300 x 1,457/1,607 mm
Kerb (curb) Weight:
1,477 lb (670 kg)
Engine and transmission
In-line four cylinder, four valves per cylinder, supercharged