US based ZAP Automotive has announced today its plans to use Lotus Engineering's advanced APX concept car as the platform for its new high performance electric ZAP-X crossover vehicle. The car will be displayed in concept form later this week at the North American Dealers Association’s annual meeting, and is set to take the US market by storm in a similar fashion to the Tesla Roadster, which was also based on a Lotus.

The ZAP version of the APX will combine the crossover’s lightweight aluminum architecture with a new efficient drivetrain and advanced battery management system, which is expected to provide a range of 350 miles, with a rapid 10-minute recharging time. An auxiliary power unit is planned to support longer distance journeys.

An electric motor in each wheel provides a combined output of 644hp in AWD mode, allowing the ZAP-X to reach a top speed of 155mph. The innovative placement of the power train leaves the space previously occupied by the conventional engine free for additional battery capacity and storage.

The light, rigid structure will give the car a very attractive power-to-weight ratio and combined with Lotus’ trademark handling capabilities is sure to provide some serious performance.