Lotus, though its engineering and consultancy division, has teamed up with several companies in the past year to collaborate on a number of different projects ranging from concept and electric vehicle development to performance and chassis tuning. The engineering group’s latest collaboration is the development of a Honda Civic Hybrid race car designed for stage rallying and circuit racing.

Lotus will be working closely with fellow British motorsports company Oaktec by supplying technical expertise in race technology based on a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. Oaktec approached Lotus to investigate areas of battery and system control technology to improve the longevity of the race car’s electrical performance during constant high-load situations.

Some of the developments expected to filter across to production cars include an advanced electrical specification for more power and a control system that will allow for more efficient regenerative braking. The hybrid race car will compete for the first time at the end of this month at the Rockingham Dunlop Max Sport Cup event.

Hybrid use in motorsports is starting to become more and more popular, with several firms either racing, or announcing plans to race, their own hybrid vehicles in a number of different categories. Some of the firms include Gumpert, Toyota and Peugeot.