Despite being one of the most performance-oriented auto brands in the business, Lotus also happens to be a leader when it comes to fuel-saving hybrid technology. Having already established a hybrid and electric vehicle group years ago, as well as building several concept and engineering mules for other firms, Lotus is now finally showing off an advanced hybrid powertrain in one of its own production models.
In this case, the concept vehicle is the new Lotus Evora sports car, which has been fitted with a range-extending plug-in hybrid system in its rear-mounted engine bay. The new concept is called the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid and is on display this week at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
The Evora 414E Hybrid is so-named because of its 414 horsepower output, which is derived from two electric motors driving each of the rear wheels independently via a single speed geartrain that’s integrated into a common transmission housing. In this way, the vehicle is able to vector torque to either of its rear wheels for additional stability. Each of the electric motors is rated at 295 pound-feet of torque, which should provide for some exhilarating acceleration action--expect the 0-60 mph sprint to take less than four seconds.
Electrical power is stored in a lithium polymer battery pack but if these start to get depleted, a fuel-efficient 1.2-liter gasoline three-cylinder fires into action and starts charging them. The engine uses a two-valve port-fuel injection combustion system to reduce cost and is fully flex-fuel ready.
For everyday commuting journeys, up to 35 miles can be traveled using battery power alone and the batteries can be charged by any household power outlet. With the range-extender kicking in, the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid can drive more than 300 miles.
Other interesting features include Lotus’ unique HALOsonic vehicle sound generators designed to improve pedestrian safety outside the vehicle while also reducing noise within the cabin. The vehicle also debuts a pseudo sports mode system that simulates a seven-speed paddle shift transmission.
Also on show in Geneva is supermodel Naomi Campbell and her series of special edition Haiti Evoras, which are being presented to their respective charitable buyers.