Geneva preview: Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid

February 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Lotus Engineering is demonstrating its plug-in range-extended hybrid powertrain in the Evora 414E Hybrid concept. This shows off the potential of Lotus’ versatile vehicle architecture (VVA) structure to support such a system, as well as an eye-catching integrated glass roof and engine cover from Lotus Design.

The 414E Hybrid promises 0-60mph in less than four seconds, a range of over 300 miles between refuelling or recharging, and 414bhp to play with; it features a simulated seven-speed paddle-shift transmission in its sports mode, with a fully-auto eco mode, though the transmission is actually single-speed. All that speed is despite the tiny size of the Lotus Range Extender engine: a three-cylinder, 47bhp  1.2, which acts as a generator when required to provide power for the pair of electric motors driving the rear wheels.

This coupe can do up to 35 miles on battery power alone, and can be recharged from a domestic power socket. But is this all a bit dull and worthy for Lotus buyers?

“The Evora 414E Hybrid provides less of a psychological step change for people familiar with high performance cars compared to other electric and hybrid sports cars”, says Lotus, citing the paddleshift-style sports mode and ‘torque vectoring’ chassis control system (which directs drive to each individual wheel) as reasons why this car will still be great fun to drive.

And that’s not all: the HALOsonic sound-engineering software will simulate the engine noise of your choice. Select a sporty six-cylinder sound or a lavish V12 – or two ‘futuristic’ engine noises, whatever that might mean; the engine noises are amplified in the cabin for the driver’s pleasure, with further external speakers ensuring that the car can be heard (more subtly) by pedestrians around town.

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