The Lotus hybrid, just showing off

Lotus shows off the Evora 414E Hybrid concept at the 2010 Geneva auto show.

Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid concept
The Lotus hybrid is destined to remain a concept. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

GENEVA--Lotus Engineering brought an impressive hybrid to the 2010 Geneva auto show. Built into Lotus' Evora model launched last year, this hybrid uses two electric motors, one driving each rear wheel, a lithium polymer battery pack, and a 1.2-liter range extender engine.

With acceleration to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and Lotus handling, the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid sounds like one hell of a sports car. But you will never see it on the road--Lotus Engineering developed it just to show off its hybrid technologies.

The two electric motors combine to give the car an overall 408 horsepower and a whopping 590 pound-feet of torque. Lotus' drive management technology includes an algorithm to vector torque across the rear wheels, giving the outside wheel more power during cornering. Lotus says its torque vectoring replaces conventional toe-in suspension geometry, increasing performance while reducing tire wear.

A lithium polymer battery pack gives the Evora 414E Hybrid 35 miles of pure electric range, and a purpose-built 1.2-liter range extender gasoline engine increases range to 300 miles total.

To emulate the feel of a gas engine car, Lotus includes a virtual transmission allowing seven downshifts with paddle shifters. Each downshift increases the amount of regenerative braking, slowing down the car.

As Lotus isn't building a production model of this car, it's up to another manufacturer to license the technology. We're hoping someone steps up to make this car a reality.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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