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Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid concept (photos)

Lotus' hybrid concept, built on its Evora platform and shown at the 2010 Geneva auto show, looks damn good and posts excellent performance numbers. Too bad it's only a concept.

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Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 8 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
The Lotus Evora, the biggest car in Lotus' current line-up, serves as the platform for this hybrid concept. Lotus calls it the 414E Hybrid, the number signifying the metric horsepower of the car--that equals 404 horsepower. The purpose of the concept is to demonstrate Lotus' hybrid technology.
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Lotus gave the Evora 414E Hybrid a copper paint job, which extends to body color panels in the cabin, to suggest its electric drive. The hybrid uses a 17-kilowatt hour lithium polymer battery pack, with the capability of a 300 kilowatt discharge, pushing the car to 60 mph in less than four seconds.
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In another demonstration of Lotus Engineering expertise, the clear roof of the car extends back over the midmounted engine and battery components.
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Because each rear wheel is driven by its own electric motor, the power of those motors is additive. Each wheel motor produces 295 pound-feet of torque, giving the car a total of 590. The car's drive computer has a torque vectoring algorithm that will give the outside wheel extra power during cornering to improve handling.
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Lotus replaced the Evora's midmounted engine with the lithium polymer battery pack and its purpose built 1.2-liter gasoline engine. The car has a 35 miles range with its pure electric motors, but the gas engine working as a generator boosts its total range to 300 miles.
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The cabin features the same high trim elements found in the standard Evora, along with the copper design theme unique to this concept. The driver can choose an Eco mode for everyday driving, or Sport mode for performance.
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As the Evora 414E Hybrid uses electric motors, it doesn't have a conventional transmission. But it does come with paddle shifters for performance driving. These shifters let the driver make up to seven virtual downshifts when the car is in Sport mode. Each downshift increases the amount of regenerative braking, slowing the car, and gives the driver the feeling of driving a conventional sports car.
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No, that's not an iPhone hooked up the car, it's the control unit for the Halosonic audio technology developed by Harman. The driver can choose a V-6, V-12, or a futuristic engine sound to warn pedestrians the car is coming and to give the driver a more visceral feeling. The Halosonic sound responds to acceleration and virtual downshifts, changing the tone to mimic the sound of an internal combustion engine.

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