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Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid (2010): first news

Wed, 24 Feb 2010

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

24 February 2010 18:00

Lotus has confirmed the full details of its new Evora Hybrid, or the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid Concept Car, to give it the full, long-winded name. It's a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid car in keeping with Hethel's performance credentials: it'll hit 60mph in 'less than 4sec'.

The range of the Evora hybrid testbed is said to be more than 300 miles. Why the strange 414E name? Simple. This concept develops 414ps, or 408bhp – but it only ever runs on electric power. The 'hybrid' refers to the range-extending 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine, used only to top up the battery in the same way as the Chevy Volt. 

Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid: the tech highlights

Hethel has thrown all of its considerable engineering clout at this show car, due to be shown at the Geneva expo next week. There's a gadget to give the electric Evora the feel of a seven-speed transmission, and something called HALOsonic sound synthesis so you don't run over any unsuspecting pedestrians while running around on silent EV mode. The latter was developed in conjunction with Harman.

The electric Evora is based on the group's flexible VVA aluminium architecture and packs a pair of 152kW (204bhp) electric motors to drive each rear wheel. Power is stored in 17kWh lithium polymer batteries slung amidships for better weight distribution.

The Evora is so fast because each electric motor develops 295lb ft; that's a lot of twist at each wheel, and the single-speed transmission includes torque vectoring to keep the e-Evora stable during hard cornering.

Tell me more about the range-extending engine

The 1.2 three-pot develops 47bhp at 3500rpm and is developed especially to operate as a range-extender generator. Unshackled of the need to drive a big heavy car around, Lotus Engineering has tuned the petrol engine for its e-intent.

Once charged up, Lotus says the Evora Hybrid can travel 35 miles on battery power alone. As with the Volt et al, you'd charge up the Evora at home overnight on cheap electricity ideally; but if you ever run out, the petrol engine will kick in to keep the charge high. This Evora is only ever powered by electricity.

One toy we can't wait to play with is the new sound generator. They've been talked about for ages, but the Lotus/Harman system lets you pick a futuristic spaceship noise or the thrum of a V6 and V12 petrol engines.

Only one exterior photo of the Evora Hybrid has been issued so far – a close-up of the engine bay, showing a little of the new glazed roof panel. The main profile image of the car above is a regular Evora.

By Tim Pollard