While Lotus is best-known for its light weight sports cars, the automaker’s engineering division is earning a reputation for green technology. One of the most recent projects to come out of Lotus Engineer is a range extender engine that works similar to the one found in the Chevy Volt.
The 1.2-liter 3-cylinder powerplant makes 47-hp on its own, but can be loaded up to 400-hp thanks to the addition of two electric motors and a lithium-polymer battery pack. The system is a plug-in setup and allows for 35 miles of emissions free driving with a total range of 300 miles. Those numbers are about as good as the Volt’s, plus, in a car like the Evora it also allows for a 4.0 second 0-60 mph time.
Needless to say, this technology has been well received and Lotus Engineering claims three major automakers are currently weighing a decision to lace orders ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 units per year. In addition, Lotus says many smaller automakers are also looking at placing orders for between 100 and 1,000 units.
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