Lotus has just formally introduced a new 400-plus horsepower sportscar concept. That news in and of itself would be enough to pique our interest, but the rest of the car's spec sheet makes the Evora 414E Hybrid an astonishingly intriguing concept vehicle. As you surely surmised by now, this two-seat sportster is a hybrid, specifically an extended-range electric vehicle that features a pair of rear-mounted electric motors and a 1.2-liter three-cylinder gas-powered engine. Why not fully electric? According to Lotus:
That 47-horsepower gasoline engine never actually sends power directly to the Evora 414E Hybrid's wheels. Instead – as with other cars such as the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and the Fisker Karma – the mill is used to recharge the onboard 17 kilowatt-hour lithium polymer battery pack, which is centrally mounted down the middle of the car for optimal weight distribution. That battery pack can provide up to 35 miles of gasoline-free driving per full charge.With regard to the total lifetime CO2 emissions of the vehicle, including the energy required to manufacture and run it, the range extender solution has a lower overall CO2 footprint than a fully electric car of comparable performance and operating range running with a larger battery.
Because each rear wheel has a separate connection to its own electric motor, Lotus has programmed in torque vectoring for stability control of the vehicle. This means that a complex set of software algorithms can provide the same kind of benefits as rear-wheel steering and exaggerated toe-in without the expense or efficiency losses of a mechanical system. Each rear wheel puts down 204 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
Further, though the actual transmission has only one forward ratio, Lotus has programmed in seven artificial "gears" that the driver can row through via a set of column-mounted paddle shifters. Also included is the HALOsonic Internal and External Electronic Sound Synthesis technologies from Lotus and Harman International that pipes artificial sound to both the cabin and outside to pedestrians. Want more? There's plenty to be gleaned in the exhaustive press release that you'll find after the break. Sadly, just one lone copper-topped teaser image, which you can enlarge by clicking above.