Lotus's proposed supermini has been approved and will be built in partnership with parent company Proton and a third car manufacturer, Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar has told CAR.
'Our city car has been confirmed and will be launched in October 2013,' he said. 'We are doing this together with Proton and another OEM [original equipment manufacturer, or car maker].
The Lotus City Car concept provides a showcase for Lotus Engineering’s Electrical and Electronic Integration and Efficient Performance competencies, featuring an advanced series hybrid drivetrain with the Lotus Range Extender engine. The drivetrain, which consists of a single speed transmission, provides the vehicle with an EV range of 60 km, enough for city transportation, with the Range Extender engine enabling longer trips and alleviating “range anxiety”.
So they reckon a total range of 500 km, with batteries fully charged and the range extender working all along. The range extender engine is a 1.2 liter 3-cylinder ethanol-capable unit which only acts as a generator and never actually powers the wheels.
With a total vehicle weight of less than 1400 kg and 240 Nm of torque instantly available, the Lotus City Car concept has class leading acceleration; 0 – 50 km/h in only 4.5 seconds and 0 – 100 km/h in 9 seconds, when operating as an EV under battery power. The top speed of the Lotus City Car concept is 170 km/h, with a charge sustaining top speed of 120 km/h and all this performance is achieved by a drivetrain that returns CO2 emissions of 60 g/km on the ECE-R101 test schedule.
The very best thing about it though, is the design. It is still tiny, but unlike other cars of this sort it does not look like a hideous creature suffering from a horrible disease (take the G-Wizz as a prime example!). This car is designed with the same language that created the new Elise, Elan, Espirit and Elite.
Lotus City Car Concept Specification
Layout 3 door, 4 seater, rear wheel drive
Drivetrain Series hybrid drivetrain
Range Extender engine 35 kW, 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder engine
Engine fuel Flex-fuel (methanol, ethanol and petrol)
Battery Capacity 14.8 kWh
Power/Torque 162 kW peak (54 kW continuous)/ 240 Nm
0-50 km/h 4.5 seconds
0-100 km/h 9.0 seconds
Top speed 170 km/h
Range 500 km
EV range 60 km
CO2 emissions 60 g/km on the ECE-R101 cycle
Weight Less than 1,400 kg
Transmission Single speed transmission