The Lotus Evora 414E series hybrid that first saw the light of day at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show has now begun testing. This is a move important to proving the viability of its advanced powertrain and other high profile technologies in the Lotus portfolio.
Based on the slippery-looking production Lotus Evora model, the Evora 414E Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid with maximum performance built in. Two EVO electric motors drive the Evora 414E Hybrid’s rear wheels through an Xtrac transmission, providing an enormous 408 horsepower and 738 lb-ft torque. This considerable power-at-the-ready propels the car from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds and to a top speed of 130 mph.
Primary power is supplied by batteries charged by electricity from the grid. Like the Chevy Volt and Fisker Karma, it uses a range extender engine-generator that produces on-board electricity to power the electric motors for driving beyond its 30 miles of battery electric range. The range extender can also charge the car’s battery pack and, under times of high power demand, supplement battery power for optimum acceleration. Further flexibility is realized by the range extender engine’s ability to run on gasoline, methanol, or ethanol.
The Evora 414E Hybrid brings an array of technologies to the table beyond hybrid power. Among these is a simulated paddle shift gear change function offering the familiar feel of quick gear changes reminiscent of a dual clutch transmission. Drive torque is modulated to simulate the physical feeling of gearshift changes and synthesized engine sound changes frequency with these virtual gear transitions. In addition, a driver can control deceleration through simulated downshifting, which induces varying levels of motor drag as the motors feed electrical energy back to the batteries through regenerative braking.
UK government funding through the Technology Strategy Board has enabled Lotus to also produce a cutaway Evora 414E to illustrate the car’s innovative technology. It was recently on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.