Lotus Designing Its Own EV Sports Car
A report in London's Financial Times reveals that Group Lotus is working on a new electric sports car which could make its debut -- at least in prototype form -- at the Geneva Motor Show in March. According to the FT report, the car's operating system would employ a range-extender gasoline engine (like the Chevrolet Volt) to supplement its electric capabilities and have a 300-400 mile range. Currently owned by the Malaysian automaker Proton, Group Lotus Plc is no stranger to the EV realm: its critically acclaimed modular aluminum chassis architecture underlies the Tesla Roadster. Lotus also assembles bodies for Tesla at it headquarters in Hethel, England. The Viperesque-looking EV sports car recently shown by Chrysler also is based on a stretched version of the firm's bonded-aluminum scalable chassis.
Although Lotus Cars only builds about 3,000 vehicles annually, Lotus Engineering has long provided a wide-range of services to many far larger manufacturers around the world. While much of it is done on a confidential basis, the work has provided Group Lotus Plc with a steady revenue stream as well as hands-on knowledge of a host of emerging technologies that are currently being moved towards mass production status as part of its own independent R&D efforts.