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News > Lotus
After all, the boutique sports car builder hasn’t turned a profit for Proton since its acquisition in 1996. While the brand carries a certain prestige, prestige alone doesn’t pay the bills.
If you’re familiar with the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, you probably know that it carries an onboard 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that acts as a generator, powering the electric motors that drive the wheels (under most circumstances, anyway). Today at the Geneva Motor Show, Lotus unveiled a new take on the range extender engine, adding supercharging to improve efficiency.
The new Lotus Range Extender is a production unit for use in real cars. It uses a 1.3-liter three-cylinder engine with the added power of a supercharger to create 50 kilowatts of peak electrical power (67 horsepower) at just 3,500 rpm. The combination of small displacement plus the supercharger means it’s more fuel efficient than most standard engines.
Rumors of the arrival of a uniquely restyled Lotus Evora for the Geneva Motor Show have been circulating for a few weeks now, but today we get our first look a the car, and a few details. It’s actually kind of disappointing: it’s a Mansory.
Notorious for going way, way over the top with its custom creations, Mansory’s take on the Evora isn’t its wildest, but it’s not the Lotus-designed update we had hoped for, either.
Designed to be a more focused, better communicating take on the Evora GT-light experience, the Evora S offers a boost to 345 horsepower from the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine–which may or may not be fitted with a compact supercharger as expected, as Lotus completely left it out of the press release. It’s almost certainly there, as gaining 69 horsepower over the stock Evora’s 276-horsepower rating isn’t indicative of tuning and exhaust work alone.
Ever since the Lotus Evora debuted last year, we’ve been expecting two more models to come on the car’s extended mid-engine platform. It’s the first new platform since the Elise debuted in 1995, and just as the Elise platform served for the Exige and Europa, the Evora platform will have to pull multiple-badge duty as well. The next car to roll out will be here in under 100 days, at the Paris Motor Show. And it’ll likely be a mid-engine supercar.
The name Esprit immediately comes to mind when talking about Lotus supercars, and there’s so much brand equity in the title, it’s a very likely candidate. On the flip side, there’s also no shortage of memories of the faults and foibles of the last Esprit, both mechanically and electrically, so Lotus may choose an entirely new moniker as it did with the Evora.
When it comes time to purchase a car, men look for bold design statements, sexy sheetmetal, and scorching performance while women—well, women want something practical, economical, and safe, right?
You’d think times would have changed, but it appears not. The pricing intelligence firm TrueCar recently crunched the data—looking at vehicle registrations rather than the purchaser information, to eliminate the idea of household decision-making, and the survey says that women overwhelmingly prefer practical cars and small cars.
For most of us, there are few cars on the market less exciting than the Toyota Venza. But a Venza re-designed by Lotus? Still a Venza–except that it’s 38 percent lighter and only 3 percent more expensive. Still not moved? Imagine the savings applied to your favorite mass-market sport sedan or coupe. Things start getting exciting.
The weight savings expedition was undertaken with environmental benefits in mind, but as Colin Chapman noted back in the 1960s, lightness is also of benefit to acceleration, cornering and braking. It’s good for a 23 percent or greater reduction in fuel economy, too, though, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s estimates.
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