It appears that Aston Martin won't be the only British sports car maker to have a controversial small city car in its range. Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar told Car magazine that the Concept City Car, which was previewed at the recent Paris Motor Show alongside five sports car studies, has been approved for production. The comapny's CEO said the car will be manufactured in cooperation with Lotus parent company Proton and an undisclosed third party.
"Our city car has been confirmed and will be launched in October 2013," Mr. Bahar told the British magazine. "We are doing this together with Proton and another OEM [original equipment manufacturer, or car maker]. We will build three versions: one for the Asian market, one for Europe and a sportier one."
The Lotus flavored Concept City Car is based on one of the three Giugiaro-penned Proton EMAS design studies, which were first shown in Geneva earlier this year.
Built on a platform that was designed in-house by Italdesign Giugiaro, the EV concept model features a 45 kW (75kW peak power) electric motor that can be recharged by a 1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine. The hybrid plug-in drive system was developed entirely by Lotus. Unlike the front-wheel drive iQ-Cygnet, British supermini gets a rear-wheel drive setup.
With a total vehicle weight of less than 1400 kg [3,086 lbs] and 240 Nm [177 lb-ft] of torque instantly available, the City Car concept is said to complete the 0 - 50 km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds and the 0 - 100 km/h [62 mph] in 9 seconds, when operating as an EV under battery power. The top speed is pegged at 170 km/h, [105mph] with a charge sustaining top speed of 120 km/h [63 mph].
The pure electric drive range is 50 km or 31 miles, but can be extended to a total of 500 km or 311 miles when the petrol engine kicks. Lotus claims that the drivetrain returns CO2 emissions of 60 g/km.
Mr. Bahar did not say if the production model will keep the concept's extended-range hybrid drivetrain or if Lotus will offer the car with a traditional petrol engine as well.
Source: Car magazine
Lotus City Car Concept Specifications
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 170km/h
Range 500 km
EV range 60km
CO2 emissions 60g/km on the ECE-R101 cycle
Weight Less than 1400 kg
Transmission Single-speed transmission