Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid Offers Economy and Performance, Too
Enthusiasts worry that without combustion engines, cars will not be as much fun to drive. The Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid Concept, based on the same versatile platform as the conventional Evora model, was developed to demonstrate that electric and hybrid sports cars can have the feel, driving dynamics, feedback, and even the sounds of a high-performance sports car.
There are reasons for the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid Concept’s unusual name and copper color scheme. The name comes from the 414 PS – ‘PS’ forPferdestärke, horsepower in German – power rating. Copper, a color associated with electrical systems, was chosen for the car’s interior and exterior.
Two electric motors independently drive each rear wheel via a single-speed transmission integrated into a common housing. Each motor provides 204 horsepower (207 PS) and 295 pound-feet of torque to each wheel. Well suited to electric and series hybrid vehicles, varying torque at each driving wheel allows torque vectoring for enhanced performance. Besides enhancing low speed maneuverability and parking ease, torque steering improves high-speed, straight-line travel. With lateral sensors, it offers stability control and steering response normally available only from heavy and expensive rear steer systems that automatically correct both understeer and oversteer.
A 17 kilowatt-hour lithium polymer battery pack is located in the vehicle’s center for battery-only driving range of up to 35 miles. For longer trips, a Lotus Range Extender engine drives a generator to supply the motors and recharge the battery. This 48 horsepower, 1.2 liter three-cylinder engine is optimized specifically for this series hybrid and can be operated on gasoline and alcohol-based fuels, providing a total range of over 300 miles.
The aluminum monoblock engine, with its single casting for cylinder head and exhaust manifold, means reduced weight, assembly cost, and package size as well as improved emissions and engine durability. The integrated generator is also used as a motor to start the range extender engine. This hybrid sports car can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds
While only having a single speed, the driver experiences a simulated 7-speed paddle, quick-shift gear change with a dual clutch transmission. You hear synthesized engine sounds that change in frequency with virtual gear selection and even feel the jolt of the gear change. The simulated gear change can be switched off for more relaxed driving.
Like most EVs and HEVs, the Evora 414E Hybrid has regenerative braking, although in this case a more sophisticated variation. A driver controls deceleration with simulated engine braking through a virtual downshift in gears. Unlike other regenerative braking systems, the driver can select the appropriate level of regeneration by simulating stepping down one, two, or even three gears. Both the simulated gear change noise and retardation is similar to that of a conventional gearbox.
Not only does the Evora 414E Hybrid drive like a conventional sports car, it also sounds like one with driver selectable sounds that include those of V-6 to V-12 engines. Developed with Harman International, the HALOsonic Internal and External Electronic Sound Synthesis system produces engine sounds inside through the audio system. It also generates sounds outside the vehicle through speakers mounted at the front and rear, thus serving as an audible warning to pedestrians, especially at slower speeds when it may be difficult to hear a vehicle running on electric motors.