Lotus is looking to challenge one of clients by building an electric sports car of its own. CEO Michael Kimberly told the Financial Times that the sports car maker and engineering powerhouse will soon launch extended-range battery-powered vehicle. The high performance model could appear as a concept as soon as the Geneva Motor Show in March, and like the Chevy Volt and Fisker Karma, Lotus will use an internal combustion engine to supplement the range of a battery which will provide primary propulsion.

Kimberly hasn't indicated what kind of vehicle layout would be used, but the new Evora sports car would seem a likely candidate with a battery taking the space of the small +2 rear seats. Another possibility could be a revival of the APX crossover concept from a couple of years back. California's Zap had hoped to use that platform for the basis of its own Zap-X, but nothing has been heard about that project for some time.

The other unknown is what, if any impact, this might have on Lotus' relationship with Tesla Motors. Lotus helped Tesla develop its Roadster and builds the rolling chassis for it. It's possible that Tesla could end up supplying motors or other powertrain bits to Lotus to help offset some of the cost of paying Lotus for its work.

[Source: Financial Times]