Lotus Proton Concept – Click above for high-res image

Lotus claims that three undisclosed automakers have shown "significant" interest in its dedicated range-extending three-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine that was unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show. To date, the Lotus engine has appeared in the Proton Emas, the Jaguar Limo Green and Lotus Evora 414E hybrid, but odds are we'll see it powering at least one more vehicle soon.

Lotus' chief project engineer, Lee Jeffcoat, told Inside Line that, "no one has signed up yet," but says that "several OEMs" have shown interest in ordering "5,000-10,000 units annually, for a potential annual output of 30,000 engines."

Lotus' three-cylinder gasser was optimized from the get-go as a generator. As such, it's most efficient when operating between 1,500-3,500 revolutions per minute. Lotus' range-extender has been significantly redesigned since its initial introduction. It now features a more conventional layout and is claimed to be cheaper to manufacture and easier to service.

[Source: Inside Line]

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