Lotus has reportedly confirmed it will turn its pint-sized hatchback concept into a production vehicle by 2013. Unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Lotus' city car concept, now called the Ethos, is confirmed for production. Lotus spokesman Alastair Florance told The Sydney Morning Herald:
It's being worked on right now – people out in Malaysia are working on that. It's bigger than a Smart or Toyota iQ, but it's still pretty small – it's probably a similar size to a Toyota Aygo.
The Ethos will reportedly be offered as a plug-in hybrid-only vehicle. In production form, the Ethos is expected to pack the same powertrain seen in the concept version. The concept employed a range-extended setup with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine packaged within the vehicle's tight confines. Lotus says the Ethos will have an electric-only range of approximately 37 miles before that range extender swings into action, delivering occupants at least 165 miles further on down the road.

Throw in some dazzling looks, a top speed in excess of 100 miles per hour and a flex-fuel-capable engine and Lotus' Ethos appears set take the city car segment by storm, if it doesn't get slapped with an exorbitant, Lotus-like price tag.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Interesting idea but I have my doubts about Lotus being able to build it cheap enough for it to be relevant. I think it is all about cost these days. The last really big piece of news in the EV world was when Nissan announced the Leaf at $32,700. Everything else is vaporware, soon-to-die, or tiny niche.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Lotus are owned by Proton, so have plenty of manufacturing and financial back-up. It is their RE engine which is really exciting, and hopefully it will go into a Proton model too, increasing volume and reducing costs.
        krisztiant
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        "Pricing is expected to start around £30,000 in the U.K., which would translate to about $48,000 U.S., if that's how pricing worked. If the Ethos does come to the U.S., expect it to come at a discount in comparison." (Source: motorauthority.com and some other site) So, if the report proves to be true and the Ethos does come to the U.S. and does come at a discount in comparison to U.K. (£30,000 ~ $48,000) probably will still be more expensive than the Leaf (or even the Volt) and won't be the next hybrid "people's car" neither in the U.K. nor in the U.S. nor anywhere else. But, only time will tell.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      In general, I'm not a small car kinda guy. (although, I own and drive a small Blade EV,for city commuting). But this little car sort of appeals. Maybe its the Lotus badge, or the simple clean looks, but I would like to see one in the flesh. Proton have been seeking an upmarket small car for the South East Asian market for some time. Maybe this little lotus fits the description!
      fairfireman21
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would not give $50 for this ugly vile looking thing. Worthless except for a casket, looks too much like the Smart. Even the Volt will take you and 3 others 40 miles on pure electric, and then take you more than 300 miles when the range extender kicks in, I bet this thing if it came out would be about 3/4 of what the Volt costs with much better looks, comfort, amenities, style, and range . Sorry but NO THANK YOU!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Like the concept but think the Evora would have been a more viable car to build, maintaining the Lotus sports car ethos. They should do this in honour of the late great Colin Chapman.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      Where are the dazzling looks? All I see is yet another Toyota iQ with different body panels, with an odd denial claiming this isn't an IQ but bigger. I would probably agree an Aygo-size is the smart choice, at least in Europe where the Aygo has massively outsold the iQ. But this particular vehicle shown isn't Aygo-sized, because it's an iQ.
      Larz Larzen
      • 3 Years Ago
      uhhhh. ...not exactly what comes to mind when one says "Lotus". But for the sake of progress in electrification, OK.
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about a black C-Pillar? Handsome city car, can't wait to see it in real.
      EVnerdGene
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Throw in some dazzling looks" ??? Butt, sure doesn't look like anything I'd think of as a Lotus.
      fairfireman21
      • 3 Years Ago
      I take that back looks like the Smart and a Scion had one extreamly ugly offspring.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      well somewhat interesting to see Lotus finally take their first step. but as you might expect I don't fully approve of their design choices : ) they fail to appreciate aerodynamics, which costs batteries. they fail to appreciate lightness (from their press release back in november: "Weight: Less than 1,400 kg") which costs batteries and on top of that Lotus has a tendency to make cheap cars for a high price. it does say Malaysia though so there might be a minor change to that trend. another way to tell they are clueless is the plate that says citycar which is what the clueless equate green cars to. Lotus of all people should understand that green and performance are perfectly compatible and is in no way limited to what Martin Eberhard called punishment cars. I'd say it's a doomed effort. they get an F. yes yes vote me down, that will probably change the truth.
        krisztiant
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Reducing vehicle weight beyond a point, while - at the same time - keeping it sufficiently rigid to comply with safety standards would make a car prohibitively expensive for the masses (e.g. Tesla Roadster based on Lotus Elise). In addition in the Ethos, Lotus used their purpose built Lotus Range Extender engine, which is "an extremely compact, lightweight, low-cost engine and generator, designed specifically for hybrid electric vehicles", therefore, they also prefer the extremely compact, lightweight solutions. So, I would not call them completely clueless about hybrid vehicles.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @krisztiant
          Marco, not that you have the mind to hold yourself accountable but I stand by my number. it was from official sources from a couple of years back. his is a wiki value that doesn't distinguish between engine sizes and it further complicated by european tendency to specify weight including a standard person and a tank of gas. the 3 door 1Liter weighed 792kg, the 5 door 800. (then imagine the dung dung sound from law and order for dramatic effect)
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @krisztiant
          I would. a citroen C1 weighs 792kg. all steel. and Audi A2 weighed 900kg. alu body but the rest is heavy steel. a guy who converted an A2 to electric drive took out 250kg of ICE junk and that was a small 1.4L engine a lotus elise is expensive because lotus makes it. it's a ladder and some bodywork with a small engine. 1400kg never enters the equation of intelligent engineering of a small car.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @krisztiant
          looks up Citroen C1 on Wiki . . . Curb weight 2,315 lb (1,050 kg) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_C1
          krisztiant
          • 3 Years Ago
          @krisztiant
          As Audi A2 discontinued in 2005 the closest what you can get today is the super-mini class Audi A1 - which was awarded "Car of the Year 2011" by the British What Car? magazine - and its curb weight (i.e. Leergewicht) according to Audi's German site is 1200 kg and it doesn't have heavy batteries. http://www.audi.de/de/brand/de/neuwagen/a1/a1/informieren/technische_daten_und.html The Lotus City Car concept with a total vehicle weight of less than 1400 kg (including batteries and RE engine) and 240 Nm of torque instantly available, still has class leading acceleration, even when operating as an EV under battery power. The Ethos's electric only acceleration is the same as the Audi A1's, but naturally with zero tailpipe emission, thus I can still see some "intelligent engineering" at Lotus.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @krisztiant
          Quite from DF, "yes yes vote me down, that will probably change the truth". Evidently, after reading Spec's comment the 'truth' has changed! Now, be a good little troll and thank Spec for correcting your inaccuracies!
      paulwesterberg
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a great looking city car, what the smart should have been. I hope lotus brings this to the states with a pure EV option.
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Well, it is going to be longer than the Smart, so it probably can't park perpendicular the way Smart can. But it will get far better fuel economy AND get far better acceleration and handling. Best of all, it won't have a crappy transmission.
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