Some would say Lotus has some credibility among the green-car set since it supplied the body for the Tesla Roadster and has always been obsessed with extracting maximum performance from light weight. Now, our friends at Green Car Reports are suggesting that the UK boutique sportscar operation could lose that reputation by simulating the acceleration of a conventional geared transmission for its Evora 414E extended-range plug-in.

According to GCR, Lotus may design the car to temporarily cut power under acceleration to simulate the shifting process so that drivers can make-believe they're driving a car with a conventional gear-based transmission. Citing what it calls "a person close to Lotus Engineering," the report suggests Lotus may also drop in some commensurate sound effects.

As fans of the "seamless" acceleration delivered by an electric, transmission-less motor, Green Car Reports deems such efforts "idiotic," but we are reminded of a similar technology's popularity amongst continuously variable transmissions – artificial gear change points for paddle shifters and manual gates on gearlevers on CVT-equipped models like the Mitsubishi Lancer. The false cogswaps don't really improve acceleration – in fact, they can harm it – but the shifting sensation apparently makes some drivers feel more comfortable.

Lotus first showed off a prototype of its Evora EREV at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show and last summer revealed some if its specifications, including the delivery of 738 pound-feet of torque and a tidy 0-60 time of just four seconds.


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  • 55 Comments
      Anne
      • 1 Year Ago
      This article is 69 days early...
      fmeyer11
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh boy a pretend sports car for the liberal greenies with macho image diffficulties.
      crandallRk
      • 1 Year Ago
      So cars have been around so long they have vestigial organs?
      Val
      • 1 Year Ago
      This sounds as stupid as the idea of a veggie burger or veggie steak. A fake replacement that you instantly know is not the real thing. And the real thing is vibrations and noise, as well as an interrupted power delivery that jolts you in your seat. Completely pointless, there are so many better vegetarian meals than a fake burger. BTW, how is that news exactly, I remember there was something mentioned about fake shifts in the original press release when the car was announced. Is this going in to production now, or why does this even matter?
        Val
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Val
        The "meat" inside an imitation of something else, using chemicals processes to make soybean protein etc. look and taste like meat. There are a lot of very nice vegetarian meals that taste way better than this highly processed crap. Of course, most meat burgers in mcdonalds and such are also full of chemicals, not only the patty, which has a lot of other stuff besides meat, but also the bread has nothing in common with real bread. The flour content is ridiculously low, and they last a very long time, real bread goes bad in less than a week. And if you compare the fries with home-made fires (yes, peeling potatoes, cutting and frying them, not the frozen ones) you will also notice a huge difference.
        Giza Plateau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Val
        Nothing wrong with a veggie burger, dude. Fake shifts are stupid, veggie burger is not. Should McDonalds and Burger King be all veggie burgers that taste as good or better? yes. Should all electric cars have fake gear shifts? no. See how that works.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          I've definitely had many veggie burgers that are way better than anything Wakky-D's or Burger Wacker sells. Nothing fake about them.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lotus was the supplier of the chassis... but the body panels were actually made by French supplier Sotira. http://www.manufacturingdigital.com/innovators/tesla-roadster-how-its-made
      TwoBits
      • 1 Year Ago
      That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
      PeterScott
      • 1 Year Ago
      A huge number of people complain about this in CVT vehicles. (CVTs suck) But it is pretty much the exact opposite in real EVs. So it seems like a silly waste of effort to solve the issue where no one has it.
      mycommentemail
      • 1 Year Ago
      No, I mean it would be fun. That's one of the amazing things about EV's is that they are so much more flexible than an ICE. An ICE has a clutch and transmission because it needs it. An EV doesn't, but it could fake one with the flick of a switch just to add some fun if the user wants that. Then it could stop again if the user doesn't want it. Flexible. I hate automatic transmissions because they are so deadly dull. Push the pedal: go. Let go of the pedal: stop. dull. Shifting for yourself is a blast (or it is to me and I know I am not alone). An EV could (comparatively) easily add that level of interest back into motoring for those who want it without compromising the experience for those who don't. Sounds like a win win to me.
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think most people understand that the gear change dance step can be engaging but I will gladly give it up for the magic pull of single speed electric drive. All that huffing and puffing gear shift of an ICE only looks stupid when the electric accelerates twice as fast. This is a striking example with all the stupid noise the Ferrari poser makes only to be humiliated by a low power electric drivetrain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXqYbNEiW0Y
      graphikzking
      • 1 Year Ago
      Most people won't understand this but most autobloggers will. I have a 6 speed manual car - great! I love the shifting, love the clutch etc.. But I also have a cvt car (Prius). I can honestly say I love the smoothness of it as well. No it's not sporty. No it's not exciting - but it's just butter smooth. No more letting off the gas right before a shift so the car doesn't "lurch". It's not a large lurch - but after driving a cvt for extended periods of time - you will realize the lurchiness of manual and automatics. I attribute it to the following: For YEARS people wouldn't accept automatics over manuals - now most people only drive autos. In the future - I can see people complaining about the shift points on autos versus CVTs. Do I think CVT's take some fun away - absolutely - but really 90% of our population can't drive to save their life - I don't want it to be fun for them. I want it to be boring so they stay off the road and I can drive FUN! :) I've yet to drive a full electric car (besides a golfcart) so I can only imagine how it would feel with real torque and hp behind it. Lotus better be careful. I'm sure cutting power a strange rpms and then full torque instantly as different rpms might induce more wear. Also I hope they offer a program to override it so that you can shut it off. With electric cars - there will be a lot of battery fires as people tweak them to try to get more HP (VOLTS) from batteries etc but it will be exciting seeing the next generation come up and do this. When I'm 40,50,60 I'll probably be driving a Model S equivalent and hanging onto a 10 year old corvette as a weekend/Sunday driver, while the future "Leaf" owners will be getting 400hp/700torque at super low rpms all from simple electronic overclocking.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      That is the dumbest #$#$ing thing I've ever heard. But I can't say it surprises me. You get gearheads talking and they'll complain about how electric cars suck because they don't make big engine sounds. That's right . . . noise is a good thing. And I guess it sucks that they don't spew exhaust too? People get so into something that they no longer can even identify the positive and negative aspects of something. OK, I can understand liking the fast acceleration and fast top speed of your sports car. But the sound it makes is just noise. You are associating a negative thing about your sports car as a good thing just because it is associated with the car. So yeah . . . I can see some idiots wanting a lapse of acceleration because they are dolts no longer able to separate the good from the bad.
      Dune It Up
      • 1 Year Ago
      yes i collect matchbox lotus evora,s its a sexy car dont get me wrong here.
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