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Lotus Evora 414E Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Lotus Engineering has reached an agreement with the Spanish Fagor Ederlan Group to develop and produce a small engine for use as a range extender in electric vehicles – a system similar to that found in the Chevrolet Volt. Lotus first showed its 1.2-liter inline-three engine at the Geneva Motor Show in the Evora 414E and Proton Emas concepts.

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As we suspected recently when we heard that Proton would be showing a hybrid concept car next week at the Geneva Motor Show, the propulsion system has been developed by Lotus. Malaysian automaker Proton owns the British engineering consultancy and sports car builder.

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The latest product of Lotus Engineering's ongoing development work on alternative drivetrains is a new engine custom designed for use as a range extender in electric drive vehicles. The engineers at Lotus have developed an optimized architecture using a mono-block layout that combines the cylinder head, exhaust manifold and cylinder block into a single casting. Such an architecture allows for lower weight and reduced cost which is critical to making range extended EVs or series hybrids economica

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The Lotus ethos has always been about efficient performance. "Simplicate, and add lightness" is an oft-echoed mantra coined by founder Colin Chapman. While the company is most known for its sports cars and racing endeavors, it's got a history of engineering for hire, as well. Embracing a definition of high performance that has protracted to include alternative propulsion technologies, Lotus has brought its experience to bear for series hybrids.

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