Lotus is taking their flex-fuel Exige 265E sports car outside of Britain for the first time when they show it at JSAE Show in Yokohama Japan. The 265 hp, E85-capable Exige will be prominently displayed at Lotus' booth. The Toyota-sourced supercharged 1.8L four cylinder has been modified with a new engine management system developed by Lotus to manage the fuel mixture, spark timing and variable valve timing. As a supercharged engine the control can be adapted to take advantage of the higher octane rating ethanol compared to gasoline so that power output is not affected the way it is with a normally aspirated engine.

Along with the Exige, Lotus is also showcasing their Optical Access Active Valvetrain engine which is ideally suited for doing engine research. The engine is equipped with Lotus' camless electro-hydraulic valvetrain that allows for totally variable valve control. Although it's nowhere near suitable yet for a production application due to the power requirements, it allows engine designers to experiment with finding the best valve control profile without having to go through grinding endless camshaft samples. The other major aspect of the engine on display is the Optical Access that allows engineers to look inside the combustion chamber with high speed imaging equipment or Doppler anemometry to observe and measure the combustion process. The Lotus press release is after the jump.

[Source: Lotus]

Visitors to the JSAE Show in Yokohama in May will be the first outside the UK to see the unique Lotus Exige 265E flex-fuel technology demonstrator. Also on display will be Lotus Engineering's advanced optical access research engine. These cutting edge developments are part of Lotus Engineering's continuing research into new and exciting technologies to reduce the environmental impact of the internal combustion engine.

The world-class Lotus Engineering innovations will feature on the UK's Pavilion and are set to be star attractions of the show.

Lotus Exige 265E flex-fuel demonstrator

Lotus Engineering's Exige 265E technology demonstrator, developed to run on any mixture of BioEthanol from 100% gasoline to E85 BioEthanol (15% Gasoline), will be the centrepiece of the UK's stand at JSAE.

One of the world's quickest road-legal bio-ethanol fuelled cars, the Exige 265E is powered by a modified version of the supercharged and intercooled 4-cylinder engine from the production Lotus Exige S. With 197 kW (268 PS) the Exige 265E accelerates to 100 kph in 4.1 seconds and to a top speed of 254 kph. It is an example of Lotus Engineering's commitment to developing eco-friendly powertrain solutions that also provide an exciting and engaging driving experience.

The powertrain of the Exige 265E incorporates a modified fuel system and sophisticated Lotus-developed engine management programme. A sensor in the fuel tank diagnoses the real-time bio-ethanol/gasoline mix and the ECU adapts the engine fuelling, timing, cam-switching and ignition strategies accordingly.

Lotus Engineering Optical Access Active Valvetrain engine

The UK engineering consultancy is also showcasing one of the most sophisticated research engines in the world. The Optical Access AVT™ engine combines Lotus Engineering's pioneering fully variable active valvetrain (AVT™) technology and its optical access combustion chamber technology. Each is used independently for leading edge powertrain research and development, and in combination offer engineers a suite of extremely powerful capabilities. It is being used by Lotus Engineering and its clients to gain in-depth understanding and knowledge of the very latest engine technologies.

Optical access allows engineers to use advanced diagnostic techniques such as high speed imaging and laser Doppler anemometry to examine and record airflow and fuel spray characteristics, soot and particulate formation and the combustion event itself. The fully variable electro-hydraulic valvetrain technology, pioneered by Lotus Engineering, allows engineers to infinitely vary the profile of the valve events in real time. It allows rapid assessment of different valve profile strategies and of the impact of those variations on events in the chamber.

So advanced is the unique technology as a powertrain research tool, many global OEMs have purchased the technology from Lotus Engineering.

Lotus Engineering – world leaders in the development of efficient performance solutions

The Optical Access AVT™ engine and the Exige 265E bi-fuel demonstrator are part of a range of world-class efficient performance solutions and technologies developed by Lotus Engineering. At the Geneva Motorshow in March, the UK automotive consultancy showcased a hybrid technology demonstrator and an integrated exhaust manifold design concept, and it is involved in a number of electric vehicle programmes for clients.

Lotus Exige 265E performance specification:

Engine: Modified Supercharged 1.8l VVTL-I
Power: 197 kW (268 PS) @8000 rpm
Torque: 249 Nm (25.4kgm) @5500 rpm
0-100 kph: 4.1 seconds
Vehicle mass: 930Kg

Optical Access AVT™ research engine specification:
Bore: 88 mm
Stroke: 82.1 mm
Capacity: 0.5 litre
Compression ratio: 10:1
Number of valves: 4
Maximum speed: 5000 rpm
Direct Injection
Port fuel injection
Liner -Fused silica
Piston window -Sapphire
1st and 2nd order balance shafts
AVT camless valve train

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