Lotus starts testing the Evora 414E

Article by Christian A., on July 5, 2012

Lotus said that the Evora 414E hybrid is undergoing tests at its facilities in Hethel, Norfolk. Lotus said that its durability and dynamic testing is running ahead of schedule. Lotus Engineering hopes that its latest developments will be featured on the Evora 414E range extender hybrid electric vehicle, an engineering prototype meant to display its newest features.

Powering the rear wheels are a couple of motors. It also features a battery pack powered by a three-cylinder engine that is driven on petrol, ethanol or methanol. This engine is linked to a generator that could either charge the battery or directly drive the motors.

It’s also possible for the batteries to be charged on a mains electricity supply. Lotus claims that the Evora 414E hybrid could be driven 30 miles using pure EV range.

Its CO2 emissions level is at a record 55g/km of CO2. Its name is derived from a model in Japan. In addition, its power has been evaluated to be 408bhp - or 414PS, and to offer 738lb ft. It enables the car to go from zero to 60mph in just 4.0sec and to reach a 130mph top speed.

According to Simon Corbett, principal dynamics test and development engineer, the 414E has 2.5 times the torque of the Evora S. He also boasted that the doors are “indescribable” and that it provides torque similar to “an ocean wave.” The Technology Strategy Board is the government innovation agency that’s funding this project.

For customers who are accustomed to high performance cars and want to give hybrid sports cars, or even electric sports cars, a chance but are hesitant to do so, the new Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid Concept is the model for them. It makes the changes easier especially by having a simulated paddle shift gear change. What this does is allow for those fast gear changes, bringing to mind a dial clutch transmission despite the fact that there is only one speed.

Even then, it improves how the driver is able to interact with the vehicle. In addition, it also allows for the same experience one would have with high performance sports cars and their internal combustion engines. In order to mimic a gear change, the model utilizes a paddle shift that has been mounted to the column. Every time the virtual gear is selected, there is an accompanying synthetized engine sound which also changes frequency.

Further, the torque has been adjusted to also mimic the actual physical feeling of bumps experienced when shifting gears. Similar to a standard gearbox, the virtual gearshift simulation alters not only how the vehicle responds but also affects the driving characteristics themselves. Since it is a hybrid vehicle, the engine braking is not like that of other vehicles.

Instead of having the energy dispersed due to the friction of the internal engine, the electric motors are able to bring some of the energy back to the battery. There is a unique feature on the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid Concept though.

For a number of hybrid or electric vehicles, the engine braking is either preselected or comes at a fixed rate. Thus, in certain conditions, it can be too light, requiring the driver to apply the brake even more or it can be too aggressive that it unnecessarily slows down the vehicle. However, the system in the Lotus gives the driver the ability to determine what the regeneration level is.

It can be done by simply stepping on one gear, two gears, or even three gears. How the engine braking is simulated is dependent on the noise of the gear change and the delay in the vehicle. Both of these are likely intuitive to any driver who has been using the standard gearbox. This capability can be activated for those who want more driving involvement or it can be turned off if the goal is to have a more relaxing drive.

Topics: lotus, lotus evora

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