Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lotus City Car to hit the streets in 2013- this hints at Proton Emas production date

Lotus boss, Dany Bahar said that the compact purpose-designed hybrid will be a production reality in two-years time.

Bahar also hinted that the platform could be sourced through parent company Proton's links to the Renault-Nissan alliance. Word has it that the platform of choice is Nissan's V-Platform, which now holds up the all-new new Nissan March compact car.

For Malaysians, this means that the Proton Emas would also make it to production round about the same time.

The Proton Emas/ Lotus City Car concept is part of Proton's Global City Car project and it is designed with hybrid technology in mind.

Lotus powerplant layout with three-cylinder engine

Proton's Range Extender EV with rotary engine

Although report out of Europe indicate that Lotus is working on a hybrid power plant with a three-cylinder gasoline engine according to sources in Malaysia, the on-board gasoline power source would be an extremely compact rotary engine displacing less than one litre but with a piston-engine equivalent of 1,200cc.

the compact rotary power plant makes good sense because it takes up very little space and if it functions as a range extender motor then it is also efficient because it would just run at a pre-determined speed, just like a mobile generator.

While details are not yet clear, proton recently took part in the Brighton-London run in an range-extender EV, using a rotary engine power source mounted on their Exora MPV platform. It won best in class beating the Opel Ampera, which is the Euro-equivalent of the Chevrolet Volt.

Details of the Lotus City Car as released at the Paris Motor Show in October indicate that it would have total vehicle weight of less than 1400 kg [3,086 lbs] and 240 Nm [177 lb-ft] of torque.

The City Car concept is said to complete the 0 - 50 km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds and the 0 - 100 km/h [62 mph] in 9 seconds, when operating as an EV under battery power. The top speed is pegged at 170 km/h, [105mph] with a charge sustaining top speed of 120 km/h [63 mph].


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