While most automakers will be shining the spotlight on their latest sheet metal, Lotus Engineering will put the focus on the iron and aluminum underneath during its news conference at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, next week.
The company, the consulting and engineering arm of Lotus Cars, has provided us with this sneak peek at its new Range-Extended engine, a serial hybrid system similar to what will debut inside the Chevrolet Volt, in November 2010.
The concept would permit a manufacturer using the EREV (for Extended-Range Electric Vehicle) technology to blend what are arguably the best assets of an electric vehicle and a more conventional hybrid-electric; an EREV, like Volt, can initially be driven solely on electric power and then, when its batteries run down, the system switches to a small internal combustion engine.
As with Volt, the Lotus EREV uses its aluminum, 3-cylinder, 1.2-liter gas engine solely as a generator. When it fires up, it can send current to the system’s 47 horsepower electric motor, or it can be used to recharge the battery pack.