Lotus Evora Hybrid: Less Sacrilegious Than You'd ThinkS

The Lotus Evora 414E is a preview of the first hybridized vehicle to come from Colin Chapman's legendary brand. The hasty might say he's spinning in his weight-reduced grave, but upon closer inspection this EREV doesn't completely suck.

First and foremost, the Lotus Evora 414E is not a parallel drivetrain hybrid like a Prius or a Fusion Hybrid, it's an extended range electric vehicle, like the Volt. That means it never gets power directly from the engine, instead it's powered only by a pair of rear-mounted electric motors fed by a bank of lithium ion batteries. When those batteries run low a 47HP 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine kicks on as a generator to provide power. The maximum combined output of those motors is 408HP (414 metric HP, thus the name) with instant-on torque of 295 lb-ft. The system will have a 35 mile all-electric range and a 300 mile range running the gas engine.

All of that is pretty normal for an EREV, but it's when we start talking performance things get interesting, it starts out with a darn respectable 0-60 MPH time under 4.0 seconds. The two rear motors each drive their own wheel which means some finely controlled torque vectoring will be easily achieved. The car will be equipped with paddle shifters which will simulate downshifts on a seven speed transmission. Sounds goofy until you think about it, tap the paddles down enough and you're telling the car "make the jump to plaid!" but it also allows aggressive "engine braking" when heading into a corner. Of course that engine braking is actually regenerative braking, but dynamically it doesn't have to feel any different. Those simulations, even though kind of goofy on their face, will probably improve drive-ability by making the car more familiar to operate. There are some goofy aspects like the "HALOsonic" sound system which emulates gas-engine car sounds, but if we're talking 400 HP electric car and no gas consumption during a lovely canyon blast, we have no problem making some concessions.