A new hybrid-electric concept car from PROTON featuring a Lotus Engineering drivetrain will debut in Geneva next month. Lotus has designed the entire drivetrain for the plug-in hybrid city car, combining the 3 cylinder, 1.2 liter Lotus Range Extender engine unveiled in Frankfurt last year with a single-speed transmission electrical drive system.
Lotus Engineering (the automotive consultancy division of Lotus Cars Limited) says the platform will deliver "acceptable electric-only operating range for city use" with the Range Extender engine is used top up the battery and provide electrical power for the drive motors. The engine delivers 15 kW of electrical power at 1,500 rpm and 35 kW at 3,500 rpm via an integrated electrical generator.
The battery can also be recharged via an AC mains domestic outlet.
Styled by Italdesign for Malaysian manufacturer PROTON, the diminutuve (3550 mm long) hatchback Concept aims to maximize interior space and includes a raised floorpan at the rear to house the batteries and four identical seats that make the passengers as comfortable as the driver.
“This is the outcome of several years of study: the solution allows interior spaciousness on a par with that of a segment D saloon despite maintaining the exterior dimensions of a segment A car” explained Giorgetto Giugiaro, Chairman of Italdesign Giugiaro.