Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid plug-in concept
Set to debut at the 80th International Geneva Motor Show, the Lotus Evora 414E concept is a hybrid plug-in technology demonstrator that uses a 1.2 liter, three-cylinder engine and independent electric motors for each of the rear wheels. The result is 0-60 mph (97 kph) in under 4 seconds and power output of 414 PS (306 kW). The claimed range of over 300 miles (483 km) and glass engine cover are also impressive, but one of the most interesting aspects of the car is its sound system. To address concerns about pedestrian safety raised by the arrival of near silent EVs and hybrids, Lotus has worked with Harman International to develop "HALOsonic", a "noise solution" that works externally to alert pedestrians and internally to give you the fun of real engine sounds.
Dubbed "Internal and External Electronic Sound Synthesis technologies" the HALOsonic system produces engine sounds inside the vehicle through the audio system where it provides sports sounds to provide driver feedback... and enjoyment. The driver has a choice of four sounds - a V6 or V12 engine, "futuristic sound" (we hope it sounds like the Millennium Falcon), or a combination of the two. On the outside there's speakers mounted at the front and rear to provide a warning to pedestrians.
The electric motor set-up where each of the rear wheels is driven independently via single speed geartrain and a common transmission housing allows for torque vectoring - the ability to vary torque at either wheel - which increases stability and control at both low and high speeds. The motors deliver 152 kW (207 PS/204 hp) of power and 400 Nm (295 lbft) of torque and electrical power is stored in a lithium polymer battery pack with 17 kWH energy storage capacity and over 100 kW discharge capability mounted in the center of the vehicle.The other half of the hybrid system is made up of the Lotus Range Extender engine - a 1.2 liter, three-cylinder engine designed specifically for series hybrid vehicles which will also feature in Proton's hybrid offering at Geneva.
Producing 35 kW (48 PS/47 hp) of power at 3,500 rpm, the engine can be operated on alcohol-based fuels and/or gasoline and delivers power to the battery pack via an integrated electrical generator.
A battery-only range of 35 miles can be achieved for everyday commuting and plug-in charging from mains supply is through a socket concealed by the rear number plate.
On the emissions front, Lotus has this to say: "With regard to the total lifetime CO2 emissions of the vehicle, including the energy required to manufacture and run it, the range extender solution has a lower overall CO2 footprint than a fully electric car of comparable performance and operating range running with a larger battery".
Technology and design showcase
Other key technologies demonstrated by the Evora 414E Hybrid include a sports mode that simulates a 7 speed, paddle shift transmission. This is tied in with the synthesized engine sound changes and torque is also modulated so that the driver experiences gearshift jolt. The virtual shifting isn't all for show though. The ability to downshift in this way effectively means the driver can control deceleration and vary the level of regenerative braking. Lotus has also designed the energy management system, interior layout and the integrated glass roof and engine cover.The body itself is based on the conventional Lotus Evora and features the same versatile low volume architecture that enables variation of width, length, height and strength.
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The cars on the road are virtually silent now anyway at low speeds below 10 miles per hour... the exhausts are so efficient and the little 4-cylinders have nearly no tappet noise. So adding \"simulated\" engine sounds for the blind to hear you coming is really impractical.
In city environments, the persons with low vision will still be able to hear the car coming by tire noise and other cues. And with dog-assistants and audible cross-walk signs, they will still be safe.