AutoBlog: Let us help you with that: Lotus develops off-the-shelf range extender engine
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Posted 07 September 2009 - 02:19 PM
The Lotus ethos has always been about efficient performance. "Simplicate, and add lightness" is an oft-echoed mantra coined by founder Colin Chapman. While the company is most known for its sports cars and racing endeavors, it's got a history of engineering for hire, as well. Embracing a definition of high performance that has protracted to include alternative propulsion technologies, Lotus has brought its experience to bear for series hybrids.
Bowing at Frankfurt Motor Show, the Lotus Range Extender engine has been designed for driving a generator optimally without the compromises of conventional engines. Reducing cost, parts count and emissions were all part of the design dossier. This 1.2-liter three-cylinder that produces 47 bhp at 3,500 RPM is being described by Lotus as a monoblock - the cylinder head and exhaust manifold are integral with the engine block, reducing separate parts and potential failure points. Low mass, more thermal efficiency and a low build cost are other superlatives used to describe this powerplant with a more focused purpose than traditional car engines. Lotus appears to have a keen eye on the future of autodom, involved as it is with ventures such as Tesla, and working with Jaguar, MIRA and Caparo on this engine as part of the UK Technology Strategy Board's "Limo-Green" project.
Lotus has spent its lifetime innovating with technology and making light and efficient cars. While the thrill of series hybrid sport driving may have a different soundtrack, the exhilaration will likely be the same. Press release posted after the jump.
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