With the unveiling of the Lotus Evora 414E the environmentally-friendly car enthusiast’s dream is within reach.
While still experimental and not quite ready for sale on the mass market the 414E is a hybrid version of Lotus’ Evora sports car. While it certainly shares a visual similarity with the Evora under the bonnet the two cars could not be more different. The 414E boasts 201bhp twin electric motors which power the vehicle from 0 – 60mph in a startling 4.4 seconds. Lotus has developed a particularly light range-extender 3 cylinder, 1.2 litre petrol engine unit which is designed to operate as a generator charging the car’s battery on the go (the battery can also be charged through a plug socket).
A key question for any electric car attempting to enter the market and compete with standard vehicles is how far will it travel on one charge? The Evora 414E can certainly hold its head up high: on electricity alone the car can travel 30 miles, however when combining battery and petrol power this range is extended to a more than acceptable 300 miles.
All this and the average C02 emissions of the 414E are 55g/km which are less than a Toyota Prius. Lotus has plans to increase the engine performance by developing an increased power version with a supercharger. This would certainly be a welcome addition for day to day use.
While it should be kept in mind that the 414E is a prototype and many changes are likely for future versions, the car currently only has one forward gear which basically makes it an automatic. There are rumours that future versions of the vehicle will possess artificial gears to be operated using paddles.
This future addition will also come complete with a sound system which will generate synthetic noise simulating the usual experience of driving a powerful sports car. Inside the 414E some space has had to make way for the vehicle’s battery pack and electric motors’ inverters. Indeed a big difference between the 414E and the standard Evora is the absence of a boot. However luggage space is usually not high on the wish list for sports car enthusiasts so this is in no way a deal breaker.
The suede covered dashboard together with diamond stitched bucket seats most definitely add a touch of luxury to the drive. The Lotus Evora 414E is still in experimental mode and some fine tuning is required before it becomes a reality on the showroom floor. However if initial signs are anything to go by it will certainly make an exciting addition to the current range of electric cars available.