Dubbed the City Car, the concept previews a vehicle aimed at motorists in congested urban environments where streets are tight and speeds are low. It also featured an advanced range-extended electric drivetrain with a single-speed transmission and an electric only range of roughly 40 miles--enough to cover the majority of daily journeys. After that, a compact three-cylinder gasoline engine kicks in and tops up the batteries.
We now have a few more details about the Lotus City Car, including an October 2013 launch date, courtesy of CEO Dany Bahar who spoke recently with CAR.
Bahar explained that the new minicar was being developed in conjunction with Lotus’ parent company Proton, as well as a third as yet unamed automaker. He also revealed that there will be three different variants of the car; a low-cost model for Asia, as well as regular and sportier versions for Western markets. It's still too early to speculate if any of these will be sold in the U.S. but given the growing acceptance of such vehicles over here we wouldn't be too surprised to see it on local roads following its launch in late 2013.
While the prospect of a range-extended minicar from Lotus is an exciting one, it’s best not to hold one’s breath as the automaker’s technical director, Wolf Zimmermann, has previously revealed that all resources are currently focused on several planned sports models.
Interestingly, Proton has also shown off a concept previewing its new minicar and range-extended electric drivetrain, which you can read about in our previous story by clicking here.