Lotus Engineering is in talks with a manufacturer about the mass production of its range-extender

Lotus Engineering is in talks with a major manufacturer about the mass production of its dedicated hybrid range-extender engine.

The discussions follow interest from several car manufacturers in the three-cylinder 1.2 litre engine, which can run on gasoline, ethanol, methanol of any mix of the three.

Insiders say that the undisclosed supplier, which does not currently make internal combustion engines, could build around 50,000 units pa for several mainstream makers who are interested in relatively low volumes for range-extender models.

The two-valve engine is designed to minimise consumption in its range-extending mode by running across a narrow rev range of 1500-3500rpm and always under load.

Lotus is also looking for funding from the UK's Technology Strategy Board for the further development of its Evo Electric axial flat electric motors, which deliver more torque at lower rpm, and its sequential regeneration electric gearbox.

According to Lotus high-ups, the Evora E414 Hybrid's technology is "very close to being production possible".

Richard Bremner

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