Lotus has revealed details and images of a lightweight passenger car concept that it has developed.
Lotus Engineering's study focused on the use of lightweight material and efficient design to reduce parts, and concluded that it is possible to lower the mass of a conventional mainstream passenger vehicle by 38 per cent for only a three per cent rise in cost by 2020.
The Toyota Venza mid-size crossover was used as the base car for the study, which developed two prototypes of cars that were viable for 2017 and 2020.
The 2017 vehicle was built using existing mass market technology. The mass reduction, excluding powertrain, was 21 per cent, and the vehicle cost was two per cent lower.
Lotus concluded that all the materials used in its 2020 study will be commercially viable and that the lower weight would reduce fuel consumption by 23 per cent.
The 2020 car had 211 parts, compared to the Venza having more than 400. The 2020 car also used 37 per cent aluminium, 30 per cent magnesium, 21 per cent composites and seven per cent high-strength steel, whereas the Venza is 100 per cent steel.
The study was conducted in association with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency.