It was obvious from that incarnation that Lotus and its parent company Proton were spending some serious money on alternative fuels. Now Proton has unveiled its first Hybrid prototype at this year's Geneva Motor Show.
Proton says the research and development project was a combined work of Proton Holdings and Lotus Engineering and features hybrid technolgy that deliver a reduction of up to 22 percent in CO2 emissions in a current Proton GEN.2.
The current GEN.2 has a fuel economy of 7.2L/100km, with a power output of 82kW and 148Nm of torque. The Gen.2 goes from 0-100 in 12 seconds. Not exactly the fastest car in its class.
The hybrid Gen.2 on the other hand, whilst not only being more fuel efficient (5.6 litres/100km - a 28 percent improvement) produced 105kW of power and 233Nm of torque.
The hybrid cuts the 0-100 time by 3 seconds, getting in there in a far more respectable 9.0 seconds. Furthermore compared to the baseline Proton GEN.2, emissions are reduced from a competitive 172g/km to just 134g/km.
Whilst Toyota & Honda lead the race in Hybrid technology Proton has not revealed any details of when or if the prototype EVE Hybrid will be mass-produced.
Lotus Engineering believes the application of hybrid technology is a key route for CO2 emissions reduction and that in the short term it will remain more viable to integrate hybrid technologies into existing model ranges than to develop expensive new dedicated hybrid platforms.
The message of global warming and the need to reduce our CO2 emissions is slowly finding its way into the ears of vehicle manufacturers and politicians, Ford Australia only recently announced its support to develop hydrogen engines.