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by Tim Beissmann

Joining the wave of hybrids set to debut at next week’s Geneva Motor Show is the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid concept – the hybrid for the driver that doesn’t want the world to know it’s a hybrid.

The 414E Hybrid is built on the standard Evora platform and shares the range extending 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with the Italdesign Proton concept also set to debut at the Show.

But unlike the five-door city car, the Evora concept promises to combine efficiency with blistering performance.

Two electric motors drive the rear wheels to produce 304kW and a staggering 800Nm of torque, propelling the 414E Hybrid from 0-100km/h in less than 4.0 seconds. (FYI: the 414 nomenclature comes from the power output in PS of the electric motors, each creating 207 PS, or 414 combined.)

After an overnight charge from a standard power outlet, the Evora concept’s lithium-polymer battery pack will drive the hybrid in full-electric mode for up to 56km and cover almost 483km in extended range mode.

In what could be a sign of things to come, Lotus has fitted the 414E Hybrid with “noise solutions” technologies which give the impression that it is a fully-fledged natural racer. Drivers can select between four different engine notes including a V6, V12 and a futuristic thrust noise.

Despite operating with a single-speed transmission, Lotus has incorporated paddle-shifters which simulate the upshifts and downshifts of a seven-speed dual-clutch unit. The engine frequency changes with each virtual gear change and gearshift jolt is created via a modulation in the drive torque.

Lotus says the electronically enhanced Sport mode is for those who pursue greater driving enjoyment, while the system can be switched off for a more relaxed drive.

The Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid concept will be unveiled to the world at the Geneva Motor Show from March 2.