No longer just making sports cars? Lotus may indeed be looking at expanding its lineup with a small city car based on this concept.
The City Car may in fact be created for the same reason that Aston Martin is lending its name to a Cygnet city car, CO2 emissions. Europe's new laws will mean that manufacturers will have to meet strict average guidelines, so small and super fuel efficient cars are needed to offset the performance cars.
Speaking of super fuel efficient, the Lotus City Car Concept is equipped with an advanced plug-in hybrid system that delivers its power via a single gear. Lotus says it can do about 64 km on a single charge, which given it's a 'city car' should be more than sufficient.
Of course you won't get stuck in traffic if you run the batteries dry. You can either recharge using any regular household power outlet or make use the built in tiny 1.2-litre internal combustion engine. Lotus says that with the electric drive and combustion engine combined the City Car can drive up to 480km.
For those interested, the 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine is not new, it's been previously used in the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid.
The idea is for the petrol engine to charge the lithium-ion batteries that power an electric engine with 54 kW and 240 Nm of torque.
In total the Lotus City Car weighs a hefty 1,400 kg (due to its electric drive and batteries), however it does manage to do the 0-100km/h run in 9 seconds flat. Plus it has a top speed of and reach a reasonable top speed of 169 km/h.
It's hard to know how long before or if this concept will ever make it into production, but it does seem likely.
We would certainly welcome the idea of driving around in a Lotus City Car, it will surely handle well!