All-aluminum engine provides a peak torque of 107 Nm at 2,500 rpm and was designed specifically for use in a hybrid drivetrain.

Lotus has developed an in-house engine for a hybrid-drive vehicle that they will debut at the Frankfurt motor show next week.

The all-aluminum, 1.2 liter, 3-cylinder Range Extender engine was developed by Lotus Engineering and is one of the first petrol/gasoline power plants to be engineered specifically for a hybrid drivetrain.

Lotus claims the engine, designed as lightweight and highly efficient, is also optimized to reduce costs in its construction. It uses a two-valve port fuel injection system and has an output of 15 kW at 1,500 rpm and 35 kW at 3,500 rpm. The engine weighs a mere 56 kg. It works by either powering the electric motor that propels the car directly, or supplying current to charge the batteries from which the electric motor can also be run.

Developed as part of a project by the U.K. Technology Strategy Board, the engine is intended for use in a large sedan with an emission rating of less than 120 g/km.

Simon Wood, Lotus Engineering's Technical Director, believes advantages are to be gained by designing an engine to be used in a hybrid set-up only. "Most series hybrid vehicles that are currently being developed will use adaptations of existing, conventional engines which are therefore compromised in the efficiency that they can achieve."

The engine provides a peak torque of 107 Nm at 2500 rpm. Lotus did not release any details about what kind of electric motor the Range Extender could be coupled to.


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