Developed in 2012 as a technology demonstrator, this Evora 414E Hybrid is a one-off car built by Lotus using several key engineering breakthroughs to showcase the future of hybrid cars.
Utilising a 1.2l 3 cylinder ‘range extender’ internal combustion engine the battery pack is charged as required to offer a potential range of 300 miles between top-ups however on pure battery power alone the range is 35 miles of all electric motoring. The car features a simulated gear shift which enhances the driver interaction with the vehicle and provides a driving experience similar to current internal combustion engine high performance sports cars. The Evora 414E Hybrid uses a column mounted paddle shift to simulate the gear change and a synthesised engine sound changes frequency with virtual gear selection. The drive torque is also modulated to simulate a physical feeling of a gearshift jolt and engine braking using gears which in turn regenerates battery power as the car slows.
Another unique feature developed on the car is the HALOsonic external sound generation system. A collaboration between HARMAN and Lotus uses a single camera to determine the distance, trajectory and speed of pedestrians and other road users, calculating the risk of collision by comparing this information with the car’s path. The new HALOsonic system uses this data to actively control the volume of the External Sound Synthesis to warn pedestrians of the vehicle’s location, thereby improving pedestrian safety and reducing noise pollution. Under certain conditions the system will generate an audible and visual warning for the driver using the Internal Sound Synthesis and instrument panel.
The new active system is optimised to operate in urban environments where there is the greatest risk of a collision with a pedestrian. It is calibrated to actively control the volume and pitch of the sound synthesised while the vehicle is travelling from 0-75 km/h, continually evaluating the risk of a pedestrian collision and operating in an area up to 60 metres ahead of the vehicle.
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