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US To Get Lotus Ethos City Car By 2013

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On: Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 12:13PM | By: Chris Weiss

US To Get Lotus Ethos City Car By 2013

At least year's Paris Motor Show, Lotus came out, guns blazing, with a slew of sports car concepts designed to reinvent the brand. When the smoke from those booming gunshots finally cleared, there was one more car to be seen: the City Car concept, a tiny subcompact based on the Emas concept from parent company Proton. 

Lotus is working on production of many of those concepts, including the City Car, which will be called the Ethos. Despite dour sales for competitors like the smart fortwo, Lotus will bring the Ethos to the US market in a couple years.

I have to doubt that US auto shoppers are all that excited about a half-Malaysian/half-British city car with a rumored $45K base price, but word is the Lotus Ethos will land stateside sometime in 2013 or 2014.

It's not clear what will power the Ethos in production, as Lotus has indicated in the past it may be a fully electric car or a hybrid. Lotus is still deciding which configuration—if not both—to offer the production Ethos in.

The City Car concept relied on a Lotus-developed hybrid powertrain shared with the Emas. Motivation was provided by an electric motor, while a 1.2-liter three-cylinder flex fuel engine kicked in to increase the driving range. The motor-engine combination provided up to 72 horsepower and 310 miles of driving, 37 of which are all-electric miles. If we're to believe the statistics that Chevy gave us in regard to the Volt, that 37-mile range should be sufficient to deliver many commuters to work on pure electric power.

While the Ethos is no Esprit, it does offer solid performance for its class. Lotus calls its 0-to-62 mph time of nine seconds a class leader. The Ethos tops out at 106 mph, though 75 mph is more of a practical top speed that won't drain your battery in a hurry.


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