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Toyota's Prius Hybrid Technology to be Utilized in Future Lotus Elite Hybrid Model

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On: Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 9:41AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota's Prius Hybrid Technology to be Utilized in Future Lotus Elite Hybrid Model

Lotus Automotive is jumping on the green car band wagon as the company consults with Toyota to purchase the Japanese automaker’s proprietary hybrid powertrain for use in a new Lotus hybrid vehicle.

Toyota Motor Company has been pushing to sell its hybrid powertrain on a large scale to other automakers in hopes of keeping the price of the hybrid components down. Lotus plans to use the gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain as an option for its 5.0 liter V-8 Lotus Elite that the company plans to launch in 2014, according to a Lotus official spokesperson. The British sports car company will launch the Elite as a concept car at this year’s Paris auto show. The hybrid Lotus will “feature a hybrid gearbox with integrated electric motors and a kinetic energy recovery system that recoups heat energy during braking to recharge the battery,” according to Automotive News.com

“We are working with Toyota on powertrain solutions for our future cars, and this is part of the development but it is not an existing system,” a Lotus official said. Toyota stated that the company “welcomes such deals because we would like to see environmental technologies adopted and used as widely as possible.”

The introduction of the Toyota Prius hatchback resulted in Prius becoming a household name in fuel-efficient green cars in the United States; in order for Toyota to offset the expense of the high cost in battery and motor systems for its Prius hybrid, Toyota has been offering the technology for sale to some of its competitors.

Ford Motor Company was one of the first automakers to agree to implementation of Toyota’s hybrid powertrain technology; other auto manufacturers such as Subaru and Mazda have also committed to using Toyota’s hybrid technology for building future hybrid models. Mercedes-Benz has also reportedly engaged in discussion with Toyota regarding the possibility of incorporating Toyota’s hybrid technology into future Mercedes Benz hybrid vehicles.

The Lotus elite will travel from 0-60 in approximately 3.5 seconds. According to Lotus, the Elite hybrid will have a sticker price somewhere in the neighborhood of $180,000.

According to Automotive News.com: “Toyota announced last month that it had sold 2.68 million hybrid vehicles worldwide since first introducing the technology in August 1997 in its Coaster Hybrid EV minibus, its first hybrid vehicle. The company launched the Prius in December of the same year.”

The Japanese automakers’ goal is to sell a million Toyota vehicles with hybrid drivetrain technology every year with the Toyota name and to offer an option of a hybrid in all Toyota cars, SUVs, and trucks in its lineup by 2020.

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