4 Januar 2007

Lotus Engineering to Develop Innovative “trybrid” Microsports Cars

British automotive engineering consultancy, Lotus Engineering, has been selected by Obvio! Automotoveiculos S.A., based in Rio de Janeiro, to develop two “trybrid” high-performance microsports cars for markets across the globe, in a deal potentially worth over £70 million.

The lightweight urban microsports cars, designated 828 and 012, are the first products for the new Brazilian OEM. The full engineering programme will include the development of an advanced vehicle safety structure based on aerospace technology, the integration of “trybrid” engines that will run on gasoline, bio-ethanol or natural gas, and other powertrain variants.

Lotus Engineering will work with a range of Brazilian “supplier partners” to develop two variants of the new chassis concept which will be engineered incorporating Niess Elliptical Survival Rings, already well-proven in the aerospace industry.

Providing exceptional chassis performance as well as class-leading safety, the concept also allows for very light structures – target weight for the 012 is 750kgs (1,648 lbs) and for the 828 is 600kgs (1,318 lbs). This will enable the vehicles to feature exceptionally good performance characteristics while also running with highly efficient and economical power plants.

Initially, power will come from a 1.6-litre unit produced by Brazilian engine manufacturer Tritec Motors. Lotus Engineering will develop a new engine management unit, which will give the
engine “trybrid” capabilities, running automatically on natural gas, bio-ethanol or gasoline.

In parallel, Lotus will develop 170hp and 250hp turbocharged variants for higher performance models in the Obvio! range. Electrically-powered variants of both cars are expected to follow shortly after the trybrid models.

About Lotus Engineering

Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service from initial concept and project design through development to full production prototype build. This includes third party “niche vehicle” engineering and manufacture worldwide.

Lotus Engineering’s expertise in engineering high performance lightweight sports cars has been exploited by OEMs around the world. Lotus Engineering is working on a range of alternative fuel projects for various clients and recently developed a bio-ethanol fuelled Lotus Exige 265E concept car for sister company Lotus Cars.

About OBVIO!

OBVIO! Automotoveiculos S.A. is a new developer and manufacturer of high-safety, high-performance automobiles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. OBVIO! has assembled a network of strong suppliers to incorporate the latest advances in automotive engineering into a new generation of automobiles that meet the challenges of today’s urban driving environment.

OBVIO! is setting up a manufacturing facility in Xerém at Duque de Caxias city, in Rio de Janeiro, to run on a 100% outsourcing model. OBVIO! cars incorporate many state-of-the-art composite technologies, materials and features for urban cars that are
fun, safe and fuel efficient.

(Cf. news from Oct. 10, 2006 and from April 22, 2005.)

Source: Lotus Engineering Dec 22, 2006.

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