The company's CEO, Dany Bahar, said that the car will be manufactured in cooperation with Lotus parent company Proton and an undisclosed third party.
"Our city car has been confirmed and will be launched in October 2013," Mr. Bahar told the British magazine. "We are doing this together with Proton and another OEM. We will build three versions: one for the Asian market, one for Europe and a sportier one."
Built on a platform that was designed in-house by Italdesign Giugiaro, the EV concept model features a 45 kW (75kW peak power) electric motor that can be recharged by a 1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine. The hybrid plug-in drive system was developed entirely by Lotus. Unlike the front-wheel drive Cygnet, the lotus supermini gets a rear-wheel drive setup. With a vehicle weight of less than 1400 kg and 240 Nm of torque available, the City Car concept is said to complete the 0 - 100 km/h sprint in 9 seconds when operating as an EV under battery power. The top speed is pegged at 170 km/h.
The pure electric drive range is 50 km but can be extended to a total of 500 km when the petrol engine kicks. Lotus claims that the drivetrain returns CO2 emissions of 60 g/km. Mr. Bahar did not say if the production model will keep the concept's extended-range hybrid drivetrain or if Lotus will offer the car with a traditional petrol engine as well.