It was only a few days ago that Lotus announced their intentions on building a small city car to rival the new Aston Martin Cygnet, and now they have unveiled details on a project they have been working on with the International Council on Clean Transportation that was undertaken with the California Air Resources Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The project is for a Lotus World Car Concept and only exists in a computer somewhere for the time being. It features the Toyota Venza’s interior package, capability, performance, wheels, and tires.
As of right now, all of this sounds like a normal beginning point for a new, cleaner model, but Lotus has also announced that the Word Car may go into production fairly soon. Does this mean that we may be looking at a concept that previews their City Car? Stranger things have happened. We are all used to concept cars coming out with extravagant details that we only wish would make it on the production version, but most of the time, we are left with just a shadow of what the concept was. Following this trend, it would seem fitting to start off with a World Car just to downsize it to a City Car come production time.
The Lotus World Car Concept offers interior room for two passengers and a 9-cubic-foot luggage area or fourth occasional seat. There’s no instrument panel, so the driver will need to get all the necessary information from a smart phone or tablet.
As far as power, on paper, the Lotus World Car Concept is powered by a 50 HP 600cc engine placed ahead of the rear axle and combined to a shaft-drive motorcycle transmission. It is said to weigh just 1,150 lbs and will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in the 8-9 second range. Top speed is supposed to be about 120 mph and fuel economy has been reported at 84 city/127 highway.
Not much information was given on Lotus’ future City Car, but images released of both vehicles illustrate a similar exterior look. They did, however, offer a price on the City Car - about £29,000 (or about $45,300 at the current exchange rates) - which is a far cry from the intended price of the World Car - less than $9,000 if put into production.