Lotus working on Mercedes Hybrid?
The Mercedes-Benz S Class hybrid, expected to be introduced at the Frankfurt auto show this September, has been sighted leaving the headquarters of British engineering and automaking firm Lotus. Though it makes cars, the bread and butter for Lotus is contract engineering for other companies. (For example, it designed the engine for the legendary Corvette ZR-1 of the nineties.)
According to British magazine Autocar, Lotus engineers are believed to be working on the switching mechanisms required for the hybrid vehicle to switch between the gasoline engine and electric motors located between the engine and transmission.
Autocar predicts that the production S Class hybrid will feature a 23.5 liter 268 hp V-6 and that the effective power output, with calculation of the contribution of the electric motors added, will be 300 hp, yet will average 35 mpg. 35 mpg is the CAFE standard set by the energy bill recently passed in the United States Senate and pending before the House of Representatives. If a two ton European luxury car can achieve that standard, it is likely to undercut American automakers’ claims that they cannot meet that standard by the 2020 deadline established by the legislation.