Running Prototypes of Infiniti Emerg-E, Lotus Evora 414E Debuting at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Both Lotus and Infiniti will show running prototypes of their alternative-fuel concept sports cars at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed. Infiniti plans to show the Emerg-E range-extended electric car, while Lotus will showcase the Evora 414E Hybrid.

The Infiniti Emerg-E only bowed this spring as a concept, so the automaker is understandably proud that it already has a fully functional prototype ready to drive. After demonstration laps Friday and Saturday, the Emerg-E is scheduled to be driven by Formula One driver Mark Webber on Sunday. Transforming the Infiniti Emerg-E from a concept car to a real vehicle required several changes, for instance the addition of a rear spoiler to reduce lift at high speeds.

"Normally these [auto] show concepts have a small electric motor fitted in them, just enough to move them on and off the stand," Nissan Technology Center Europe vice president Jerry Hardcastle said in a statement. "We said, how about putting a real car under there and showing what it would look like as a running vehicle."

As in the concept, these Infiniti Emerg-E concepts use twin electric motors producing a combined 402 hp, enabling a 0-to-60-mph blast in just four seconds. The lithium-ion battery holds enough charge to drive about 30 miles, after which a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine turns on to act as a range-extending generator. Infiniti released a brief video showcasing the Emerg-E concept, which can be seen below.

The Lotus Evora 414E hybrid has an almost identical powertrain. First shown at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the Evora 414E also uses twin electric motors that produce about 408 hp. Once the battery pack is exhausted, after about 30 miles of driving, the 1.2-liter inline-three range extender kicks in to recharge the battery. A running prototype will be shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, along with a unique cutaway model that allows visitors to see how all the various components fit together.

Lotus says its car will reach 60 mph in about four seconds before managing a top speed of 130 mph. "The acceleration sensation is almost indescribable, the surge of torque is like an ocean wave," Lotus Engineering principal development engineer Simon Corbett said in a statement.

Sources: Lotus, Infiniti

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