Launch of Lotus 'Cygnet Killer' City Car Pushed Back to 2015

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Lotus' sporty supermini will arrive as an EV or range extended EV in 2015, a few grand cheaper than the Aston Martin Cygnet.

Speaking with Car magazine back in August, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said that the Lotus city car "has been confirmed and will be launched in October 2013." Developed alongside a new supermini from parent company Proton, it seems the Aston Martin Cygnet rival is not quite ready and will now arrive in 2015, according to Auto Express with whom the Lotus boss spoke this week. The car will first arrive as a Proton in 2014, but the switch to a Lotus will be straightforward and the increased price tag justified.

Bahar said: "There's no point in trying to fight the MINIs and the small BMWs and Audis unless you have a special offering. Our car will be an EV or range extended EV and will offer performance of no other small car." The concept city car dubbed the Ethos, was a range-extended EV with an electric motor backed up by a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine producing 72hp of continuous output, accelerating from 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds and hitting a top speed of 106mph. The electric-only range was cited as 37 miles, but with the gasoline engine this extends to 273 miles.

The extensively reworked and rebadged Proton will be about $3,000 cheaper than the Cygnet if Auto Express' sums are to be believed, and like the mini Aston the Proton-based Lotus will be exclusive to the UK and Europe. Bahar also confirmed that a new Esprit will debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and go on sale a few months later, with both the base and convertible as hybrids.

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