Mike Stevens | Aug 3, 2011

Lotus will launch its Ethos city car in 2013, according to reports out of Europe this week, built on a platform shared with a production version of the Proton EMAS concept.

These latest reports follow comments in June from Lotus CEO Dany Bahar confirming that the company's city car concept will be the first of its all-new models to enter production.

"Our city car has been confirmed and will be launched in October 2013. We are doing this together with Proton and another manufacturer," Mr Bahar told Car magazine.

The Ethos won't be the only prestige-badged city car based on an low-cost twin, with compatriot Aston Martin already offering the Cygnet - its own enhanced version of the Toyota iQ.

Like the Cygnet, the Lotus-badged Ethos will get its own upmarket features and mechanical components, promising a sportier drive than its Proton stablemate.

lotus city car concept 03

Power for Lotus' first city car will be provided by a hybrid system that combines a 53kW electric motor with a range-extending 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol motor - the same used in the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid concept.

Reports have also surfaced this week suggesting that the Ethos may also offer an all-electric powertrain, or even a small ultra-efficient petrol engine.

In concept form, Lotus says its City Car will hit 100km/h in a neat nine seconds. Top speed will be a claimed 170km/h.

Lotus is reportedly aiming for between 1500 to 1800 sales each year for its hybrid-powered city car, and main production is expected to be carried out in Malaysia with European models benefitting from tweaks at Lotus' UK plant before hitting showrooms.

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