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Lotus to put the Vroom in Hybrid Cars

Will Lotus improve hybrid cars by making them sound different?

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There are so many positives to think about with the new hybrid cars which use both electric and petrol engines. The green lobby love them but there seems to be a new criticism, according to campaigners - cyclists and blind pedestrians can’t hear them coming because they are so quiet!

Lotus has stepped in hoping to rectify this problem. Their ideas division which works with other manufacturers have used a Toyota Prius to synthesise the sound of a traditional engine which is then emitted through a loudspeaker near the radiator. The sound is projected ahead of the car and changes depending on speed and acceleration. The additional noise is not heard by the driver.

Research in California has shown that there are concerns about an increase in accidents due to electric cars not been heard. A study found that a petrol or diesel car could be heard thirty six feet away but a Prius not heard until it was eleven feet by blindfolded volunteers.

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