Lotus' engineering division is developing a two-stroke flex-fuel engine that is more kind to the environment.
The Omnivore engine has a variable compression ratio system and uses a two-stroke cycle with direct injection.
Lotus Engineering is currently involved in the design study and build of the single cylinder research engine. It should be complete by January 2009.
Ideally suited to flex-fuel operation with a higher degree of optimisation than seen on existing architectures, the new engine has been designed to significantly increase fuel efficiency for sustainable bio alcohol fuels.
Mike Kimberley, chief executive officer of Group Lotus Plc said: “The automotive industry is now focusing on its environmental obligations to reduce CO2 emissions and improve efficiencies and we are seeing the high technology capabilities of Lotus Engineering being in strong demand.
"Not only does our brand value of ‘performance through light weight’ fit perfectly with the necessary direction of the industry to produce lighter, more efficient vehicles, we are also working on all aspects of future fuels, investigating alternative powertrains to accommodate alcohol fuels as they enter the market.”
According to Lotus, the Omnivore programme complements the recently unveiled Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel as part of the manufacturer’s research to understand the combustion process involved in running on mixtures of alcohol fuels and gasoline.
It is regarded as being important for the successful transition from today's fuels to the sustainable, synthetic fuels of the future.