After more than 70 years of sports car design, engineering, and manufacturing, the brand known for its commitment to lightness and pure driving has yet again, revealed a completely unprecedented product, a fully-electric Hyper SUV called the Eletre.
Not only the first fully-electric SUV by Lotus, the Eletre is also the first 5-door production car and the first-ever model that’s not a sports car by the company. So what’s it all about then?
For starters, you get two electric motors driving all four wheels offering AWD capabilities, 600 hp (no torque figures were revealed), a 100 kWh battery, and the ability to offer 400 km of electric driving range with just 20 minutes of charging using a 350kW. The maximum driving range is rated at over 600 km. 0 to 100 km/h can be done in just under three seconds.
As standard, it will be fitted with air suspension while optional features include rear-wheel steering, active anti-roll bars, and torque vectoring. Lotus said the Eletre has been developed to deliver everything you would expect from a Lotus – outstanding ride and handling, highly communicative steering, and exceptional driver engagement.
The emphasis on the Eletre’s design was just as paramount as its electric powertrain and one of the main features of the exterior is the Active Front Grille – a network of interconnecting triangular petals that close and open depending one when the car needs better cooling or better aerodynamics. The 23-inch wheels and 10-pot brake calipers you see here are optional items.
The Eletre does not have side mirrors but instead uses an Electric Reverse Mirror Display (ERMD) which consists of three cameras – one for rearview, one to create a 360-degree view and a third that works with the cars driver assistance system. ERMD also works hand-in-hand with the Eletre’s LIDAR sensors – one installed on each side of the car. is also fitted with LIDAR sensors on each side of the car that work together with
The Eletre’s comes with a carbon fibre roof spoiler that channels air to the active tailgate spoiler that deploys in three different angles, depending on vehicle speed.
Lotus said walking up to the Eletre in itself would be “a peacock moment” due to the SUV’s dynamic ‘walk-up’ sequence involving its exterior lights, door handles and active front grille.
The immersive experience with the Lotus Eletre begins before the driver even enters the car. Unlocking it triggers a light sequence from the head and taillights, the active front grille ‘breathes’, all while the illuminated door handles are being deployed.
Inside, the Eletre is available either as a four- or five-seater while the panoramic sunroof is standard only in the Chinese market and optional around the world.
The interior is dressed with microfibre material at the vital touch points and wool-blend fabric on the seats. The materials are 50% lighter than leather according to Lotus, further reducing the weight of the car. Most of the harder trims in the cabin are made of recycled carbon fibre.
The light strip that runs across the dashboard changes in colour for an interactive effect when the driver is answering a call, or changing the air-con temperature. Below the light strip are two displays – one for the driver and another for the passenger to display information relating to the car, journey, music selection and more.
Beneath them is a 15.1-inch OLED touch-screen with more information projected on the head-up display with augmented reality (AR) technology.
Driver aids are aplenty in the Eletre including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane change assist, rear-cross traffic alert with brake assist.
The Eletre is only the first of many more exciting fully-electric vehicles from the company as Lotus Group, CEO, Mr. Feng Qingfeng highlighted.
Following the new Eletre, Lotus has announced that it will launch a four-door sports coupe (Type 133) in 2023 and a D-segment SUV (Type 134) in 2025, and an all-new electric sports car (Type 135) by 2026.