The all-new Lotus Eletre has just been unveiled, and it’s yet another reflection of where the market is headed. Like every other sports car manufacturer, Lotus also isn’t immune to the SUV trend, and the Eletre is proof of that. It’s also Lotus’s first foray into the electric vehicle (EV) space, and the Eletre also presents another first for the British sportscar automaker.
Whereas past Lotus vehicles are made in the UK, the Eletre will be their first vehicle to be assembled in China. Remember, Lotus is now owned by privately-owned Chinese automaker Geely, and it aims to turn the brand into the British version of Porsche, whose lineup consists of a variety of sporty vehicles without abandoning its core sportscar market. The only way for Lotus to survive financially is to eventually produce SUVs, since that’s still a growing market, while the market for two-seater sportscars is shrinking by the minute.
The Lotus Eletre is aiming to compete with the Porsche Cayenne, yet its dimensions are marginally longer than its key German competitor at 5,105 mm longer. It is, however, slightly lower, which gives this electric SUV a sporty stance. The design also presents a host of firsts for Lotus. Its 3,019 mm long wheelbase and short hood enables it to have a set of proportions never before seen in the brand. The various aerodynamic vents around the vehicle are heavily inspired by the Evija electric hypercar.
That distinctly-styled body is riding on a completely new platform that’s exclusive to Lotus. This platform will also be scalable to support sedans and other types of vehicles as well. And being a luxury electric SUV, this is the heaviest Lotus to date–and this is coming from a brand whose philosophy has always centered around lightness. It won’t be as light as a Lotus Elise, that’s for sure.
Lotus hasn’t been known for producing high-quality and luxurious interiors, but that all changed when the Emira sportscar was unveiled. This new Eletre, however, takes that up a notch as this is the brand’s finest interior to date. The Eletre also comes with camera-based wing mirrors, and the display for it is mounted on the sides of the dash. There are also three displays, two on each side of the dash and one main screen for the infotainment system. You can also opt for a four-seater layout instead of the more practical seven seats (yes, this comes with a third row), and this will give you a permanent rear center console with a centrally-mounted screen.
The Lotus Eletre will come with an 800V architecture that will enable this EV to achieve a full charge in just 18 minutes. The battery will be more than 100 kWh in size and claims to have a range of 600 km. The range will kick off with a model that produces 592 hp. This base version will also have an impressive 0-100 kph time of under 3 seconds and a top speed of 257 kph. A range-topping version is set to produce 690 hp.
The Lotus Eletre won’t reach dealers until two years from now, which means there’s still time for you to save up if you’re in the market for a luxury electric SUV. This won’t be the last Lotus with electric propulsion, however. A four-door sedan that will compete against the Porsche Taycan will also be released in a few years, while a Macan-rivalling electric SUV will also be unveiled in 2025.