2023 Lotus Eletre
Lotus’ first hyper-SUV comes to life
Lotus has reinvented the iconic brand by entering the premium SUV segment with its first “hyper-SUV”. Dubbed Eletre, which means “coming to life” in Hungarian, Lotus claims the bold newcomer incorporates elements of its latest performance car, the Emira, and the aerodynamics of the all-electric Evija hypercar.
Lotus’ foray into the lucrative SUV landscape makes strategic sense if the success of SUVs offered by Porsche, Bentley and the like is anything to go by. So, if you can’t beat them, join them, leveraging the brand’s 74 years of sportscar expertise by launching a 560 kW AWD hyper-SUV capable of cracking 0–100 km/h in less than three seconds. It runs out of steam only after a claimed 600 km and offers the driver engagement expected from a Lotus.
Core to Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s ethos was the importance of simplicity and lightness, characteristics normally not associated with EVs. Eletre’s designers have adhered to this principle, as evidenced by the air curtains on the exterior. Rear-mounted racing-inspired winglets in lieu of a full spoiler and the use of aerodynamic camera pods for wing mirrors are further nods to this minimalist philosophy.
The Eletre is underpinned by an all-new 800 V EV architecture comprising a skateboard-style platform. Constructed from aluminium and high-tensile steel, it keeps the battery and dual electric motors close to the ground to create a low centre of gravity that benefits the Eletre’s handling characteristics.
Four driving modes – Range, Tour, Off-Road and Individual – are offered, and the standard equipment includes air suspension and CDC, or continuous damping control. Active ride height, active rear-axle steering and torque vectoring are also available.
According to Lotus, the Eletre is the first new offering in a range of premium lifestyle performance electric vehicles to follow. We live in interesting and exciting times, but whether Colin Chapman’s legacy will truly be honoured and celebrated remains to be seen.
ETA: 2023, with the first deliveries starting in China, the UK and Europe.