Lotus unveils 592bhp Eletre SUV

Lotus unveils 592bhp Eletre SUV

Lotus has embarked on a new era with the launch of the Eletre all-electric ‘Hyper-SUV’, which is the first car in a new line-up. The all-new model boasts power outputs from 592bhp, a range of up to 373 miles and ultra-rapid charging at up to 350kW. It will be built at a new facility in China from later this year and will cost from around £100,000.

Its design has been ‘carved by air’ according to Lotus, with much of its shape and bodywork shaped to reduce aerodynamic drag. Like the Evija supercar, a signature element is ‘porosity’, where the air not only flows around the car, but through it as well – most obviously where it is channelled under the car’s nose and out of two exits in the bonnet. The Eletre’s exterior lighting also makes an impression, animating as the driver approaches and the illuminated door handles deploy from their flush position. The rear LED light ‘ribbon’ can change colour from red to the Lotus green and yellow shades, and scrolls from left to right to indicate the battery’s charging status. Measuring 5,105mm long, the Eletre is a sizeable SUV, but its roofline is low at 1,630mm for a sporting appearance. It’s based on a new platform called Electric Premium Architecture, with 800- volt charging and a battery capacity in excess of 100kWh, which isn’t shared with parent company Geely. A pair of electric motors will produce a minimum of 592bhp in the entry level version, with higher power figures anticipated for top versions, which will also be capable of 0-62mph in less than three seconds.

The Eletre, which means ‘Coming to Life’, will get air suspension and active aerodynamics as standard, while options will include active ride height, rear-axle steering, an active anti-roll bar and torque vectoring. Ceramic brakes and 23-inch alloy wheels will also be offered. Four driving modes will allow the driver to tailor the steering, suspension, powertrain and throttle response. Gavin Kershaw, Attributes and Product Integrity, said: “Dynamically, 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. From a performance perspective, we know the world is watching, so there has been an obsession with getting everything right.”

Inside, there are small screens mounted in the leading edge of the doors for the cameras that replace the traditional mirrors, while the driver’s digital display is a narrow slot measuring just 30mm tall, backed up by an augmented reality head-up display. Ahead of the middle of the dashboard sits a 15.1-inch landscape infotainment touchscreen that’s responsible for most of the car’s settings. Lotus says its interface has been designed to make 95% of functions within three presses from the main display and it gets 5G connection speeds and over-the-air software updates, There are visual nods to Lotus’ obsession with weight saving, with slim structures dotted around the interior. There are luxuries, though, including a 15-speaker audio system from British audio firm KEF, upgradeable to a KEF Reference setup with 23 speakers and a 2,160-watt output at extra cost.

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