We live in a world where, regardless of how much we complain, SUVs will always be the most popular cars on the road. Even Lamborghini, the purveyor of the supercar, has admitted defeat to the SUV and has released the Urus. But now Lotus, the chosen one, has fallen into the same trap.
This is the Eletre, an EV SUV. Will it be worthy of the Lotus name? Let’s dig in.
Colin Chapman, the man who started Lotus alongside his wife, was famous for creating lightweight sports cars. “simplify, then add lightness,” he would say. So a heavy all-electric SUV doesn’t quite align with this mantra, does it?
Well, in 2017, Lotus was bought by the Chinese company Geely, and since then Lotus was ready to become the future of the supercar. Huge investment was pumped into the company so it could create the best electric supercars on the planet like the Evija, but revenue is a necessary evil of any company. So it’s no surprise they’ve turned their hand to an SUV. And by just looking at the photos of the car, I know it will sell like lip filler in Essex.
The Eletre will begin deliveries in 2023 to those who are brave enough to fork over £100,000.
An all-new platform sits in the EV with a large battery rated at “‘more than 100kWh”, and boasting almost 350 miles of range. It has two motors, one on each axle, three different versions of the car will be offered with three levels of power. 600 horsepower will be available in the base model, and I’m expecting almost 800 in the top of the range.
Obviously, even with the ‘base’ 600 horses, it’s not exactly slow, with 0-62mph coming in at under 3.0 seconds.
The suspension will feature air springs and adaptive damping as standard, but its options will include a lot of performance-enhancing technology that Lotus is currently working on behind the scenes. Lotus is currently basing its performance on the dextrous Porsche Taycan – a very high target indeed.
Does it look as good as it goes?
No I don’t believe it does. We were promised something close to that of the Evija hypercar, and while I do think it’s one of the better looking SUVs on the market now, I was hoping for something a little more innovative.
Surprisingly, I love the way the new Lotus design language translates onto the shape of an SUV, especially at the rear. And its black roof and contrasting lower panels hint at supercar proportions.
23-inch wheels helps the body melt into the ground and the sloping rear end is one of the many gorgeous angles of the car. Lotus has obviously spent a lot of time and effort sculpting this, and it shows.
Is it the same inside?
It’s better. This is really where the Eletre shines. And while what you’re looking at now isn’t exactly what we’ll find in the production car, I’m blown away by how amazing this looks.
The wheel is small and the cabin is simple. A large 15.1-inch OLED touchscreen sits in the centre and there’s a strip of screen for the driver that communicated essential information. But before you roll your eyes and long for the days when a car used to have physical buttons for things like climate control, don’t fear. Lotus has our backs on that front. Temperature and fan speed is adjustable without needing to take your eyes off the road.
And thanks to its all-electric platform and use of light colours, its cabin is incredibly spacious.
So, it’s not all bad. In fact, I’d be very interested in getting my hands on one for a few days (Lotus, hook me up!). And if it brings in money for one of my favourite car manufacturers, how can I say no.
The Eletre? It’s a win in my book.