Lotus has had a rollercoaster history during its long and iconic history. It has experienced periods of prosperity but also periods of struggle and challenges. Lotus is looking to put all of those things in the rearview mirror and has revealed the next chapter of its history, the all-new Lotus Eletre, which brings the brand to the SUV segment for the first time and is also the first relatively mass production Lotus EV offering to go on sale.
Eletre Debuts New Design Language For Lotus
The exterior styling of the Eletre may seem like a massive assortment of Evija and Emire traits, but the Eletre manages to make it all work with its larger dimensions. Lotus claims that the Eletre measures at 201-inches long, with the wheelbase being slightly smaller at 118.9 inches. Mix it in with its 74-inch width and a svelte height of 64-inches, and the Eletre is right on par with many rivals. They include the Aston Martin DBX, which won our praises when we had a brief opportunity to recently spend some time with it.
With that high bar to live up to, the Lotus certainly puts on a solid showing, with its sizeable grille-like opening being contrasted with sleek LED DRLs and turn signals. The headlights are buried in the polygonal space, while the side profile has a flowing design and even incorporates lighted door handles. The large 23-inch wheels are optional pieces of eye candy (Lotus says that lesser models will get a smaller set of hoops), while our favorite highlight is the rear lightbar. The bar is a welcome show car trait that is carried over, and the company claims that the piece can glow in four different colors depending on what they need to tell observers.
Still Retains High Levels Of Elegance
The interior of the Eletre is also a vision of what a utility-focused future looks like at Lotus, with buyers choosing from either a four or five-seat configuration. At the same time, slimmed-down gauges for the driver and passenger focus on crucial information and infotainment options. Speaking of infotainment, the space between the front seats is dominated by a massive 15.1-inch touchscreen that lays fully flat when it’s not in use. An interior lightbar also has color change capability. A wool blend defines the seats, while soft microfiber is used in other spots. Recycled carbon fiber is also on deck, and the Eletre will be the first Lotus to offer family-friendly storage space. However, Lotus is not ready to shine a light on the full details on that side of things just yet, but look for it to be a departure from older Exige and Elise models.
Audiophiles will also love the KEF sourced audio system, with the base 1,380-watt version being bolstered by 15-speakers. However, for those that require more clarity or outright power, the optional 23-speaker KEF Reference system boosts the speaker count and the watts, with over 2,160 watts to work with. The Eletre also boasts an extensive system of LiDar technology and a pair of camera mirrors. However, look for the latter to not make the trek to our shores due to NHTSA rules.
Electrifying The Performance Landscape
The past several decades have seen Toyota sourced powerplants define Lotus performance. Still, the Eletre goes in a whole new direction with the SUV powered by an 800 volt focused architecture. Some variants produce 600 hp, with each axle having an electric motor. The company promises that spicier and more powerful versions are coming, but for now, these models can make the sprint to 62 mph in 3.0 seconds flat. The top speed here is 161 mph and while Lotus reps are not ready to disclose the official curb weight just yet, look for the Eletre to do its best to follow the weight shedding script that has become a hallmark of Lotus products.
The initial range figures for the Eletre were measured in Europe’s WLTP scale, but 373 miles of range between charges is nothing to scoff at. On the subject of charges, the SUV can get 248 miles of this range back in less than 20 minutes though we suspect that’s only possible with a specialized charging setup. Handling aims to be an Eletre strong suit thanks to an air suspension system, active ride height adjustment, rear steering, and active anti-roll bars.
When Can I Buy One?
Lotus didn’t reveal whether the Eletre will be formally coming to the U.S. (other than saying they will address it later) but look for it to come regardless. SUV sales are a strong sales motivator here in this country. While the segment has become crowded in recent years, the Eletre’s unique approach to all-electric motoring would help it stand out as a unique offering in its elite slice of the market.
If you are a buyer in the UK, China, or Europe, your wait is not as long, with the first models being shipped out towards the end of 2023. The Eletre will be produced in a factory in Wuhan, China, and look for its pricing to be in the thick of things with rivals though we have to wait a while to get a better picture of that since Lotus didn’t release pricing information in its release.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.