The mere fact of waking up a Lotus reflexively creates a mental image of a Formula 1 car driven by Jim Clark or Mario Andretti playing with its limits. There are also many of those super bright sports cars with their logos that proved that power wasn’t a panacea. But as each era ends, this position does not guarantee the survival of a small British manufacturer, who aspires to something bigger. The Eletre, the first SUV in the brand’s history, can certainly be part of the solution.
Posted April 4
Presented last week in London by none other than Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, this new model is sure to benefit from the amount invested by Chinese owner Geely. It is an international product, designed in England and developed together with teams in Germany, China and Sweden. It will also be assembled in China.
But what exactly is Eletre? Banked in an angular stance that easily recalls the Lamborghini Urus without having any direct relation to the rear, it has the same dimensions as that of the BMW X5. However it is slightly lower than the latter, giving a more athletic profile to the delivery.
Eletre launches a brand new electronic platform designed by Lotus. As with any self-respecting modern electric vehicle, it takes a skateboard-like approach by integrating batteries and electric motors into a compact, low-profile package.
Lotus says that it uses a combination of aluminum and high-strength steel to reduce its weight, without advancing the figures. Logically we should expect a car that is heavier than usual for the manufacturer. To compensate, Lotus will use a continuously variable air conditioner that can increase ground clearance on demand (optional). Reverse steering (also optional) will reduce the turning radius.
As for the battery, which increases its weight of course, it will be 100 kWh. Normal, in short, for a car of this stature. It will power two electric motors that will deliver more than 600 hp in total and will be paired with 350 kW super-fast chargers. A freedom of 600 km in the European circuit has been developed, a figure that will be revised downwards once the North American protocol is implemented.
Commercial sales of the Eletre will begin in North America in 2024. Lotus told us it doesn’t know an exact date at this time. Of course we will have an idea of the price range by then.