The all-new Lotus Eletre is on sale now and its first customers are expected to have their vehicle delivered in 2023. At the moment, the Eletre is only available in selected markets, such as UK, Europe and China. The Lotus Eletre is not only an all-new model for the brand, it is also all-electric and is a first of a new breed of pure electric SUVs. Despite this, it still retains the Lotus DNA, taking the core principles and experience from over 70 years of sports car design and engineering, and evolving it for the next generation of Lotus customers. The Eletre (codenamed Type 132) takes the heart and soul from the latest Lotus sports car, the Emira, and the revolutionary aero performance of the all-electric Evija hypercar, and reinterprets them into the form of a Hyper-SUV. Its name means ‘Coming to Life’ in some Eastern European languages.
The Eletre is built on an all-new 800-volt dedicated Electric Premium Architecture (EPA) with integrated, high-voltage power distribution system. This architecture uses aluminium and high tensile steel for optimum
structural rigidity and can easily adapt to accommodate different battery sizes, motors, component layouts and intelligent driving technologies. The flat ‘skateboard-style’ battery pack and electric motors are close to the ground for a lower centre of gravity and to deliver on the core Lotus commitment of outstanding dynamic performance. The high energy density of the battery pack provides over 100 kWh to give the best possible balance of performance and driving range.
There are 2 electric motors, one for each axle, giving the Eletre 4WD mobility. A 3-in-1 electric drive system integrates each motor with a controller and reducer, an efficient design which makes the unit smaller and lighter – a very Lotus solution. Power output is claimed to be about 600 hp and the car’s target maximum WLTP driving range is c.600km. A 350 kW charger can deliver a 400 km range in just 20 minutes. It also comes with the ability as standard to accept 22kW AC charging which reduces the time plugged in.
“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 just right. Everyone is delighted with it – it’s a world-class product and a true Lotus,” commented Gavan Kershaw, Director, Attributes and Product Integrity, Lotus. He has been involved in defining the attributes of the Eletre from the very start, and continues to lead the Hethel-based dynamics team in their collaborative work with colleagues in China, Sweden and Germany.
To deliver exceptional dynamics, outstanding comfort and true Lotus performance, the Eletre uses 5-link suspension at the rear for optimised ride and handling, as well as air suspension and Continuous Damping Control (CDC). Active ride height, active rear axle steering, an active anti-roll bar and torque vectoring via braking are also available. The car has 4 drive modes i.e. Range, Tour, Sport, Off-Road and Individual, which adjust the steering, damper settings, powertrain and accelerator pedal response.
Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars said: “The Eletre is a bold and revolutionary new car, delivering on our commitment to move Lotus into completely new automotive segments as we widen our global appeal and accessibility. This is a momentous point in our history and a clear signal of our ongoing desire to transform our business. It is a true Lotus, and we’re confident it will delight performance car customers and offer a distinct alternative to the segment’s established players. The Eletre has the soul of a Lotus and the usability of an SUV. Alongside the Emira sports car, this is the perfect two-car garage from Lotus.”
The Eletre delivers a significant number of firsts for Lotus. It is its first 5-door production car, the first model outside sports car segments, the first lifestyle EV, and the most ‘connected’ Lotus ever. Technology includes the most advanced active aerodynamics package on any production SUV, and intelligent driving technologies such as the world’s first deployable Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system to complement the usual ADAS and safety features. Connectivity will allow for future-proofing the Eletre with OTA (over-the-air) software updates. Add in a dynamic walk-up sequence that delivers a moment of theatre every time the driver approaches the car, and the Eletre makes a simple statement – this is Lotus reinvented.
“The Eletre is a new performance car from an iconic performance car brand and it will appeal to independent-minded and adventurous driving enthusiasts – those who love the thrill of driving. It is a unique combination of beautiful design, exceptional dynamic performance and everyday usability, for those who dare to look beyond the conventional,” said Feng Qingfeng, CEO, Group Lotus.
He added: “While the worldwide critical acclaim for the Emira has reaffirmed Lotus’ position as a respected sports car marque, the Eletre will make Lotus accessible to a whole new audience. It is a compelling alternative for those who desire a true driver’s car but whose lifestyle demands something more practical than a traditional sports car. And it is only the start for Lotus – there is much more to come.”
The Eletre is the first in a new range of premium lifestyle performance electric vehicles to be built at an all-new state-of-the-art production facility in Wuhan, China. The car has been ‘Born British, Raised Globally’, with key attributes defined by the development team at Hethel, Norfolk – the home of Lotus since 1966 – and supported by collaborative work with teams in China, Sweden and Germany. The overall exterior and interior design has been led by an international team based at the Lotus Tech Creative Centre (LTCC) in Warwickshire, UK.
“The Eletre is a rare creative opportunity in performance car design – the chance to start with a blank sheet of paper and develop an all-new vehicle that takes a brand in a completely fresh direction. There has been a close working relationship and much collaboration between the Lotus design studios in Warwickshire and Hethel. The result is a ‘Hyper-SUV’ that is genuinely different to what’s on the market; the electric powertrain has inspired a ‘cab-forward’ design that echoes the iconic mid-engined layout of Lotus sports cars, creating a unique look and position in the SUV segment. The arrival of the Eletre signals the start of a new era of pure electric SUVs,” said Peter Horbury, Senior Vice President, Executive Advisor, Design, Lotus.
Design of the Lotus Eletre is led by Ben Payne, Head of Studio at LTCC. His team has created a daring and dramatic new model with a cab-forward stance, long wheelbase and very short overhangs front and rear. Creative freedom comes from the absence of a petrol engine under the bonnet, while the short bonnet echoes the styling cues of Lotus’ iconic mid-engined layout. Overall, there’s a visual lightness to the car, creating the impression of a high-riding sports car rather than an SUV. The ‘carved by air’ design ethos which inspired the Evija and Emira is immediately obvious.
Ben commented: “The Eletre is a progressive all-electric performance vehicle embodying emotion, intelligence and prestige and, as the first of the brand’s lifestyle cars, it sets the standard for what will follow. We have taken the iconic design language of the Lotus sports car and successfully evolved it into an elegant and exotic Hyper-SUV.”
This platform will be the basis for an all-new range of premium lifestyle performance electric vehicles from Lotus. Led by the Eletre, these cars will catapult Lotus into a new era.
For more information and to reserve your Lotus Eletre please visit www.lotuscars.com.