Make / Model Search

Future models - Lotus - Eletre

Lotus launches quickest dual-motor electric SUV

The Eletre is a worthy hyper-SUV with a sub 3.0 sec 0-100km/h time and 675kW punch

30 Jun 2023

HAVING already launched in China where it’s made, Lotus has staged the European introduction of its new, fully electric Eletre hyper-SUV in Norway, billing it as the fastest fully electric dual-motor SUV on the planet.


However, with a kerb weight of up to 2640kg, the porky family hauler would likely make Lotus founder, Colin Chapman, turn in his grave. Chapman’s obsession was making lightweight sports cars and his credo was, “adding power makes you faster on the straights, subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”.


The new Eletre weighs more than a Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series and in top spec’ and is capable of dipping into the sub-3.0 second bracket for a 0-100km/h sprint… hyper-car territory. It is aptly described in some circles as a sledgehammer performance vehicle rather than a “light weight scalpel”, as were earlier Lotus models.


The big Lotus BEV hits UK showrooms priced from £89,500 ($A171,400) plus on-road costs for the entry level variant. Down Under launch details and pricing, apart from 2024 availability, are yet to be advised.


It is up against potential competition from Audi’s e-Tron Wagon and Sportback from $166,900 and $173,900 respectively +ORC, the BMW iX xDrive 50 Sport from $180,400 +ORC and maybe the Jaguar i-Pace HSE EV400 from $165,600 +ORC. Though a sedan, Porsche’s all electric Taycan is also a possible contender and the incoming Mercedes-Benz’s EQE fully electric large SUV.


Lotus says the Eletre is “aimed at a new generation of its customers seeking a practical, versatile and spacious family-focused electric hyper-SUV,” and that it is “the most advanced Lotus ever, blending comfort, performance and cutting-edge luxury design with sustainable materials.”


Included in the Eletre is a state-of-the-art infotainment system that uses Lotus’ Hyper OS to deliver an intuitive and immersive experience for all occupants. The SUV also leverages other Lotus EVs, the Emira and Evija, for critical components such as the suspension and chassis tech.


Though a heavyweight, Lotus claims the Eletre delivers “world-class ride and handling built on Lotus’ pioneering development of active systems in road and race cars”. The body boasts race car derived active aerodynamics to optimise range and efficiency and to provide additional downforce for a “more rewarding” driving experience and high-speed stability.


The all-electric powertrain is said to be capable of providing up to 600km (WLTP) combined range while the top of the range Eletre R variant is capable of a 2.9 second 0-100km/h sprint that places it firmly in the hyper-SUV segment against much more expensive hybrid and ICE models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche.


It can be recharged from 10 to 80 per cent in a claimed 20 minutes using rapid recharge facilities and up to 120 km is attainable in five minutes.


The Eletre boasts a full suite of advanced driver assistance systems centred on an innovative deployable LIDAR system while over-the-air updates (OTA) deliver the latest functionality and software to the vehicle. Though still in a legal mire, autonomous driving to Level 4 is accessible in the Eletre.


Made in China (Lotus is part of the Geely Holding Group) the company says the Eletre is ‘Born British, Raised Globally’, a collaboration between highly experienced and dedicated Lotus teams in the UK, Germany and China.


Lotus’s home in Hethel UK was heavily involved at all levels of Eletre development utilising design teams at UK Creative Centre (UKCC) in Coventry; the engineering and dynamics teams at Germany Innovation Centre (GIC) in Raunheim; and the Lotus Tech engineering and manufacturing teams in Wuhan.


Three variants will be available on which Lotus is holding thousands of deposits globally. They are the Eletre, Eletre S and Eletre R – with the choice of two powertrains.


Standard spec includes active air suspension, continuous damping control, torque vectoring, Lotus Intelligent Dynamic Chassis Control, 22-inch 10-spoke forged wheels in silver with a diamond-turned finish (20-inch five-spoke in European markets), Matrix LED headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Visual Park Assist, four-zone climate control, 12-way electric-adjust front seats, head-up display, wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and a 1380-watt 15-speaker KEF Premium Audio system.


The Eletre S is focused more on luxury with specification reflecting that to include soft door close, privacy glass, active rear spoiler, configurable ambient lighting, illuminated side sills, air quality system, 2160-watt 23-speaker KEF Reference Audio system, and 22-inch 10-spoke forged wheels in grey with a diamond-turned finish.


The brutal flagship Eletre R is all about performance boasting Lotus Dynamic Handling Pack (comprising Intelligent Active Roll Control and Active Rear Steering), Carbon Pack, Pirelli P Zero performance tyres, and a gloss black finish for the wheels. A sixth Drive Mode: Track is provided.


If all this doesn’t cut it, Eletre customers can tailor their vehicle to their requirements using a comprehensive list of option packs - the Executive Seat Pack, Comfort Seat Pack, Extended Carbon Fibre Pack, Interior Carbon Fibre Pack, Parking Pack and a Highway Assist Pack.


Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) include: Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Highway Assist (HWA); Collision Mitigation Support Front (CMSF); Traffic Sign Information (TSI); Door Open Warning (DOW); Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA); Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA); Lane Change Assist (LCA); Life Detection and Care (LDC); Lane Keep Aid with Lane Departure Warning / Prevention (LKA+); Parking Emergency Brake (PEB); Collision Mitigation Support Rear (CMSR); and Emergency Rescue Call (E-Call).


The powertrain options are fed by an underfloor 800-volt, 112kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The battery pack’s sophisticated thermal management system and battery control module deliver the ideal operating conditions crucial to both range and durability.


Permanent magnet, synchronous motors are housed together with the transmissions and inverters inside a single, cast housing for optimum packaging efficiency. All models feature a single-speed transmission on the front axle. While the same is true for the rear axle of the Eletre and Eletre S, the Eletre R features a two-speed design. Lotus says the advanced electric drive units deliver “astonishing and exploitable new levels of performance to the SUV segment, together with remarkable efficiency”.


With 450kW and 710Nm of instant torque, the Eletre and Eletre S can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds and go on to a V-max 258km/h. Both are rated at a WLTP combined range of up to 600km. But with an attention grabbing 675kW and 985Nm, the Eletre R covers the benchmark sprint in a mere 2.9 seconds with a V-max of 265km/h and claimed WLTP combined range of 490km.


“Like every Lotus, the Eletre is first and foremost a car ‘For The Drivers’,” said Lotus group vice-president and chief commercial officer, Mike Johnstone.


“Its DNA is 100 per cent Lotus, with exceptional dynamic performance. It’s also the most advanced Lotus ever, blending that performance with comfort, practicality, versatile space, cutting-edge tech and modern luxury design into a vehicle that brings the Lotus experience to a whole new group of customers for the first time.


“We know that two-seater sports cars are not for everyone, but the fantastic experience of driving a Lotus should be. The Eletre, plus the other fully electric lifestyle models that we’ve already announced, are providing customers and fans with a range of highly desirable Lotus cars that can fulfil all their needs at different times of their life.


“It’s a natural progression for the brand, and a hugely exciting one because Lotus is about delivering the very best performance no matter what segment the car sells in.”

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Lotus models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here