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Lotus unveils Eletre high-performance e-SUV

442kW ‘hyper SUV’ is Lotus’ first genuine family car; Oz deliveries ‘possible’

31 Mar 2022

LOTUS has revealed its highly anticipated “hyper SUV” in the UK this week. The all-electric Eletre – previously codenamed Type 132 – is, with due respect to the discontinued Evora 2+2 coupe, the first genuine family car model to be launched by the Hethel-based sportscar brand, and one that is likely to make it to Australian showrooms in the very near future.


Described by Lotus managing director Matt Windle as a “momentous point” in the brand’s history, the Eletre is underpinned by the firm’s newly developed 800V Electric Premium Architecture and offers a battery capacity of “more than 100kWh”. It’s optimal range is expected to be just short of 600km, while about 400km can be added (to a depleted battery) after just 20 minutes of being plugged into a 350kW charger. The Eletre also supports 22kW home charging.


Those numbers are unlikely to get tongues wagging, but the Eletre’s performance figures might. With a power output of 442kW in base form, and a 0-100km/h time of “less than three seconds”, the all-wheel drive Eletre incorporates “the core principals” and “more than 70 years of sportscar design and engineering” to offer an “all new lifestyle car for Lotus customers”, Mr Windle said.


The Eletre offers five drive modes – Range, Tour, Sport, Offroad and Individual – which alter the vehicle’s steering, driveline and suspension parameters. The e-SUV rides on adaptive air springs and -dampers, with the its five-link rear suspension promising deft control of the new model’s 5103mm long, 2231mm wide and 1630mm tall body. The Eletre’s ride height is adjustable, so too its active rear steering, anti-roll bars and torque-vectoring-by-brake system.


“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,” said Lotus director Gavan Kershaw.


“From a performance perspective, we know the world is watching, so there has been an obsession with getting everything just right.”


Combining a three-in-one electric motor, controller and reducer, carbon-fibre and aluminium construction, and state-of-the-art aerodynamics, the Eletre promises to uphold Lotus’ long-held weight-saving virtues. Many of the Eletre’s aero cues are drawn from the Evija hypercar – the prominent rear diffuser design and gaping bonnet vent are part of a system that draws air through, around, under and over the vehicle.


Much of the technology offered in the Eletre comes from Chinese sister company, Geely, including a scrolling rear LED strip, autonomous driving capabilities, camera-and-screen wing mirrors, digital instrument cluster, voice control, and a 15.1-inch touchscreen centre stack that controls the vehicle’s main functions.


Lotus says it has worked to eliminate many of the frustrations of touchscreen systems by ensuring the majority of the Eletre’s systems are accessible via three touches of the main screen. The vehicle’s software is 5G -ompatible and offers over-the-air updates, allowing customers to purchase additional features as they become available. Entertainment options include a standard 15-speaker KEF audio package or optional 23-speaker premium surround sound system.


The four-seat SUV offers sporty bucket seats in the rear, which are separated by a full-length centre console that houses a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment array, wireless phone charging pad, cupholder and an armrest.


Lotus says the Eletre is likely to start at around the £100,000 ($A175,000) mark when sales commence early next year. The Lotus Eletre will be manufactured at Geely Holding Group’s new $A1.7-billion factory outside of Wuhan, China.

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