No one can ever accuse Lotus of sticking to convention. The first thing the iconoclastic English manufacturer did after announcing its intention to become an electric-only manufacturer at the close of the decade was to introduce the Emira, an internal combustion engine supercar.
To be fair to Lotus, it must be said that at that time it had already announced the Evija, a portentous 100% electric sports car that develops a total of 1,970 horsepower that came to replace three gasoline models and that the Emira will be its last gasoline car. This week the manufacturer took another step on the road to its electrification with the presentation of the lotus eletreits first SUV truck, which is also 100% electric.
The Eletre, which will begin to be sold in 2024, is a crossover with a futuristic design that, seen from the front, looks like a friendly version of the Lamborghini Urus but whose sides are reminiscent of the Aston Martin DBX without completely copying it. Seen in detail, the design of the Eletre is more interesting and better finished than the other two trucks mentioned. In it, complex shapes and even air passage ducts stand out to improve its aerodynamic coefficient and achieve the best use of the available energy.
Aerodynamics were a priority for the design team led by Peter Horbury, who has worked at Lincoln, Volvo and Geely (Lotus, like Volvo, Polestar are owned by Chinese manufacturer Geely). The Eletre features active aerodynamics features, including power louvers and a three-position rear spoiler. The Eletre will use standard 22-inch wheels in most markets, with an option for 23-inch wheels.
1 from 14
The Eletre also has lidar sensors for autonomous driving functions which are embedded in the bodywork, one at each end of the roof and two more above the front wheel arches. These sensors pop up when used. Lotus says it will be possible to hail the truck from a parking spot, or park it using an app on a smartphone. The side mirrors will be cameras in countries where the law allows it, but we already warn you that the United States is not one of them.
The cabin of the Eletre is an unprecedented venue for Lotus, which has always stood out for its minimalist and basic interiors that prioritize vehicle performance over comfort. Inside the Eletre, comfort and luxury come first. Highlights include milled bronze metal rocker switches, a panoramic glass roof, a 15.1-inch OLED center touchscreen, digital instruments, and a 15- or 23-speaker sound system. The cabin can be configured for four passengers with two individual seats in the rear or for five people with a three-seater rear bench.
1 from eleven
The only details published by Lotus about the powertrain of the Eletre, which will arrive in 2023 as a 2024 model, are that it will have an all-wheel drive system, which means that it will have more than one electric motor but whether it is two or four as in the Evija it is something that we cannot anticipate, that the base model will have a power of 600 horsepower, and that there will be a top model with 900 horsepower. Lotus claims that at least one version of the Eletre will have a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration time of under three seconds.
The Eletre will be equipped with a battery with a capacity of around 100.0 kWh. which would give it an estimated range of 373 miles in the European WLTP cycle.
Interestingly, the Eletre is underpinned by its own exclusive Lotus platform and shares no element of its powertrain with electric models from Volvo or Polestar, its stablemates in the Geely Group’s stable of brands.
Lotus hopes to get the first units of the Eletre into the hands of customers in China, the UK and Europe in 2023. The US probably won’t arrive before 2024. Lotus didn’t provide any pricing information, but one thing was clear. about Lotus’s first electric SUV is that it’s not going to be a cheap vehicle.