We have it recently written : there’s no better way to make money for sports and luxury car brands than an SUV. Given that Volvo-owner Geely has also taken British sports car manufacturer Lotus under its wing, such an SUV was high on the priority list. And so here comes the new Lotus Eletre.
600 hp and 600 km
We will never know what Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus and follower of the philosophy “light makes right” (what is light, is good), would think of the Eletre. In any case, Lotus’ first SUV is fully electric and does not lack power. Two electric motors (one on each axle) jointly drive all four wheels and provide a total of at least 600 hp, so the Eletre should be able to reach 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and a top speed of 260 km/h. ‘minimum 100 kWh’ capacity, which should allow the Eletre to travel 600 km on a full charge. Lotus speaks of 350 kW, which allows you to refuel 400 km in less than 20 minutes.
Everything for aerodynamics
Visually, this no less than 5.10 m long SUV has some striking features. The wheelbase is naturally long due to the electric platform, with short overhangs. As there is no engine under the bonnet, the entire cabin can be moved forward and the Eletre nods to other recent Lotus models like the Emira and Evija. In addition, some air intakes guide the flows through the car and thus improve aerodynamics and autonomy. The front and rear light units are slim, with the LED strip now mandatory on the tailgate. The side mirrors have been replaced by cameras, again to reduce air resistance.
Inside, you can choose between two or three seats for the rear seat, a glass roof provides the necessary incidence of light and the seats are covered with a wool blend. Microfiber and recycled carbon fiber make their appearance throughout the rest of the cabin while the dashboard and center console have a minimalist design. The on-board instrumentation, for example, is only 3 cm high and is completed, on the passenger side, by a twin screen. Finally, the central 15.1-inch infotainment system screen folds away when not needed.
Finally, the Lotus Eletre comes with a few other brand firsts: an augmented reality head-up display, lidar sensors all around to allow the SUV to drive as much as possible on its own, air suspension, and directional rear wheels for comfort. and driving dynamics. The first Lotus Eletre will roll off the assembly line later this year at a brand new factory in China. Another first for Lotus.
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Times are changing: the Lotus Eletre is an electric SUV
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