Lotus has unveiled a sporty SUV that rivals the likes of Lamborghini Urus. The automaker becomes among the first sports car brands to launch a fully electric SUV. The SUV is named Eletre, which the company says it means “coming to life” and it introduces a lot of neat features to the brand.
Starting with the power output, the Eletre has 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts) with a motor powering each axle. Accelerating from standstill to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) takes less than 3.0 seconds, and the top speed is 161 mph (260 kph).
A 100 kilowatt-hours battery is backing up the SUV, and this allows for an estimated European based WLTP range of around 373 miles (600 kilometers). The Eletre charges at up to 350 kilowatts which enables getting 248 miles (400 kilometers) of range in 20 minutes.
To ensure a smooth ride the Lotus Eletre comes with an air suspension with active ride height adjustment. It also has rear-axle steering and active anti-roll bars. Every Eletre has four drive modes, including an off-road mode. There are also optional 23-inch wheels.
As it has been the trend with new electric cars, the Eletre comes with split headlights with the LED running lights are at the leading edge of the hood, and the main lamps are in the lower, blacked-out section of the fascia.
However, the SUV breaks the trend with the grille, many EVs come with a fake grille for cosmetic purposes only, but Lotus created an active aerodynamics grille which has interconnecting triangular pieces that open when the motors, battery pack, and brakes require cooling. It gives the sense of the car breathing like a live being. In the theme of breaking the trend, the Eletre replaces side mirrors with cameras in countries that allow it. Each side mirror section has small pods housing three cameras: One for the mirror-replacing display, one for the top-down surround view and one for the driver-assist tech.
Lotus went for deployable LiDAR sensors to aid with autonomy and future self driving features provided via over-the-air updates. The LiDAR sensors pop – out one above the windshield and one above the rear glass plus each side of the body near the front fender. At launch the SUV will support several driver assist features which include adaptive cruise control with lane-change assist, front and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist and automated emergency braking.
Stepping inside the SUV, the noticeable bit is the lack of a driver instrument cluster, in its place is a thin strip that’s less than 1.18 inches (30 millimeters) tall. There’s a matching piece on the passenger side that shows different info like the music selection or nearby points of interest. The driver has a heads up display for more information. However, the centre console has a huge 15.1-inch OLED touch landscape-oriented screen that houses the infotainment system. The rear gets a fixed center console with its own 9-inch touchscreen between the two individual seats . However the rear has the option for a three seater bench seat.
Pricing details were not revealed though it is expected the Eletre will go on sale by the middle of 2023 with a starting price of at least $100,000. It will go into production later this year at a new factory in China.