Lotus Eletre: The World’s First Electric Hyper-SUV
The ongoing transformation of Lotus to a truly global performance car brand has reached its most significant milestone yet.
The all-new and all-electric Lotus Eletre is a striking and progressive Hyper-SUV – the first of a new breed of pure electric SUVs. It takes the core principles and Lotus DNA from more than 70 years of sports car design and engineering, evolving them into a desirable all-new lifestyle car for the next generation of Lotus customers.
The company’s famed expertise in the fields of ride and handling, steering and optimised aerodynamics have been carefully and respectfully evolved. The Eletre takes the heart and soul of the latest Lotus sports car – the Emira – and the revolutionary aero performance of the all-electric Evija hypercar, and reinterprets them as a Hyper-SUV.
A bold new dimension to the Lotus performance car portfolio, the Eletre delivers a significant number of firsts for Lotus – the first five-door production car, the first model outside sports car segments, the first lifestyle EV, the most ‘connected’ Lotus ever. And yet it remains a true Lotus, a beautiful car ‘carved by air’, packed with pioneering technology, genuine sporting performance and simplicity of purpose, designed and developed by a passionate and global team. The Lotus Eletre is alive with character and personality.
The Eletre is 4WD, has a battery capacity that’s over 100kWh and with power from 600hp. A 350kW charger will deliver a 400km (248 miles) range in just 20 minutes. The car’s target maximum WLTP driving range is c.600km (c.373 miles). It also comes with the ability as standard to accept 22kW AC charging which, where available, reduces the time plugged in.
Technology includes the most advanced active aerodynamics package on any production SUV, and intelligent driving technologies such as the world’s first deployable Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system in a production car. Add in a dynamic walk-up sequence that delivers a moment of theatre every time the driver approaches the car, and it’s clear the Eletre is making a simple statement – this is Lotus reinvented, the birth of a new icon into the Lotus stable.
The Lotus Eletre in detail
The Eletre is a new icon from Lotus. It is the latest in a long line of Lotus road cars whose name begins with the letter E, and means ‘Coming to Life’ in some Eastern European languages. It’s an appropriate link as the Eletre marks the start of a new chapter in the history of Lotus – the first accessible EV and the first SUV.
The immersive experience with the Lotus Eletre begins before the driver has reached the car. Pressing the button on the key or smartphone app activates a moment of theatre that’s unique in the automotive world. The car’s exterior lights run through a short sequence, the active front grille ‘breathes’ and the illuminated flush door handles deploy. The experience is repeated inside the car as the door closes behind the occupant.
Exterior design: daring and dramatic
Design of the Lotus Eletre has been led by Ben Payne. His team has created a daring and dramatic new model with a cab-forward stance, long wheelbase and very short overhangs front and rear. Creative freedom comes from the absence of a petrol engine under the bonnet, while the short bonnet echoes the styling cues of Lotus’ iconic mid-engined layout. Overall, there’s a visual lightness to the car, creating the impression of a high-riding sports car rather than an SUV. The ‘carved by air’ design ethos which inspired the Evija and Emira is immediately obvious.
Moving round the car, its muscular haunches dominate the profile view. The air outlet immediately behind the front wheels defines the sculpted shape of the doors, each of which has a flush handle. The electrically opening cover for the charging port is fitted in the front wing, as are the deployable LIDAR sensors, one on each side and a world-first technology for the Eletre.
The aggressive rake of the windscreen is clearly visible in profile, with a relatively narrow, glass area – and black cantrail above – which tapers away dramatically at the rear. That leads into a unique floating D‑pillar, engraved with the Eletre wordmark and featuring an innovative ‘air blade’ which aids drag reduction.
Interior design: a new level of premium for Lotus
The Eletre takes Lotus interiors to an unprecedented new level. Shown with four individual seats, this is available to customers alongside the more traditional five-seat layout. Above, a fixed panoramic glass sunroof adds to the bright and spacious feeling inside.
The interior uses premium feel and highly durable man-made microfibres on the primary touchpoints, and an advanced wool-blend fabric on the seats. It is 50% lighter than traditional leather, allowing for further weight savings.
The driver-focused cockpit and high centre console are inspired by the Lotus Emira and Evija, creating a cossetted feeling. The layering of materials and textures creates a truly premium feel, augmented by a triangular theme – seen externally on the car’s active front grille – replicated in multiple locations around the cabin.
There is a wealth of practical storage space in the Eletre’s cabin. The centre console includes a storage tray with wireless charging for mobile phones, as well as twin cupholders of different sizes which sit flush to the surface until they’re needed. The beautifully sculpted door design includes storage that will take a litre bottle.
The smart design is continued in the rear of the car, with space in the doors and between the two chairs. There is a central draw at knee height and the armrest splits behind the two cupholders. It ends in an angled nine-inch touch-screen for infotainment, with a wireless charging tray beneath.
Infotainment and technology: a world-class digital experience
The infotainment experience in the Eletre sets new standards in the automotive world, with pioneering and innovative use of intelligent technologies. The result is an intuitive and seamless connected experience.
While every element of the Eletre can be controlled digitally, certain key controls are duplicated with analogue switches – another nod to the simplicity for which Lotus is famed. Voice control through advanced speech recognition technology is also available.
Technology is used for much more than infotainment on the Eletre. It is also at the heart of the car’s comprehensive suite of intelligent Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), many of which are designed to be futureproof so new features can be enabled via Over The Air (OTA) updates. Several utilise the LIDAR system; its deployable sensors are hidden when not required, ensuring the car’s striking design shines through and only emerging from the top of the windscreen, the top of the rear glass, and from the front wheel arches as required.
The LIDAR system means the Eletre supports end-to-end autonomous driving technology and is future-proofed for further development, achievable because of the hardware that’s already integrated.
Every Eletre comes with exceptional dynamics, outstanding comfort and true Lotus performance. The car has five-link suspension at the rear for optimised ride and handling, while standard equipment includes air suspension and Continuous Damping Control (CDC). Active ride height, active rear axle steering, an active anti-roll bar and torque vectoring via braking are all available.
The car comes with four drive modes, which adjust the steering, damper settings, powertrain and accelerator pedal response. The modes are Range, Tour, Sport, Off-Road and Individual, and are standard on all versions of the car.