Revealed: First Lotus SUV 2023 Eletre EV
Lotus has joined the ranks of all other automakers by introducing its first SUV called Eletre. It’s an all-electric one at that. Two firsts in one for Lotus. Though appearing as a concept, it looks to be a production Eletre with fancy paint and side cameras.
Is this Lotus Eletre a concept or production crossover?
The aggressive body sculpturing through the midsection and paint breakup of the fascia and body make a bold statement. And the taillight blade ending on each side tied into more vents does look show car-like. We hope it remains for the production version. And those rear vents burrow right down through the body to the wheelhouse as pass-through air channels. This increases aerodynamics.
More air channels can be seen in the hood, front fenders, lower grille, and D-pillar. Lotus says this “porosity” allows air to stab through the body as opposed to being sucked into it. This significantly increases air management efficiency. There is also an active spoiler under the rear window and an active grille. Little panels open and close allowing air to cool the battery, motors, and brakes, when needed.
What is the Eletre cabin like?
That blade-like theme on the outside continues inside the cabin. It runs through the width of the dash, interrupted only by the large, flat 15.1-inch OLED center touch screen. Rear seat passengers get a nine-inch touchscreen as well. Sculptured door panels and seats look like they came from the Emira, though they don’t.
Lotus has incorporated a gang of LIDAR sensors to pave the way for autonomous functions through updates. The LIDAR sensors, located on top of the wheel arches, above the windshield, and at the rear of the top, pop up to absorb the environment around the Eletre.
Does the Eletre have autonomous capability?
For now, it features self-parking and unparking capabilities. Lotus says, “End-to-end autonomy means a customer can use their smartphone app to request their Eletre to drive to them autonomously from a nearby parking space, and then autonomously repark once the journey is complete.”
While the parking feature and promise of full autonomy down the road are great, Lotus is about performance, even from a crossover. To that end, it says the Eletre is capable of “power outputs starting at 600 hp.” It is being coy about what its ultimate output might be. Instead, it claims zero-to-sixty times in “less than three seconds.” Part of that claim comes from its extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum, reducing weight.
The Eletre is based on the Lotus Electric Premium Architecture platform, with a 100-kWh battery and four motors at each corner. Three different versions will be offered with a maximum range of 373 miles. Almost 250-miles of range from a 350kW fast charger happens in less than 20 minutes.
Lotus is about handling, what’s it got?
In the handling department, the Eletre features air suspension and adaptive dampers. You can add active anti-roll bars, active ride height, carbon-ceramic brakes with 10-piston front calipers, torque vectoring, and rear-wheel steering. Also, optional 23-inch wheels are also available.
No price announcement has been made, but production will begin in China later this year. Expect a starting price of well over $100,000. Too pricey for your pocketbook? A smaller version of the Eletre is coming next, followed by an electric four-door sedan and sports car.