The Eletre R is claimed to be the world's fastest dual-motor electric SUV.
First unveiled back in March, the Lotus Eletre has finally been launched in European markets. Three models will be made available, with pricing ranging from £89,500 (approx. $101,000) to £120,000 (approx. $135,000). The introduction of the first-ever Lotus SUV is hugely important, as it signifies the expansion of the Norfolk-based boutique brand.
Matt Windle of Lotus Cars remarked that "the launch of the Eletre is the natural next step for Lotus. Two-seater sports cars are not for everyone, and we want to offer a Lotus for every stage of your life. The Eletre is the start of that."
The Eletre range caters to a wide audience with three models offering varying levels of performance. The range kicks off with the single-speed Eletre and Eletre S (approx. $118,000), both of which produce 603 horsepower and 524 lb-ft of torque. These derivatives are rapid, with the 0-62 mph sprint dispatched in 4.5 seconds.
At the top of the range is the Eletre R. This dual-speed derivative has a remarkable 905 hp at its disposal and a tire-twisting 726 lb-ft. This translates into a 0-62 mph sprint time of 2.95 seconds, and a top speed of 165 mph which, according to Lotus, makes it the fastest dual-motor electric SUV - take that, Tesla Model X Plaid.
The less powerful models do, however, boast a superior travel range. Both the Eletre and Eletre S are capable of traveling 373 miles between charges, while the R manages 304 miles. These figures have, most likely, been achieved on the WLTP cycle and will differ in the USA. The 112 kWh battery is capable of charging from 10% - 80% in just 20 minutes when plugged into a fast charger.
The R model receives a model-specific Track Mode, which provides performance-minded settings for the anti-roll control and dampers, along with a lowered ride height. There's a launch control system, and an active grille function as well.
While that's all very good, the Eletre also needs to impress as a luxury vehicle. On that front, Lotus has filled the electric SUV with plenty of goodies. Standard features include four-zone automatic climate control, 112-way power-adjustable front seats, torque vectoring, active air suspension, and a 15-speaker KEF Premium Audio system. This is controlled via the centrally-mounted 15.1-inch OLED touchscreen, which boasts functions such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Aside from the KEF Audio, the Eletre is also equipped with Dolby Atmos, to heighten the aural experience. In fact, Lotus says the "driver and passengers will feel like they're sitting in the middle of the recording studio alongside the artist." Other impressive technology includes the digital cockpit.
The digital cockpit utilizes the new Lotus Hyper operating system (OS). The Norfolk-based brand is particularly proud of this and notes the "Unreal Engine" - as used in the gaming industry - has allowed the UX/UI teams to create an incredible experience for vehicle occupants, such as "next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences."
Eletre S models receive additional equipment, such as soft-closing doors, ambient lighting, privacy glass, an active rear spoiler, and a 2,160-watt, 23-speaker KEF Reference Audio system. Additional features include an air quality system and auto-dimming side mirrors.
The Eletre R builds on this with the Lotus Dynamic Handling Pack, gloss-black painted wheels, stainless steel sports pedals, black badging, high-performance tires, and a sporty-looking Carbon Fiber pack. Of course, customers will be able to specify additional features for all Eletre models, such as driving assistance systems, and an Executive Seat Pack, which removes the rear bench for a plush four-seat configuration.
Thanks to two Qualcomm 8155 System-On-Chips, the Eletre has impressive processing power that provides a seamless experience for users. What's more, the experience can be improved over time, thanks to the ability to perform over-the-air updates. The vehicle also boasts predictive routing, EV routing, and a range assistant to help you plan your journey.
A plush cabin and startling performance mean nothing if the Eletre doesn't project the right image. Thankfully, it's quite the looker, and Lotus has ensured customers will be impressed by the standard exterior features. In the UK market, 22-inch wheels are standard (20- and 23-inch items are also available) and so are LED headlights. Five different wheel designs are on offer, along with six brake caliper colors.
The paint choices are limited, with Natron Red, Galloway Green, Stellar Black, Kaimu Grey, Blossom Grey, and Solar Yellow being the only choices. However, Lotus has promised that additional hues will follow at a later date. Inside, there are as many interior options, such as a leather alternative that is not only eco-friendly but odor-free and more durable than the real stuff.
The Eletre has spent plenty of time on the Nurburgring, with lessons learned applied to theTrack Mode. "The Nurburgring circuit is very challenging, and we are proving with our tests there and our simulations that we will achieve the performance targets we have set for the Eletre," said the company's Maximilian Szwaj.
Lotus is also hoping to introduce technology that will allow customers to drive around the Nurburgring autonomously
Some exciting news was also shared about the Evija. "Our simulations are showing us that the Evija is very quick...in terms of taking the car itself to the circuit, all I can say at the moment is watch this space," said Matt Windle.
Expect North American Eletre pricing and specification to be announced nearer to the local 2024 introduction.