It will help the brand be more profitable.
The Lotus Eletre was revealed just days ago but not everyone is thrilled that the maker of lightweight sports cars succumbed to the SUV trend. Unlike the legendary Elise, for instance, the Eletre is anything but a lightweight vehicle, and that's hard for many brand loyalists to accept considering the famed "less is more" approach of the Lotus brand. But in order to survive, it was logical that Lotus would eventually build an SUV. After all, low-volume sports cars are not exactly financially lucrative. The Lotus boss has now doubled down on the decision to build the Eletre and says that the model is vital if Lotus is to continue producing news sports cars.
Speaking to TopGear, Lotus Boss Matt Windle made it clear that he has grand ambitions for the company over the next few years. "We want to be a proper global, serious player," he said. "When it's [the Eletre] fully on stream, we're hoping numbers in the tens of thousands." Consider that Lotus sold under 2,000 cars in 2021, and you'll come to see how important the Eletre is. Windle admitted that making money, not just making great cars, is crucial. "If you want Lotus sports cars to be around forever, we've got to make money," he explained. "We haven't been making money in the past, and that's why we haven't been able to invest in product."
Windle described the Type 135 electric sports car as being "amazing" but said that vehicles like the higher-volume Eletre are important in making these sports cars a reality. The Type 135 is set to be a more compact and more affordable alternative to the Lotus Evija, one of the most powerful cars on the planet. It will join the Emira and the Eletre in an increasingly diversified lineup following the discontinuation of the Elise, Exige, and Evora earlier this year.
As the Cayenne did for Porsche and the Bentayga did for Bentley, the path Lotus has chosen with the Eletre is hardly a new one. There's a place for a Lotus SUV in 2022 and if it's going to help the Hethel-based automaker appeal to enthusiasts for the foreseeable future, it's a win-win situation for everyone.