But what could the camouflage be concealing?
Demand for SUVs has prompted several brands to make a surprising move into the segment. Aston Martin, a company that once said it would never produce a high-riding SUV, is now reveling in the sales success of the DBX. But when Lotus - a company that prides itself on lightweight cars like the Emira - announced it would make the same move, fans of the brand were stunned.
It may be a massive departure for the brand, but the striking Eletre still retains plenty of Lotus DNA. The automaker has said it won't exceed two tonnes (4,409 pounds) and, while that doesn't make it a featherweight, it's markedly light for an electric luxury SUV. It seems this has paid off, as the automaker's Urus rival was spied looking rather composed on the treacherous Nurburgring.
As the Eletre exits the pit lane, the rear tires chirp as the electric SUV lunges forward with authority. The Lotus exhibits plenty of dynamism for such a large vehicle as it hastily makes its way onto the track. With no sonorous engine note to listen to, the only noise to be heard comes from the tortured rubber.
Despite the protesting tires, the Eletre clings onto the tarmac as the test driver expertly hustles it through the bends. Perhaps the most impressive part of the video is around the 30-second mark; the burly SUV hits the tricky carousel - a blind corner on a ridge - and doesn't even break a sweat.
It appears to be as civilized and composed as any other pricey electric SUV on the road. But here's the real question. Why is Lotus still testing the Eletre? And a camouflaged one at that?
After all, the vehicle was revealed in March, sans disguise. Perhaps Lotus is just putting the final touches on the Eletre before its official debut - but there's another (more exciting) possibility. Not long after Lotus lifted the lid on its first-ever SUV, rumors emerged suggesting the brand is planning an even hotter version with around 900 horsepower.
At first glance, this test mule appears to have the same basic styling as the Eletre. Unfortunately, the Lotus-branded camouflage makes it difficult to spot any additional changes. Should this come to fruition, expect a tri-motor setup and supercar-rivaling performance.
As a reminder, the normal Eletre boasts a twin-motor setup that provides 591 hp. Should you feel inclined, it will escort you to 62 mph in less than three seconds before reaching its top speed of 161 mph. With that in mind, we can only imagine how potent a 900-hp variant would be.
It's not all about straight-line speed and impressive figures though. It should prove a hoot to drive, thanks to adaptive damping, torque vectoring capabilities, and active rear-axle steering. Lotus hasn't provided an official debut date, but we expect it to arrive sometime next year - several Lotus dealerships have said this too.
If not, it will arrive in 2024. If the hardcore variant does make it to market, we expect it to arrive possibly a year or two later. The established performance SUVs should certainly be worried.