It would be fair to say that everybody has an opinion on the Lotus Eletre. Bringing together something as divisive as an electric SUV with a badge as storied as Lotus’s was always going to create some discussion - as more than 500 comments on the reveal story can attest. Now there’s some more information on exactly what those customers who’ve placed a deposit for an Eletre will get, with a three-model lineup and associated prices announced.
There will be an Eletre, Eletre S and Eletre R offered, rekindling the good old days of Elises. Both standard and S have 603hp and 524lb ft, which Lotus says will be enough for a 4.5-second sprint to 62mph and 373 miles of range. Both will also be capable of 160mph. Earlier in the year, Lotus said the Eletre would support 350kW rapid charging, and suggested all models can be charged from 10-80 per cent (or 37 miles to 296 in the case of these models) in 20 minutes.
The Eletre R sounds, quite frankly, a bit bonkers, and all the more interesting for it. It’s rated at 905hp and 726lb ft, sufficient to reach 62mph in just under three seconds and 165mph. Which will be quite the experience in something 5.1 metres long and 2.2m wide. Lotus’s stated aim of a 2,000kg kerbweight hasn’t yet been verified one way or the other. The range-topper also gets its own exclusive Track Mode, which apparently incorporates learnings from Nordschleife testing; a lower ride height and more focused settings for both dampers and anti-roll control promise ‘a higher level of dynamic performance at longitudinal and lateral limits for the most ambitious drivers.’ Stickier tyres as well as a Dynamic Handling Pack are standard for the R, though there isn’t any more detail than that for the moment.
Buyers after the ultimate Eletre will be asked to part with £120,000 for an R, which actually compares quite favourably with cars like the 620hp, £117k BMW iX M60. The range starts at £89,500, with 22-inch wheels, active air suspension, torque vectoring and matrix LED lights among the standard kit. The £104,500 Eletre S adds to that a 2,160-watt, 23-speaker KEF Reference Audio sound system (in place of a 1,380-watt, 15-speaker one), an active rear spoiler and configurable ambient lighting, among other things.
With pricing has come more information about the Eletre’s digital cabin, including Lotus Hyper OS. The operating system uses gaming industry tech, including two Qualcomm 8155 System-On-Chips, to offer a ‘seamless interactive experience that offers best-in-class performance in terms of visual effects and interactive feedback, putting the user - driver or passenger - in complete control’. Which sounds nice.
Additionally, the car will come with EV-specific navigation assistance thanks to HERE Technologies, plus something called a Digital Head Unit; once upon a time that would have been a single-DIN with an aux input, and now is fully customisable, ultra-slim screen with a one-billion-colour OLED display. The use of an ECARX dual-chip means it’ll stay up to date for the life of the car with over-the-air updates.
Oh yes, and every Eletre will be compatible with Dolby Atmos, promising audio that ‘takes listening to new heights through unparalleled depth, precision and clarity.’ However the Eletre turns out to drive, it should be a very special car to travel in. Somewhat against Lotus tradition, sure, but absolutely aligned with the preoccupations of the Chinese market. And fitting, really, for a luxury SUV with a six-figure price tag.
Matt Windle said: “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.” With thousands of deposit holders out there already, don’t be surprised if that number grows with this latest update. And prepare yourself for a very peculiar Lotus vs. BMW M vs. Mercedes-AMG SUV triple test when Eletre deliveries begin in the first half of 2023.
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