In more news about how the world is ending, Lotus — yes, the lightweight sports car company — has unveiled an SUV called the Eletre. Billed as both the first hypercar-SUV and an all-electric lifestyle vehicle, the Eletre will be available in three trim levels (Eletre, Eletre S and Eletre R) with two EV powertrains (450 kW/603 horsepower or 675 kW/905 horses). In addition, the Eletre will feature Lotus Hyper OS, a new operating system for both driver and passengers.
In other words, Lotus has put the Italians and Germans and anyone else on notice: the Eletre R is the word’s fastest dual-motor pure electric SUV, with tests at Nürburgring showing that all performance targets have been met. “Born British, Raised Globally” indeed.
“Confirmation of the pricing and specs of the Lotus Eletre is a key moment in the transformation of Lotus through our Vision80 strategy,” says Lotus Cars Group Vice-President and Managing Director, Matt Windle. “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 first two trim levels feature the lesser of the two powertrains. Both the Eletre and Eletre S feature a single-speed system with a maximum range of 373 miles, while the dual-speed Eletre S can go as far as 304 miles. Torque for both are 710 and 985 Nm, respectively, with acceleration to 62 mph taking only 4.5 and 2.95 seconds. The Eletre R in particular features a Track Mode that was developed from the model’s development at Nürburgring. It features a lowered ride height and more performance-oriented settings for the dampers and anti-roll control “for a higher level of dynamic performance at longitudinal and lateral limits for the most ambitious drivers.” All three models feature a 112 kWh battery that can be charged from 10% to 80% in 20 minutes using a rapid charger.
All this and more was announced at Lotus’ “Unleash the Future” broadcast, which involves embarking on a future based on the three key pillars of Life, Tech and Speed. While that comes off as sounding like a sabbatical for a dot.com billionaire, today it’s the future of the company started by Colin Chapman. For now, let’s glance at the tech: the Lotus Hyper OS uses “unreal engine” technology from the gaming world to allow the Lotus User Experience/User Interface team to create “next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences.” Processing power includes two Qualcomm 8155 System-On-Chips. What does this mean? Beats me, though Lotus claims “Lotus Hyper OS provides 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.”
If you’re getting the feeling that personal transportation is going to take over your life, and then humanity, get ready to feel even smaller because a company called ECARX is debuting a Digital Head Unit that “reconfigures the user’s in-car experience by providing fully customizable displays, hosted on an advanced Driver Information Module, and ultra-slim floating one-billion-color OLED touchscreen for more realistic graphics and a more futuristic visual effect.” What’s a Digital Head Unit? It sounds stereo-related but the truth is that it’s related to server-level computing power, yes? Please promise us you won’t get a bat and attack the first Eletre you see because it won’t end well.
Deployable LIDAR technology may make you wrinkle your brow in a questionable stare, but it’s standard, so what’s to worry? The Eletre is the first production vehicle to feature this tech, which supports end-to-end autonomous driving technology. Interestingly, the software features the ability to update so the system can embrace the regulations that the market will develop so its capabilities can adapt, advance and refine itself over time. Planned obsolescence my arse!
Because the Eletre is a premium luxury vehicle, the interior features wireless smartphone charging, four-zone climate control system, 1,380-watt, 15-speaker KEF audio system, and 15.1-inch high-definition OLED center screen. Six unique interiors are available (plus one that is configured for four-place seating via the Executive Seat Pack) and, guess what? All of them are sustainable. You can opt for fake leather to earn your “friend of the environment” cards. Other materials are 100% recycled and recyclable. Don’t think of this as more Greenie nonsense, gentle reader, but something that will trickle into your future automobile purchase as we all hold hands and chant “We Are The World.”
The price for this vehicle-that-makes-those-who-can’t-afford-it-feel-old starts at €95,990, which would translate to a similar amount in dollars at this writing. The standard spec includes five drive modes, active air suspension, torque vectoring, matrix LED headlights and 22-inch 10-spoke forged wheels. Exhausted yet?
Lotus will offer Eletre customers even more customization and personalization opportunities for their well-heeled customers, to wit: Lotus Dynamic Handling Pack, Ceramic Brake Pack, Executive Seat Pack, Comfort Seat Pack, Carbon Fibre Pack, Extended Carbon Fibre Pack and Interior Carbon Fibre Pack, Parking Pack and Highway Assist Pack.
Nonetheless, does this sound like the urban assault vehicle for you? North Americans will have to wait for 2024, with prices and specs to be determined.
Lotus Eletre Technical Specifications
Power and Performance:
* Using 20-inch wheel, available as a no-cost option in the UK
|Width with Electric Reverse Mirror Displays||2,135|
|Width with door mirrors||2,231|
|Height||1,630 (20-inch wheel) 1,636 (22/23-inch wheel)|
|Ground clearance||187 (20-inch wheel) 194 (22/23-inch wheel)|
|Rear boot capacity||611 litres (four seats) 688 litres (five seats)|
|Rear boot capacity (five-seater, rear seats folded)||1,532 litres|