Return when Geely bought Lotusthe company promised a new electric SUV bring more money to the small niche brand. Then one SUV has become two, but neither came with any real details. Now, however, we have a full view of the next era for Lotus: the Eletre crossover.
The Eletre debuted today in a near-production version, seemingly road-ready save for a few nits to pick. Those fancy side cameras will probably have to be replaced with boring old mirrors, but the rest of the crossover looks production-ready.
The front of the Eletre has a certain Lamborghini Huracán Performante look, particularly in the body-colored sections that jut out into the blacked-out grille, but the headlight arrangement also seems to be inspired by Lotus’ newer sibling. , Lynk & Co. design, which somehow manages to look more like Lamborghini than the Urus.
Running down the sides of the car there’s a character line that just starts behind the front fender – leaving a track-style vent behind the front wheel. It’s unclear if this vent actually lets air through, so place your bets now. Similar openings envelop both sides of the mixed at the back, and these do show the tire through the opening.
Inside, the Eletre can be had in four- or five-seat versions, with a panoramic sunroof standard in China and optional for the rest of us. The seats themselves seem quite at home under the Lotus brand – bolstered, supportive and slim.
The dash features a narrow digital instrument cluster and huge central touchscreen, and control is handled by a steering wheel that’s not enough round. Lotus seems to be aiming for the mix of performance and opulence that so many brands are trying to achieve, but only time will tell if the company hits the mark.
Like an EV in the year of our lord 2023, the Eletre promises “self-driving capability”, specifically “end-to-end autonomy”. What does it mean? Lotus helpfully explains:
End-to-end autonomy means that a customer can use their smartphone app to instruct their Eletre to drive to them autonomously from a nearby parking space and then park again autonomously once the trip over.
It’s more like the end-and-end of autonomy, but of course, let’s go. The Eletra has a full suite of LIDAR sensors to help it park (and park), with the promise of new capabilities being added via updates.
For the moments between parking and unparking, however, the Eletra intends to live up to its badge’s performance heritage. Lotus claims “power outputs from 600 resume”, without number given for a theoretical value maximum exit. The company also gives a zero-to-sixty time of “less than three seconds”, though this likely impacts the car’s claimed 373-mile range. Charging is said to take just 20 minutes for 248 miles of range, on a fast enough charger.
Lotus hasn’t announced pricing for the Eletra, but “extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum” doesn’t come cheap. However, all that tech and performance can put the Eletra in a halo position – Lotus claims another. of them “Lifestyle vehicles” are being prepared at Hethel.