The electric revolution is no longer limited to daily drivers and eco-commuters. Luxury brands like Audi, BMW, mercedes and Porsche have already started to increase their ranges with EV variants, while hypercar manufacturers like Lamborghini and Ferrari expect their first electrical appliances to arrive within the next few years. On Tuesday, the British automaker Lotus announced that it also has an EV, the 600HP Eletre, with deliveries starting next year in China, Europe and the UK.
Developed under the codename Type 132, the Eletre “takes the heart and soul of Lotus’ latest sports car – the Emira – and the groundbreaking aerodynamic performance of the all-electric Evija hypercar, and reinterprets them as a Hyper-SUV,” according to the company’s press release. It also accomplishes a number of firsts, the statement continued: “the first five-door production car, the first model outside the sports car segments, the first lifestyle electric vehicle, the most ‘connected’ Lotus all time.”
The Eletre was developed on Lotus’ 800V Electric Premium Architecture (EPA) platform. That voltage puts it on par with the Audi e-Tron and Hyundai Ioniq 5, meaning that on a 350kW DC fast charger, drivers will be able to add around 248 miles of range in 20 minutes of charging, according to the society. Lotus didn’t specify the size of the battery beyond that it “has a battery capacity of over 100kWh”, but the company estimates a total range of 373 miles, equivalent to that of the Tesla Model X Long. Store More. Its dual front and rear motors are said to produce 600 horsepower producing a top speed of 161 MPH and a 0-60 under 3 seconds.
Ben Payne led the development of the Eletre’s exterior design, which features “porous” aerodynamics, a low stance atop the platform’s long wheelbase with short overhangs at either end. “The Eletre is a progressive all-electric performance vehicle embodying emotion, intelligence and prestige and, as the first of the brand’s lifestyle cars, it sets the standard for what is to follow,” did he declare. “We’ve taken the iconic Lotus sports car design language and successfully transformed it into a sleek and exotic Hyper-SUV.”
The interior will offer either the traditional two-bucket and bench-seat layout or optional four individual seats, front and rear, under a fixed panoramic sunroof. Material choices for the cabin reflect Lotus’ net zero goals, with “durable synthetic microfibers on key touchpoints and advanced wool-blend fabric on the seats”, while hard parts are constructed from small pieces of recycled carbon fiber from the edge of the weaves rather than being specially made.
The infotainment system is an entire production. “Under the dash, a blade of light runs through the cabin, sitting in a ribbed channel that widens at each end to create the air vents,” Tuesday’s announcement reads. This light strip is part of the vehicle’s HMI and changes color to alert occupants of important events like incoming calls.
Below is a 30mm high “tech ribbon”. On the driver’s side, this ribbon serves as the instrument cluster, displaying vehicle and trip information, which can also be displayed via the AR system, which is standard. On the passenger side, a second ribbon displays relevant contextual information such as nearby points of interest or the current music selection playing through a 1380-watt, 15-speaker KEF Premium surround sound setup with Uni-QTM.
Between those two ribbons is a 15.1-inch OLED touchscreen infotainment system that folds up when not in use. While most cabin controls are digital and can be operated via the touchscreen or voice interfaces, Lotus has deemed some functions vital enough to warrant mirroring physical buttons and switches so drivers don’t don’t have to dig into the submenus to turn on the windshield. windscreen wipers. Even these digital controls, Lotus boasts that “with three keys from the main screen, users can access 95% of the car’s functionality”.
The Eletre is also the first vehicle on the market with a deployable LIDAR array. Used to complement the driver assistance system, the unit appears from the top of the windscreen, top of the rear window and front wheel arches – like the headlights of a 1990 MX-5 – when in use, then retracts when finished to maintain aerodynamics.
“ADAS technologies such as LIDAR sensors and cameras will become more commonplace on new cars as we move into a more autonomous era, and having the world’s first deployable LIDAR system on the Eletre is a sign of the technology vision we have for Lotus,” said Maximilian Szwaj, vice president of Lotus Technology and general manager of LTIC. “This car has technology for today, and also for tomorrow, as it has been developed to accept OTA updates as standard.”
Manufacturing will begin later this year at Lotus’ new production facility in Wuhan, China, with deliveries starting in 2023. The model will first be available in China, Europe and the UK. The company has yet to release pricing details.
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