Now even Lotus makes SUVs: Firm unveils ultra-fast £100,000 ‘Eletre’ made in China
Lotus Eletre: The world's first electric Hyper-SUV
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Famed for classic sports cars including the Elise, the Esprit and the Elan, British firm Lotus has unveiled its first effort at an SUV. Named the Eletre, the car has staggering performance figures and will be manufactured in Wuhan, China, the city at the heart of the Covid pandemic.
The fully battery-powered model will be on sale next year with prices expected to start from around £100,000.
The past few years have seen debut SUV efforts from other performance car brands like Lamborghini, Aston Martin and with Ferrari’s Purosangue also in the works.
And now Norfolk-based Lotus has unveiled the ‘Eletre’ which will do 0-60 in less than three seconds and boasts an electric range of around 373 miles.
The car will be the first to be built at Lotus’ new £900million EV factory in Wuhan China as the brand has been 51 percent owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group since 2017.
The Eletre, which means ‘coming to life’ in Hungarian, will be offered in three trims, all which feature four-wheel drive.
Every Eletre will have a battery capacity of more than 100kWh and power upwards of 592bhp. Maximum range is 348 miles and a full recharge will be possible in just 18 minutes from a 350kW charger.
The car will have a top speed of over 160mph and Lotus said every Eletre will come “with exceptional dynamics, outstanding comfort and true Lotus performance”.
But despite the jaw-dropping speed, the Eletre is not a small car.
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It is 5.1 metres long, 2.2 metres wide and weighs more than two tonnes due to the heavy battery packs under the car’s floor.
According to Lotus the design is “carved by air” and this mantra can be seen all over the SUV, with several vents channelling airflow to improve aerodynamics.
Lotus boss Ben Payne, who led the Eletre’s design said: “We have tried to push the nose forward and have a very short hood and a very sharp nose, all of which helps make the product look longer, lower and sleeker than it really is.”
The Eletre also features a futuristic-looking lightbar at the rear that indicates battery charge.
Mr Payne said: “It’s about utilising the technology and asking ourselves: ‘Can we make two functions of one light?’”
The rear also incorporates a carbon fibre, three-stage deployable, split, roof-mounted spoiler that is intended to evoke race car winglets.
Mr Payne added: “We have taken the iconic design language of the Lotus sports car and successfully evolved it into an elegant and exotic hyper-SUV.”
Despite being known as a driver’s brand, the car also has level four autonomy built in.
When UK law allows it, that means the car will be able to self-drive in many areas with human interaction only required if absolutely necessary.
Lotus’ system uses laser guided radar to achieve the feat, with the world’s first deployable car system emerging from different points on the car when needed.
It also features a huge OLED screen, cameras instead of wing mirrors, a 15-speaker 800w stereo and a heads-up display with augmented reality as standard.
Matt Windle, managing director at Lotus Cars, said: “This is a momentous point in our history and a clear signal of our ongoing desire to transform our business.
“It is a true Lotus, and we’re confident it will delight performance car customers and offer a distinct alternative to the segment’s established players.”
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