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Lotus Cars Begins New Dawn with the Eletre Hyper SUV

This new SUV is Lotus’s first foray into the world of lifestyle vehicles.

By Toby Louch

British sports car manufacturer Lotus has revealed its latest vehicle, the Lotus Eletre. Previously known by code name the Type-132, the Eletre is described by Lotus as the world’s first electric hyper SUV.

The car was unveiled at an event at the former BBC television studios in White City, where the all-electric SUV was driven out by ex-Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button.

“London is the birthplace of Lotus and to take over the iconic BBC Studios, inside and out, to launch the Lotus Eletre to the world is fantastic,” said Matt Windle, managing director of Lotus Cars.

The Eletre is described by Lotus as the world’s first electric hyper SUV / ©Lotus Cars

Traditionally Lotus has made small, competitively priced, lightweight sports cars. The Eletre — a large and luxurious SUV that will be manufactured in Wuhan, China — represents a clear shift in direction.

“The Eletre is a hugely significant moment in our ongoing transformation of Lotus; we are delivering on our commitment to move the business and brand into completely new segments to widen our global appeal and accessibility,” said Windle.

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The Eletre — a large, luxurious, SUV that will be manufactured in Wuhan, China / ©Lotus Cars

Ultra-fast charging with the range to match

With a battery capacity of over 100kWh, the Eletre has a target maximum range of 373 miles. It also boasts the ability to charge for up to 248 miles of range in only 20 minutes, using an ultra-fast 350kWh charger.

The Eletre will certainly have some muscle. Its two electric motors will produce power starting at 600hp and allow the car to join the elusive “two-second club”, made up of vehicles capable of going 0-60mph in under three seconds.

Looking suitably futuristic, the new 4×4 is naturally brimming with technology. The Eletre also includes the world’s first deployable light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology in a production car. This LIDAR system, which is only visible when it’s in use, works in tandem with the Eletre’s Electric Reverse Mirror Display (ERMD) to allow for autonomous driving capability.

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lotus eletre suv interior

Looking suitably sci-fi the new 4×4 is naturally brimming with technology / ©Lotus Cars

These two technologies are all part of a comprehensive array of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), designed to future-proof the car and allow for new features to be added via Over the Air (OTA) updates.

The Eletre represents the most recent step in Lotus’s journey to become an all-electric motor company by 2028. This process began with the announcement of the Evija in 2019, Lotus’s first all-electric vehicle. This was a limited production hypercar with a striking futuristic design and a $2m price tag.

The Evija was swiftly followed by the Emira, a small competitively priced sports car in the same vein as Lotus’s previous offerings. Priced from $85,000, the Emira is set to be Lotus’s final car with an internal combustion engine.

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lotus eletre suv wheel

Carbon fiber and aluminum have been used extensively for weight reduction / ©Lotus Cars

The Eletre, the recently announced SUV — set to cost around $130,000 — is the first of three lifestyle vehicles that Lotus will announce over the next four years. With the Eletre, Lotus is flexing its aerodynamic capabilities gained from over 70 years of sports car production and incorporating it into a lifestyle vehicle.

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Throughout the Eletre, carbon fiber and aluminum have been used extensively for weight reduction, harking back to the old adage of Lotus founder Colin Chapmen: “Simplify, then add lightness.”

The Eletre ticks off numerous firsts for Lotus, its first five-door production car, first non-sport vehicle and first lifestyle electric vehicle. However, Lotus is keen to point out that the Eletre continues its celebrated tradition of lightweight, performance-driven vehicles that are designed in Britain.

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