Known until two days ago only by its Lotus codename, Type 132, the Eletre is a globally relevant product, a shining halo of sustainable mobility for a worldwide audience. Embodying emotion, intelligence and prestige, it extends the reach of the Lotus name, badge and renowned driver engagement to a new audience.
A bold new dimension to the Lotus performance car portfolio, the Eletre delivers a significant number of firsts for Lotus – the first five-door production car, the first model outside sports car segments, the first lifestyle EV, the most ‘connected’ Lotus ever. And yet it remains a true Lotus, a beautiful car ‘carved by air’, packed with pioneering technology, genuine sporting performance and simplicity of purpose, designed and developed by a passionate and global team. The Lotus Eletre is alive with character and personality.
The Eletre is 4WD, has a battery capacity that’s over 100kWh and with power from 600hp. A 350kW charger will deliver a 400km (248 miles) range in just 20 minutes. The car’s target maximum WLTP driving range is c.600km (c.373 miles). It also comes with the ability as standard to accept 22kW AC charging which, where available, reduces the time plugged in.
Technology includes the most advanced active aerodynamics package on any production SUV, and intelligent driving technologies such as the world’s first deployable Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system in a production car. Add in a dynamic walk-up sequence that delivers a moment of theatre every time the driver approaches the car, and it’s clear the Eletre is making a simple statement – this is Lotus reinvented, the birth of a new icon into the Lotus stable.
Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars, commented: “The Eletre is a bold and revolutionary new car, delivering on our commitment to move Lotus into completely new automotive segments as we widen our global appeal and accessibility. 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. The Eletre has the soul of a Lotus and the usability of an SUV. Alongside the Emira sports car, this is the perfect two-car garage from Lotus.”
Qingfeng Feng, CEO, Group Lotus, added: “The Eletre, our Hyper-SUV, is a new performance car from an iconic performance car brand and it will appeal to independent-minded and adventurous driving enthusiasts – those who love the thrill of driving. It is a unique combination of beautiful design, exceptional dynamic performance and everyday usability, for those who dare to look beyond the conventional, and marks a turning point for our business and brand.”
He added: “While the worldwide critical acclaim for the Emira has reaffirmed Lotus’ position as a respected sports car marque, the Eletre will make Lotus accessible to a whole new audience. It is a compelling alternative for those who desire a true driver’s car but whose lifestyle demands something more practical than a traditional sports car. And it is only the start for Lotus – there is much more to come.”
The Eletre is the first in a new range of premium lifestyle performance electric vehicles to be built at an all-new state-of-the-art production facility in Wuhan, China. The car has been ‘Born British, Raised Globally’, with design led by the UK, supported by collaborative work with teams in China, Sweden and Germany. The overall exterior and interior design has been led by an international team based at the Lotus Tech Creative Centre (LTCC) in Warwickshire, UK.
Peter Horbury, Senior Vice President, Executive Advisor, Design, Lotus, commented: “The Eletre is a rare creative opportunity in performance car design – the chance to start with a blank sheet of paper and develop an all-new vehicle that takes a brand in a completely fresh direction. There has been a close working relationship and much collaboration between the Lotus design studios in Warwickshire and Hethel. The result is a ‘Hyper-SUV’ that is genuinely different to what’s on the market; the electric powertrain has inspired a ‘cab-forward’ design that echoes the iconic mid-engined layout of Lotus sports cars, creating a unique look and position in the SUV segment. The arrival of the Eletre signals the start of a new era of pure electric SUVs.”
The Eletre is built on Lotus’ all-new and highly versatile Electric Premium Architecture (EPA). The low-to-the-ground design means outstanding handling, and the EPA can easily adapt to accommodate C+ to E+ vehicle class battery sizes, motors, component layouts and intelligent driving technologies.
The platform will be the basis for an all-new range of premium lifestyle performance electric vehicles from Lotus. Led by the Eletre, these cars will catapult Lotus into a new era of higher retail volumes and significant revenues.
The Lotus Eletre is on sale now across global markets, with first customer deliveries in 2023 starting in China, the UK and Europe.
Exterior design: daring and dramatic
Design of the Lotus Eletre has been led by Ben Payne. His team has created a daring and dramatic new model with a cab-forward stance, long wheelbase and very short overhangs front and rear. Creative freedom comes from the absence of a petrol engine under the bonnet, while the short bonnet echoes the styling cues of Lotus’ iconic mid-engined layout. Overall, there’s a visual lightness to the car, creating the impression of a high-riding sports car rather than an SUV. The ‘carved by air’ design ethos which inspired the Evija and Emira is immediately obvious.
A signature element of the design is its ‘porosity’ – the aerodynamic principle of air flowing through the car as well as under, over and around it. Porosity was at the heart of the Evija’s design, is integral to the Emira, and has provided clear inspiration for the Eletre. It is most obvious where air is channelled under the leading edge of the car, emerging through two exit vents in the bonnet above. There are other examples of porosity ahead of and behind the front wheel arches, behind the rear wheels, and even at the top of the D-pillar. For the driver there are clear benefits to porosity – less resistance in cutting through the air, delivering a more efficient journey in terms of improved vehicle range, speed and performance.
Interior design: a new level of premium for Lotus
The Eletre takes Lotus interiors to an unprecedented new level. The performance-oriented and technical design is visually lightweight, using ultra-premium materials to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Shown with four individual seats, this is available to customers alongside the more traditional five-seat layout. Above, a fixed panoramic glass sunroof adds to the bright and spacious feeling inside.
Sustainability has been a core focus of the design team, which has worked with leading supplier Kvadrat on material choices. The interior uses premium feel and highly durable man-made microfibres on the primary touchpoints, and an advanced wool-blend fabric on the seats. It is 50% lighter than traditional leather, allowing for further weight savings. The hard materials are carbon fibre, though rather than use the traditional ‘weave’ most often associated with automotive design, Lotus has recycled the fibres trimmed from the edge of the weave. These have been reconstructed into a new matting, then compressed in a resin to create the car’s premium marble-like finish.
Infotainment and technology: a world-class digital experience
The infotainment experience in the Eletre sets new standards in the automotive world, with pioneering and innovative use of intelligent technologies. The result is an intuitive and seamless connected experience. It is a collaboration between the design team in Warwickshire and the Lotus team in China, who have huge experience in the fields of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX).
At the core of the Eletre’s UI/UX is the Lotus attribute of simplicity, which is realised through three pillars. The first is ‘lightweight’, a name given to both the system components and the experience. For example, with three touches of the main screen users can access 95% of the car’s functionality. The second pillar of ‘intelligence’ means the system is versatile, creating a vehicle which is fully customisable through the settings menu. The final pillar is ‘immersive’, with carefully crafted and curated content and interactions that excite and engage occupants – a very Lotus attribute. This includes the on-screen three-dimensional world in which the car is viewed, showcasing the Eletre as the hero and adopting user experiences from the worlds of gaming and mobile technology.