Lotus reinvents itself as EV company with new Eletre SUV

Electric Vehicles, News

Lotus’ plans to reinvent itself as an electric performance car firm with a wide range of vehicles (rather than just sports cars) is taking shape as it announces the new Eletre SUV. 

The SUV, whose name means ‘coming to life’ in Hungarian, is the first of four EVs set to arrive by 2025 from the Geely-owned British brand. Until now, the Eletre was codenamed Type 132 and the subsequent electric models are currently known as Type 133, Type 134 and Type 135, the last of which is the Lotus Evija hypercar.

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, claims Lotus, and intelligent driving technologies such as the world’s first deployable Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system in a production car. This will enable it to offer level-four self-driving capability where this is allowed – namely China, which is ahead of the West on vehicle autonomy use.

The hidden sensors emerge from the top of the windscreen and wheel arches when wanted. 

Meanwhile, each door mirror is replaced by Lotus’s new Electric Reverse Mirror Display, which houses three cameras – one for the internal rear-view ‘mirror’, one to contribute to a 360deg view of the car and one as part of the intelligent driving technologies.

Says Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars:

“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.”

The Eletre will be built at the new Lotus site in Wuhan, China. Customer deliveries of the Eletre, which will cost from under £100,000, start in 2023.

Lotus Eletre (target specification)
Power and performance
Power (hp)     from 600
Battery (kWh) 100+
Top speed (km/h / mph) c. 260 / 161
0-100km/h (secs)    < 3.0
Max range WLTP (km / miles)   c. 600 / 373
Dimensions (mm)
Length       5,103
Width with Electric Reverse Mirror Displays 2,135
Width with door mirrors      2,231
Height 1,630
Wheelbase   3,019
Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to TechDigest.tv