Lotus Eletre (2022): the first SUV from the lightweight forge
Of course, Lotus could continue to build lightweight athletes. But the political side would put enormous obstacles in their way. Colin Chapman’s basic idea is more relevant today than ever: low weight, small engine, maximum efficiency.
But these days, sports car builders earn their money with SUVs – to be able to build sports cars at the same time. Fully electric is a must anyway – after all, Lotus wants to lead the traditional brand into the future.
The large battery has over 100 kWh
The brand’s first models, the Elite and the Elan, weighed only between 500 and 700 kilograms. The Eletre, which is internally called Type 132, weighs that much with the battery alone, which weighs more than 100 kilowatt hours – that’s around a third of the entire vehicle weight. But: Here again Mr. Chapman’s idea comes into play, because Lotus wants to keep the total weight of the SUV under two tons. Sounds like a lot at first, but the Aston Martin DBX and BMW X6 M weigh over 2.3 tons – we measured that.
Sprint ability at super athlete level
In terms of performance, the SUV should be able to keep up with the conventional petrol top models. Similar to the most powerful Porsche Taycan, the Lotus is locked at 260 km/h, the sprint from zero to 100 km/h should be completed in less than three seconds. Together, around 600 hp tear at the four wheels, one electric motor is on the front axle and a second one on the rear axle. Wheelbase over three meters, 5.10 meters long and 2.23 meters wide including mirrors.
The Eletre does the work for the driver
The Eletre is a lifestyle product with a highly modern and ecological interior and the most modern autonomous driving talents. As soon as legal, he can drive autonomously with level 4. Lidar sensors are located above the front and rear windows and on the front wheel arches, with which the Lotus moves so independently that the driver only has to intervene when requested.
It’s also lightning fast at the charging station
Energy storage and charging technology are also up to date. The battery pack sits deep in a chassis specially designed for the SUV, which can be adapted for other models. Later, a sedan and a sports car are to come onto the market. What they all have in common is the 800-volt architecture and the option of charging with a maximum of 350 kilowatts. With this, a range of 400 kilometers should be squeezed into the battery again in just 18 minutes. In total, Lotus is aiming for a range of 560 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle.
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What the British manufacturer is currently showing us in the studio is still a hand-made prototype, but at the beginning of 2023 mother Geely (the Chinese manufacturer also owns Volvo and Polestar) wants to start series production. Lotus is aiming for a base price of around 100,000 British pounds – around 120,000 euros.