The 2023 Lotus Eletre Electric SUV Marks a New Era With Up to 905 HP
The new Lotus Eletre is probably not what Colin Chapman would have expected, but Lotus is looking to move with the times.
The new 2023 Lotus Eletre is the all-electric SUV that aims to take the British sporting marque into the future. We first saw the car's official images back in March, but Tuesday's announcement includes its specs and pricing.
Billed as a "Hyper SUV," Lotus has endowed the Eletre with serious performance credentials. It will come in three different trims from launch—the Eletre, Eletre S, and Eletre R, in increasing levels of rapidity.
The Eletre is intended to broaden the brand's appeal beyond its traditional focus on sports cars and track day specials. Two EV powertrains will be available from launch. The Eletre and Eletre S will offer 603 horsepower and 524 lb-ft of torque. That's good for a top speed of 160 mph and a zero-to-60 mph sprint of 4.5 seconds. Those stepping up to the Eletre R will enjoy 905 hp and 726 lb-ft of torque, good for zero-to-60 mph in just 2.95 seconds. The R model also gets a top speed bump of up to 165 mph, which should make it the current fastest dual-motor pure electric SUV on the market when it comes out.
All three models will feature a 112-kWh battery, capable of charging from 10% to 80% capacity in 20 minutes via a rapid charger. Fitted with the most efficient 20-inch wheel option, the Eletre and Eletre S boast a WLTP range of 373 miles. The Eletre R comes in a touch shorter at 304 miles. Range is reduced if the standard 22-inch wheels or optional 23-inch wheels are chosen instead.
The Eletre is intended to represent Lotus's heritage and core principles, while "evolving" them for the lifestyle vehicle market. Those core principles were once all about exquisite handling and saving weight wherever possible. While the handling ethos may indeed carry forward, the focus on weight saving is more difficult in an EV. Lotus hasn't quoted a figure in this area, but it will be interesting to compare how it measures up against other electric SUVs when numbers become available.
Handling has indeed been a strong focus for the Eletre's development. The base model features active air suspension, several drive modes, and torque vectoring to help it corner with aplomb. The Eletre S ups the ante with an active rear spoiler. The Eletre R goes further again, adding the Dynamic Handling Pack and higher-performance tires. There's also an optional Ceramic Brake Pack for those chasing more stopping power.
Lotus has gone as far as testing the Eletre on the Nürburgring, tuning its handling to suit the rigors of the famous German racetrack. This has fed into the Eletre's Track Mode, solely available on the Eletre R. It puts the SUV into a lower ride height while tweaking the damper and anti-roll settings for more performance. It also includes launch control for screaming getaways off the line. Lotus is currently developing a feature that would let the Eletre drive the Nürburgring autonomously, fully exploiting the performance the SUV has on tap.
Tech will also play a big role in the Eletre. The interior is thoroughly up to date, with a 15.1-inch infotainment system as the centerpiece offering, complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It will also feature a navigation system specifically set up to help owners find EV chargers, courtesy of HERE Technologies. There's also a KEF Premium Audio system with Dolby Atmos technology, with 15 speakers in the base model and 23 speakers in the Eletre S.
The Eletre can be optioned with both a Parking Pack and a Highway Assist pack. The SUV will feature LIDAR as standard across the range to support advanced driver assistance technologies, though Lotus has not laid out precisely what features will be available at launch. Lotus will use over-the-air updates to unlock further functionality as market regulations shift over time.
Pricing for the Eletre starts at £89,500 ($101,300 USD), stepping up to £104,500 ($118,300 USD) for the Eletre S. The top-of-the-range Eletre R starts at £120,000 ($135,820) before options. These prices have all been converted, as Lotus did not publish official United States pricing at this time.
Overall, Lotus looks set to deliver on its promise of a high-performance electric SUV. Whether or not it bears any resemblance to Lotuses of the past is yet to be seen. At the very least, Eletre begins with the letter E—a simple nod to the brand's heritage that is hopefully reflected throughout the vehicle's design.
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