THIS is the car Colin Chapman always wanted to build.
An off-road vehicle. Yes, really.
The genius Lotus founder – father of the Esprit – had two parking spaces at work, one for a sports car and one for his Range Rover.
His vision was to design a lotus for every stage of life.
A two-seater sports car for the young and carefree.
A two-seater sports car for the elderly and without a mortgage.
In between he knew we needed something big and practical for the kids and for towing.
Hence his Range Rover.
Forty years after Chapman’s untimely death at the age of 54, Lotus is finally making an SUV that he would be proud of.
His son’s words. Not mine.
Clive Chapman said: “My father was a designer of racing cars and sports cars, but always pragmatic and practical. And he always had a handy car on hand.
“There were actually two parking spaces at work – one for the Lotus and one for the practical everyday car.
“I have no doubt my father would love the opportunity to design something like an SUV.”
Something like this all-electric Eletre
Clive said: “The designers have come up with many features that would fulfill dad’s wishes and he would be happy with that.”
So officially approved.
Right, let’s get into the details because there’s a lot to talk about here, starting with the name.
Eletre means ‘brought to life’ in some Eastern European languages and follows the Lotus tradition of each model beginning with the letter E.
In terms of size, Eletre is only a few millimeters from a Lamborghini Urus in all directions, so you can see where it’s been benchmarked.
Price-wise, the Eletre will start at around £100,000, while an Urus will cost £183,000. In terms of performance, both are insanely fast.
Eletre has 600 hp, all-wheel drive and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in less than three seconds. The top speed is limited to 261 km/h. And that’s just for starters.
The main course will be a peri-peri hot version poking A THOUSAND HORSEPOWER.
Key Facts: Lotus Eletre
Performance: 600 hp
0-62: 2.9 seconds
Top speed: 161km/h
Area: 373 miles
The end: 2023
Visually, Eletre is a “really beautiful car carved out of thin air,” according to Lotus.
No buddy. Carmen Electra is really beautiful. Eletre is an electric SUV.
But it will turn heads. And it’s technically impressive.
Trick aero Eletre hugs the road the faster you go, but is also crucial for maximizing range.
Every cut and angle serves its purpose, including the camera’s thin wing mirrors.
The front grille has active blinds and the rear spoiler automatically extends at speed.
To keep the weight down, the body panels are aluminum and most of the black parts you see are carbon fiber.
Eletre has targeted a range of 373 miles with a 100kWh battery.
Mega-fast 800V charging adds 62 miles every five minutes. Like a Porsche Taycan.
The cabin is LUS and H. Ultra-premium synthetic microfibers are combined with an ultra-thin digital dashboard that includes a separate passenger screen. Like in a Ferrari.
The main brain is a central 15-inch OLED touchscreen, and there’s another tablet at the back if you opt for the four-seat configuration.
Other observations. Air suspension is standard. What I would say is essential with heavy batteries and 23 inch wheels. Eletre also features deployable LIDAR self-propelled technology.
But we’re going to sugarcoat that because you won’t be able to use it anywhere any time soon.
Also, a Lotus is all about the feeling behind the wheel. So I’ll end with a few words from Gavan Kershaw, chief test driver at Lotus.
Gav said: “We know the world is watching, so getting everything just right has been an obsession: ride and handling, steering and exceptional driver engagement.
“Everyone loves it – it’s a world-class product and a real Lotus.”
With five doors.
- LOTUS will manufacture Eletre in Wuhan, China from 2023 – you may have heard about it. A Porsche Taycan rival is also built there. As does a smaller Porsche Macan-sized SUV. The first battery-powered Lotus sports car will be produced in Hethel, Norfolk, from 2026. We can see strong esprit vibes.
Ten things YOU should know as a car owner
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8584821/lotus-eletre-review-electric-suv/ This £100,000, 160 mph, electric SUV will turn heads