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New Lotus Eletre claims to be the world’s first electric hyper SUV

Published Mar 30, 2022

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London - Not only does the Lotus Eletre claim to be the world’s first electric hyper SUV, it also ushers in numerous firsts for the British brand that until now has focussed entirely on lightweight sportscars.

It’s the first Lotus with five doors, the first lifestyle electric car and, for that matter, the first non-sportscar. Over and above all that it also has the most ‘connected’ interior that we’ve seen so far in a Lotus.

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But let’s start with the exciting stuff.

Lotus isn’t mentioning how powerful the brawniest versions of its new SUV will be, but the company is mentioning outputs that start at the 600 horsepower (447kW) mark. It also aims to join the ‘two-second club’ with a projected 0-100km/h time of under three seconds.

The Lotus Eletre also claims to have the most advanced active aerodynamics package that’s ever been offered on a production SUV.

Of course, Lotus founder Colin Chapman was famously a big advocate of “adding speed by adding lightness”, and to that end the Eletre makes extensive use of carbon fibre and aluminium to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle. That’s especially pertinent in an electric car that has heavy batteries to lug around.

Speaking of batteries, Lotus says it’s targeting a maximum (WLTP cycle) driving range of around 600km between full charges, and when hooked up to a 350kW fast-charger, as much as 400km of range can be achieved in just 20 minutes of charging.

In keeping with its position as an eco friendlier SUV, the cabin, which features four individual sports seats, is hewn together with a range of “highly durable” man-made textiles and “sustainable” lightweight wool blends.

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According to Lotus, owners can look forward to a “dynamic walk-up sequence that delivers a moment of theatre every time the driver approaches the car.”

The British carmaker is also promising a world-class digital experience, and while every element of the Eletre can be controlled digitally, certain key controls are duplicated with analogue switches.

The cabin is also packed with advanced driver assistance gizmos, and many of these features utilise the company’s advanced new LIDAR system, which features deployable sensors that are hidden when not needed.

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The LIDAR system means the Eletre supports end-to-end autonomous driving technology and is future-proofed for further development, achievable because of the hardware that’s already integrated. Further capability can be added via OTA software updates.

“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,” says Lotus Managing Director Matt Windle.

“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.

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“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 Lotus Eletre is built in China, and was formed around an all-new 800v dedicated vehicle architecture.

IOL Motoring

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