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March 30, 2022

2023 Lotus Eletre Is Brand's First-Ever SUV. It's Also First One Made In China

Seeking to extend the reach of the Lotus name, badge, and experience to a new audience, the storied British sportscar maker has unveiled the Eletre—its first-ever SUV.

Its first model outside sportscars, the Eletre is an all-electric all-wheel drive hyper SUV with more than 600 horsepower. Zero to 100 km/h is expected to be less than three seconds—faster the Aston Martin’s DBX707. With a battery capacity that’s over 100 kWh, it will have a driving range of about 600 kilometers.

The Electre is 5,103 mm long—longer than the Porsche Cayenne and similar to the Lamborghini Urus. At 1,630 mm, it is shorter though than both the Urus and the Bentley Bentayga.

Design-wise, the first-ever Eletre is designed around the concept of “porosity” where air is made to flow through the car as well as under, over, and around it. This makes it the most advanced production SUV aero package-wise. For instance, it has an active front grille with interconnecting “petals,” while the door mirrors have been replaced by cameras to cut aero drag. It also comes fitted with the world’s first deployable LIDAR system which makes it capable of advanced levels of autonomous driving.

The driverless features it will offer initially is the ability to self-park but further autonomous features will be added by over-the-air software (OTA).

Underneath, the Electre rides on a dedicated platform with a flat skateboard-style battery pack for a low center of gravity and ideal weight distribution. It has two electric motors, one driving the front wheels and other driving the rear wheels. For handling, standard equipment includes 23-inch alloy wheels, air suspension with continuous damping control, rear axle steering, and torque vectoring, and carbon-ceramic disc brakes.

Inside, the Electre is shown with four individual seats, although a more traditional five-seater version will also be made available. The overall theme is one centered around being visually lightweight. It also puts sustainability front-and-center with man-made microfibers used on the primary touchpoints and wood-blend fabric seats on the seats. Even the hard materials, made of carbon fiber, are made from recycled materials trimmed from weave edges.

The driver’s instrument panel is a slim strip less than 30 mm high to communicate just the vital information. The same strip is found on the passenger’s side where different information can be displayed. In the middle, the Electre has a 15.1-inch OLED touchscreen which can fold flat when not in use. The speakers are made by KEF and starts out at 15 speakers, going up to 23 speakers in the KEF Reference version.

Lotus says that the Eletre is “Born British, Raised Globally,” with design led by the UK, supported by collaborative work with teams in China, Sweden and Germany. Its design is led by a diverse team based at the Lotus Tech Creative Center in the U.K. (formerly Geely Design). It will be built in Wuhan, China.

It is also the first in a new range of lifestyle performance electric vehicles planned for Lotus under its new owners, Geely.

The Lotus Eletre is on sale now across global markets, with first customer deliveries in 2023 starting in China, the UK, and Europe and the rest of the world by 2024.

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