All-electric Lotus Eletre revealed in full - Select Car Leasing
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All-electric Lotus Eletre revealed in full

The Tesla Model X has got a new rival breathing down its neck.

Because the Lotus Eletre has had its full unveiling, and the top-rung, 905 hp ‘R’ model is here to give the Model X a run for its money in the performance stakes.

Legendary Norfolk-based manufacturer Lotus has repositioned itself as a brand, embracing a future where it only produces electric vehicles.

The likes of the traditionally-fuelled Elise, Evora and Exige all ceased production last year.

And the Eletre represents a car that Lotus hopes will conquer territories across the globe.

The firm says it’s got the ‘soul of the latest Lotus sports car’, in the form of the internal combustion engine (ICE) Emira, but the ‘aero performance of the all-electric Evija hypercar’.

The Eletre is, then, a ‘Hyper-SUV’ that not only does battle with the Tesla Model X, it also swims in the same waters as the Lamborghini Urus and the more expensive Aston Martin DBX.

All three versions of the Eletre - the Eletre, Eletre S and Eletre R - use the same 112 kWh battery.

The single-motor Eletre and the Eletre S have identical performance figures, making 603 hp, sprinting from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, and being able to travel 373 miles between charges.

The Eletre R, though, is a different beast entirely. Those 905 horses, and 985 Nm of torque, mean it’ll accelerate from 0-62mph in 2.95 seconds, while it’ll still have a range of up to 304 miles between charges.

To put that into perspective, the standard Tesla Model X has power of 778 hp and can blink from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds.

Lotus calls the Eletre the ‘world’s fastest dual-motor pure electric SUV’ - and they’re talking here about the top speed of the £120,000 ‘R’ model, which is 165 mph, a shade quicker than the Model X’s 162mph.

The base Eletre starts at £89,500, and it’s packing some serious software, particularly in its ‘digital cockpit’, which uses the same ‘Unreal Engine’ technology from the gaming industry to offer a next-gen user interface.

Standard spec includes five drive modes, active air suspension, torque vectoring, matrix LED headlights, an active front grille and 22-inch 10-spoke forged wheels.

The cabin also boasts, as standard, wireless phone charging, 12 way electrically adjustable front seats, a high-definition OLED screen, and a 15-speaker KEF Premium Audio system.

The Eletre should also be exceptionally safe, coming with LIDAR technology that ‘supports end-to-end autonomous driving’ - when such a system is legally allowed here in the UK.

The Eletre S adds extras like privacy glass, an active rear spoiler, configurable ambient lighting, illuminated side sills, soft door close, auto-dimming side mirrors and an air quality system.

The flagship Eletre R, meanwhile, has been put through its paces at Germany’s legendary Nürburgring race track.

It gets a special ‘Track Mode’ setting, which lowers the suspension, stiffens the dampers and anti-roll control, and delivers a ‘higher level of dynamic performance at longitudinal and lateral limits for the most ambitious drivers’, says Lotus.

And you’d take their word for it - as the people in white coats at Lotus should know their way around a circuit.

The R is also treated to a Carbon Fibre Pack, gloss black wheels, stainless steel sports pedals, black badging and high-performance tyres.

Matt Windle, Group Vice-President and Managing Director, Lotus Cars, says: 

“The launch of the Eletre is the natural next step for Lotus. Two-seater sports cars are not for everyone, and we want to offer a Lotus for every stage of your life. The Eletre is the start of that.”

Order books are due to open in the coming months.

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024