- The 2023 Lotus Eletre is expected to cost around $100,000 when it comes to the US next year.
- Lotus’ first SUV and a second electric car that is fast but off-brand.
Lotus cars are famous for very few. That is, they have long been known for their amazing light weight. Lotus founder Colin Chapman is famous for telling a reporter that the key to building a successful car is “simplify, then add lightness.”
A statistic is missing from the 2023 Lotus Eletre spec sheet. The company will not specify how much it weighs.
electric lotus car
The missing number makes sense when you consider the latest version of Lotus. The Eletre fits into two heavy classes: it’s an SUV, and it’s electric. Electric cars, for starters, tend to weigh a lot more than gas-powered cars. The materials used in their batteries are called heavy metals for a reason.
But on the other hand, it’s a lotus. It’s just the first luxury Lotus with plenty of room for four people.
The SUV will be available in three flavors – Eletre, Eletre S and Eletre R.
fast or really fast
The base model produces 603 hp. Lotus says it can sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
At the high end, the Eletre R generates 905 hp and makes the same jump in just 2.95 seconds.
The Eletre and Eletre S posted a range of 373 miles in European tests, while the R did 304. American tests tend to show much shorter ranges, so we expect the Eletre may come in under 200 miles in some configurations.
Even the base model uses active air suspension and torque vectoring to make maneuvering as Lotus-like as possible. But the car is still an SUV – a class that is more prominent for passenger and cargo space than for its performance on the track.
Sharp needle appearance, luxurious cabin
The Eletre looks like the cuddly kid between the Lamborghini and Kia EV6. Its sloping, angular nose leads to a short hood with deep distinctive stripes, quickly followed by a steeply angled windshield. The raised beltline rises at the back to meet the contrast-coloured roof.
Inside, you’ll find the most luxurious cabin designed by Lotus. The central 15.1-inch touchscreen handles infotainment tasks, complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The KEF Premium Audio system includes 15 speakers on the base level and 23 on the S and R models.
In place of traditional drivetrains, Lotus offers a ‘ribbon technology’ – a ‘thin strip less than 30mm in height to communicate key vehicle and trip information’. It extends across the entire instrument panel and can be customized to place different screens in front of the driver and front passenger.
Slim sports seats are a trademark of Lotus. Here, it’s upholstered with “a sophisticated wool-blend fabric,” Lotus says, while “the interior uses an excellent feel and extremely durable man-made microfiber at the primary touch points.” This approach is “50 percent lighter than traditional leather, allowing for more weight savings,” says the company.
It seats five in the standard configuration, but a four-seater “Executive Seating” package is available.
Lotus has not released US pricing information yet. In the UK, Eletre starts at £89,500 – or roughly $103,714 at current exchange rates.