Lotus has unveiled the “world’s first electric hyper-SUV” in front of several hundred VIP guests at BBC Television Centre at White City, London.
The 60-minute launch show, which featured former F1 world champion and Lotus customer Jenson Button, was also live-streamed across the globe.
Naturally, we were there to see the all-new Eletre, which “takes the core principles and Lotus DNA from more than 70 years of sports car design and engineering, evolving them into a desirable all-new lifestyle car for the next generation of Lotus customers”.
The event, staged inside and outside the iconic venue, included aerial ballet and parade of Lotus cars – old and new – including an Eleven, Eclat, Esprit, Elan 2, Excel and Elite, plus the ‘John Player Special’ Lotus 72, which won three F1 world constructor’s titles and no less than 20 races between 1970-75.
The collection was brouight right up to date with the the Lotus Evija (“the world’s first all-electric British hypercar”) and then Emira (“the most accomplished Lotus road car ever to come out of the Hethel factory gates”).
Jenson Button drove the Eletre on stage for the big reveal. It’s a car that delivers a significant number of firsts for Lotus – the first five-door production car, the first model outside sports car segments, the first lifestyle EV and the most ‘connected’ Lotus ever.
And yet, Lotus claims it “remains a true Lotus, a beautiful car ‘carved by air’, packed with pioneering technology, genuine sporting performance and simplicity of purpose”.
The Eletre is the first of three new Lotus lifestyle EVs over the next four years and it’s expect to coast around £100,000.
Lotus claims the 4×4 has a 600hp power output and a range of up to 373 miles, while a rapid 350kW charger can deliver 248 miles in just 20 minutes.
It also joins the exclusive ‘The Two-Second Club’ – capable of 0-62mph in less than three seconds.
“The Eletre is a hugely significant moment in our ongoing transformation of Lotus; we are delivering on our commitment to move the business and brand into completely new segments to widen our global appeal and accessibility,” said Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars.
Did you know? Eletre is pronounced ‘El-etra’ and means ‘Coming to Life’ in some Eastern European languages.
Manufacturing at all-new hi-tech facility in China to start later this year.
Lotus Cars has been majority owned (51%) by Chinese firm Zhejiang Geely Holding Group since 2017, with Malaysia’s Etika Automotive taking the remaining 49% share of the company. Geely also owns Volvo, Polestar and the London Electric Vehicle Company which makes taxi cabs.