UK-based and Geely-owned sportscar specialist Lotus has shown a new all-electric model that it claims takes the Lotus brand heritage and engineering principles to evolve them into a ‘desirable new lifestyle car for the next generation of Lotus customers.’

The Lotus Eletre (formerly codenamed Type 132) is described by Lotus as a ‘striking and progressive Hyper-SUV – the first of a new breed of pure electric SUVs’.

Lotus says the Eletre ‘takes the heart and soul of the latest Lotus sports car – the Emira – and the revolutionary aero performance of the all-electric Evija hypercar, and reinterprets them as a Hyper-SUV’.

The Lotus Eletre is the brand’s first five-door production car, its first model outside sports car segments and Lotus also says it is the most ‘connected’ Lotus ever.

The Eletre is 4WD, has a battery capacity that’s over 100kWh and with power from 600hp. A 350kW charger will deliver a 400km (248 miles) range in just 20 minutes, Lotus says. The car’s target maximum WLTP driving range is c.600km (c.373 miles). It also comes with the ability as standard to accept 22kW AC charging which, where available, reduces the time plugged in.

Technology includes intelligent driving technologies such as the world’s first deployable Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system in a production car.

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Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars, said: “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. 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. 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.”

Qingfeng Feng, CEO, Group Lotus, added: “The Eletre, our Hyper-SUV, is a new performance car from an iconic performance car brand and it will appeal to independent-minded and adventurous driving enthusiasts – those who love the thrill of driving. It is a unique combination of beautiful design, exceptional dynamic performance and everyday usability, for those who dare to look beyond the conventional, and marks a turning point for our business and brand.

“While the worldwide critical acclaim for the Emira has reaffirmed Lotus’ position as a respected sports car marque, the Eletre will make Lotus accessible to a whole new audience. It is a compelling alternative for those who desire a true driver’s car but whose lifestyle demands something more practical than a traditional sports car. And it is only the start for Lotus – there is much more to come.”

Made in Wuhan, not Hethel

The Eletre is the first in a new range of premium lifestyle performance electric vehicles to be built at an all-new production facility in Wuhan, China. The car has been ‘Born British, Raised Globally’, with design led by the UK, supported by collaborative work with teams in China, Sweden and Germany. The overall exterior and interior design has been led by an international team based at the Lotus Tech Creative Centre (LTCC) in Warwickshire, UK.

Peter Horbury, Senior Vice President, Executive Advisor, Design, Lotus, said: “The Eletre is a rare creative opportunity in performance car design – the chance to start with a blank sheet of paper and develop an all-new vehicle that takes a brand in a completely fresh direction. There has been a close working relationship and much collaboration between the Lotus design studios in Warwickshire and Hethel. The result is a ‘Hyper-SUV’ that is genuinely different to what’s on the market; the electric powertrain has inspired a ‘cab-forward’ design that echoes the iconic mid-engined layout of Lotus sports cars, creating a unique look and position in the SUV segment. The arrival of the Eletre signals the start of a new era of pure electric SUVs.”

The Eletre is built on Lotus’s all-new Electric Premium Architecture (EPA). Lotus says the low-to-the-ground design means outstanding handling, and the EPA can easily adapt to accommodate C+ to E+ vehicle class battery sizes, motors, component layouts and intelligent driving technologies.

The platform will be the basis for a new range of premium lifestyle performance electric vehicles from Lotus.

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

Last year, Lotus announced that a new R&D centre is being created in China as well as a partnership on developing EV batteries with Britishvolt: Britishvolt and Lotus to work together on batteries for sports car