In the past, the notion of the idea of a Lotus SUV, much less an electric version, seemed as if it was a punchline in a joke. In the end, the nature of EVs and SUVs does not conform to the company’s founder Colin Chapman’s infamous principle that reads “Simplify, then add lightness.”
Lotus’ Eletre, for the most part, took that old ethos to the back of the house and gave an Ol’ Yeller way of doing things. Although this is sure to make Wheaties snort of the purists of sports cars all over the world I’d suggest that it’s both a necessity and a good thing. Let me explain.
2024 Lotus Eletre Changes
In 2024, the Lotus Eletre is an electric two-row luxury SUV that comes with either a 603 or 905 horsepower dual motor drivetrain, and an 112-kilowatt-hour battery which is capable of a maximum distance of 373 miles using the European WLTP cycle. If we were to use our less moderate EPA cycle, this could be approximately 290 miles. This isn’t the most impressive but will be more than sufficient for the majority of buyers.
Like with the majority of Lotus models over the years the drivetrain here ranks as decent to good. It’s not particularly exceptional in the world of 1,200-hp automobiles on the road. As has been the case for Lotus since the beginning of time the drivetrain isn’t the center at the center of attention. It’s all about the chassis, and it’s here that Lotus must face some tough facts to confront about how it would like to be seen by the general public.
Throughout my time in my car Lotus was a popular choice for people who wanted to emphasize of the Eletre is a Lotus throughout. The Elektra isn’t, at least not in the traditional sense. It’s a huge, large SUV, with optional 23-inch wheels. It’s not designed to operate like a sports car never. It’s certainly amazing for what it’s however, the traditional Lotus characteristics of a lively engine, a bouncy chassis, and engaging controls that make you feel you’re part of the vehicle aren’t there.
The Eletre is Lotus the first time that Lotus has used the power of electric motors. Although this technology is established and has nearly completely replaced the hydraulic system of power steering as a standard technology The companies that are adept at programming the complex aspects of the technology have been working on it for some time.
Porsche for instance is arguably the most accurate EPS technology and has been working on it for more than 10 years. What this signifies for Lotus is that, while the steering isn’t terrible, and it was surprisingly precise and precise, however, it didn’t feel as resonant as I’ve been used to from the marque.
The Eletre’s air suspension tells an identical story. It’s great overall. The handling is great with lots of compliance and great body control, however, it’s not particularly fun or exciting. However, it’s fair to say it was the debut taking place in Norway which has a notoriously slow speed limit (seriously how can you have all of Norway capped at around 40 miles per hour? ) I wasn’t in a position to push the car to the limits.
On that “performance” portion of the launch, in which we were into the EletreR, which had an airstrip that was closed at our disposal, Lotus was keen to stop us from going too fast. The launch control demo we participated in was limited to a maximum speed of about 100 mph and an instructor was driving on the right side of the car to enforce this. Similar to the slalom, we were not permitted to use the track mode which is more permissive because of the fear that it might get out of control.
While the Eletre does not accomplish its Lotus things from a dynamic perspective, it doesn’t mean it’s not bad or boring. I think it’s an overall more polished and refined product than I had hoped for. The interior is fantastic and has really good materials which feel well-crafted and thoughtfully thought out. My test vehicle was coated in fake suede enough to make a rhino choke although I don’t like the idea, I know it’s an individual thing and the execution is quite great.
The central infotainment screen is the most prominent aspect of the front-seat experience, which isn’t necessarily a problem, due to the incredibly responsive nature of Android’s Lotus HyperOS system controlling everything. Connectivity is excellent with multiple USB-C ports on the back and front seating areas. Moreover, even though the car I tested isn’t equipped with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as of yet, I’ve been told that they’ll be available soon with an update that’s available over the air.
Since it’s a contemporary luxury SUV, it comes with advanced driver assistance features on the vehicle. This includes features such as auto high beams adaptive cruise blind spot alert as well as lane-keep assist. The coolest part but the one that puts the Eletre ahead of the competition – is the three lidar sensors that can be deployed included in each Eletre. According to Lotus, the sensors will let the SUV be prepared for level 4 automated driving. Lotus claims will be available at a later date.
The ability to deploy sensors is interesting since it cuts down wind resistance, which is beneficial for efficiency. Also, when people aren’t happy with how they appear, they will not be able to see them when the car is in a parking spot. In terms of reducing wind resistance, you might observe that the body of the Eletre is quite porous (to make use of Lotus the Lotus language).
The scoops and vents are real and help to give this massive SUV a slick 0.26 drag coefficient. To put it in perspective, that’s only 0.1 centimeters higher than the initial-gen Honda Insight and 0.3 cD more than the Ford Mustang Mach-E. The design can be polarizing (I find myself liking it in the flesh) however, the results aren’t hard to deny.
If you’re interested in a Lotus Eletre you will be able to buy it in three varieties: Eletre, Eletre S and the most luxurious Eletre R. The car I was most comfortable with was Eletre S. Eletre S, which Lotus thinks will be the biggest sales. The R was the one we used for our runway and the slalom ride. We do not have US pricing yet, however, it does have UK pricing, and can therefore make wild guesses about what the thing will cost when it is used in the US.
2024 Lotus Eletre Price & Release Date
The base Eletre will cost 89,500 GBP. That’s roughly $114,000, however, that cost also includes the value-added tax (VAT) which we don’t have to pay which means that you’ll get 20 percent off immediately. Other aspects affect the price, but we’d estimate the base Eletre is around $95k within the US. It’s worth noting that the Eletre S test car I drove cost about $128,500. It’s pretty much loaded with all options. Eletre R Eletre R theoretically would start with around $122,000, including options.
In addition to the price, Lotus has some gargantuan obstacles to conquer to market the Eletre in large quantities across the US. For one, the vast majority of non-enthusiastic automobile owners don’t be aware of or even know the concept of what Lotus is, and the history talk is meaningless to the general public. Also, nobody could describe Lotus’s current dealer network in the United States as “robust,” and people will require physical stores to purchase and maintain these cars. In addition, the fact that Eletre is made in China could pose a challenge for some potential buyers.
Lotus isn’t the only company to offer an automobile made in China and Both GM as well as Volvo/Polestar already have done this, however, Americans don’t necessarily seem to be the easiest to be able to accept things such as that. And for those who know the concept of Lotus getting them to accept the notion that it can make an SUV that’s heavy, big, and electrically powered will be an issue too. To tackle these challenges, Lotus has been on some sort of hiring spree, and according to its marketing department is currently developing solutions.
After all the things I’ve talked about, I believe that Lotus is a great vehicle to truly transform the game by launching the Eletre. Lotus needs a large vehicle that is appealing to the masses since sports cars aren’t able to be able to pay for the expenses as has been proven repeatedly. The Eletre is stunning, beautiful to drive, and has a decent range, and if they can keep costs from going above $100k, it could provide good competition to things like Tesla Model X or the BMW iX. Tesla Model X or the BMW iX.
The Eletre isn’t perfect, but it’s not perfect but it’s also a vehicle worth celebrating because in my opinion the more Lotuses that are on the road the better. As an added benefit the more money that comes in could lead to great things for Lotus’s sports cars, which is worth a look at too.