The idea of a Lotus SUV is far from being new when you take into consideration the high-riding APX concept from 2006. However, the Aluminium Performance Crossover failed to see the light of production day. The APX was supposed to get a supercharged V6 engine, but its spiritual successor will be powered exclusively by an electric drivetrain. Ahead of tomorrow's reveal, the first road-going model from Norfolk on stilts finally has a name – Eletre.
Contradicting rumours about getting the Lambda moniker, Eletre continues the tradition of names starting with "E" alive. It will mark many firsts for Lotus, including the company's first car to be built in China. Specifically, it'll be assembled at a brand-new plant in Wuhan constructed by Lotus' parent company Geely. In addition, it's going to be the first regular production EV since the Evija hypercar is capped at just 130 units.
2023 Lotus Type 132 patent images from IP Australia
At the same time, Eletre will inaugurate a bespoke electric platform intended for "lifestyle" vehicles. Courtesy of patent images attached here, the SUV’s interior and exterior design has been fully revealed, but we'd argue it's best to wait for official images before forming any opinions about how it looks. The Type 135 as it is internally known, the new Eletre will be roughly about the size of a Porsche Cayenne.
Based on what we know about the platform, Lotus has stated it's been engineered for vehicles with a wheelbase measuring anywhere between 2,889 to 3,100 millimetres (113.7 to 122 inches). Large battery packs of up to 120 kWh will provide the necessary juice, while 800V tech will ensure fast charging capabilities. An educated guess tells us the Eletre will have all-wheel drive, meaning it's going to pack dual electric motors.
Expect anywhere between 600 to 700 bhp in what will likely be the heaviest production Lotus ever. The Evija already weighs 1,680 kilograms (3,700 pounds), don't be too surprised if the Eletre will weigh about as much as two Elise sports cars.
Within the next two years, the SUV will be followed by a four-door coupe and a smaller crossover. All of them will be electric as the Emira serves as Lotus' final ICE-powered vehicle. Come 2026, a new sports car co-developed with Alpine will be launched.