The new Lotus Eletre is a significant departure for a company that built its reputation with motorsport racing and lightweight sports cars. While the new crossover might not sit well with longtime Lotus fans, its success is vital to the company’s future, especially if you want that future filled with new Lotus sports cars.
If the Eletre succeeds, Lotus will have the cash to invest in new sporty models. Lotus boss Matt Windle told Top Gear that the company has to make money, something it hasn’t been able to do well in the past. It has hindered the company’s ability to invest in new products, and Lotus designed the Eletre to ease the financial stress.
Gallery: Lotus Eletre
Lotus also has big hopes for the model, with the company predicting Eletre sales to reach “in the tens of thousands” once production is fully underway. That’s a massive increase for a company that didn’t sell more than 2,000 cars in 2021, its best sales year in a decade. However, the company isn’t chasing hundreds of thousands of sales, so sports cars will always be “the heart of the brand,” according to Wilde.
Lotus launched the Eletre late last month, introducing the 600-bhp (447 -kilowatt) all-electric crossover. Even though it has four doors and enough cargo space for Thanksgiving groceries, it can still hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) in less than 3.0 seconds with its dual-motor setup. Lotus says the crossover offers an estimated 373 miles (600 kilowatts) of range on the WLTP cycle. The Eletre can add up to 248 miles (400 km) of range in 20 minutes, thanks to its 350-kW charging.
One thing that the company hasn’t confirmed yet is the crossover’s weight, which will likely stun Lotus fans. The Evija, the brand’s all-electric sports car, weighs 1,680 kilograms (3,700 pounds), and there’s little doubt the Eletre crossover will be heavier. However, rumours point to Lotus engineers targeting 2,000 kg (4,409 lbs) for the crossover’s curb weight. While that is a lot for a Lotus, the 2,000 kilogram target would make it a lightweight in its segment. The Eletre isn’t a model one would expect for Lotus, but it still stands out from its competitors even though it’s a crossover.