Lotus’ Electric SUV, the Eletre, Starts at $107,000 in U.S.


Did you know that, for the price of a Model Y and a Model X, you can own a battery-electric SUV that’s only slightly less polarizing than a Mansory-fettled Urus? Orders are now open in the U.S. market for the Lotus Eletre, and deliveries are expected in the fourth quarter of 2024. Order now, and you can expect your least orthodox of Lotuses to be the subject of some family drama come Christmas.

This is not a Lotus as we have ever known one. The Eletre is a highly advanced example of a novel recipe, the performance-oriented electric crossover. As such, it impresses: Built on an 800-volt architecture, and sculpted to achieve a drag coefficient of 0.26 thanks to active elements, the Eletre is available with up to 905 horsepower and 727 lb-ft of torque. The interior is awash in touchscreens—seven total—running an in-house operating system and upholstered in new-age fabrics, such as Econyl, a nylon alternative; Alcantara, a synthetic suede, and Re-Fiber, made from recycled carpet.

A jaunt through the configurator reveals such a delightful array of colors and materials that we almost forgot our confusion at Lotus’ new direction: Red leather with purple piping and brushed-aluminum trim! (Plus $5500.) A sort of electric sea-foam green leather (called Malachite) alternating with charcoal gray and dashes of dark blue steel trim! ($5500.) There’s white Re-Fiber with yellow piping ($3500) for the less adventurous, red-accented black leather and carbon-fiber trim ($5000) for the motorsports-inspired, and tan leather with oak trim ($5500) for those who are feeling old-money-cool, in a totally new-school way. Even the default colorway is nice: dark grey Nappa leather accented with copper thread and complemented by gray wood. Complicate and add color!

Given the bold array of paint options, which include bright red, a Kelly-adjacent green, bright yellow, and a yummy warm gray, your Eletre could steal all the attention from your surgeon’s wife’s Urus.

Europe gets three variants—the regular Eletre, the S, and the R—but for now the U.S. gets two: The regular and the R. Both are dual-motor variants with full-time all-wheel drive, though the Eletre R uses a rear transmission with two gears. In good industry tradition, the press release leads with the price of the entry-level vehicle ($107,000) while trumpeting the stats of the more powerful version, which costs $145,000: 0–62 mph in 2.95 seconds, a top speed of 165 mph, and a maximum driving range of 354 miles, assuming you aren’t testing either of those acceleration or speed statistics. The lower-priced version makes 603 hp and 710 lb-ft of torque, with a top speed of 160 mph and a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds.

If I had to spend $100,000 on a luxury SUV, I would walk straight to a Cadillac dealer and buy an Escalade-V in that gorgeous metallic sage. If I were forced to spend it on an electric one, I’d buy a Macan—it’s prettier, more recognizable, and Porsche is a known quantity. If I were an automaker trying to keep Lotus alive in 2024? Hate to say it, but I’d consider developing an electric SUV with nearly 1000 hp.

Tell us: If you’d buy one, how would you spec Lotus’ electric cash cow?

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    This is everything Colin Chapman would never do. He would never do a SUV, he would never do an EV. To him if it added weight it would be reduced or eliminated.

    If he had to he would have returned to the days of kits like the 7 to keep his cars light and fast.

    My Eletre? A rebodied version that looks something like the 2010 Esprit replacement concept perhaps. I understand Lotus feeling the need to have an SUV to stay in the game. I’m sure there was a team of marketing analysts that convinced them of that. But that don’t make em right. Its runs counter to the light small sportscars they are best known for. It’ll be a tough sell trying to convince buyers otherwise. Better they stayed true to their roots and slugged it out on that path instead of this “cash cow”. And it is indicative of the EV market currently. A bottom up approach with relatively inexpensive cars like Mini, Kona, Leaf, for people who are cost conscience is how you’re going to get people to accept electric. ‘ My neighbor has one and…’ even though lower cost vehicles generate less profit than upscale models for the manufacturers which is something that needs to be taken into account considering the investment. So I agree that Colin would have never considered the Eletra. But I don’t think he would have dismissed the technology, just again pulled a rabbit out of the hat and found innovations that would transcend what we see today. There’d be a coupe of Lotus’s running in Formula-e

    Probably not a bad car for my wealthy sister in law in the UK. There, you’re never far from a dealer or AA/RAC towing.
    And good for the trust fund kids in Connt.
    But for those of us itrthe real world…our nearest Lotus dealer is 300 miles away, I ‘d rather get something I can get repaired.

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