When Lotus unveiled plans for its first SUV in 2016, few could have assumed the vehicle would have been fully electric. This announcement came a whopping ten years following the unveiling of its mere concept for the APX crossover model, which would have been the first SUV made by the British sports car company before it was eventually canceled.
Today, Lotus officially unveiled what was previously referred to as its Type 132 (née Lambda), now called the Lotus Eletre, which is not only the manufacturer’s first electric SUV, but its first SUV, period. One of the few cars in the world that can go from 0 to 62mph in under three seconds, the Eletre is also being touted by Lotus as the world’s first electric “hyper-SUV.” A 350kW charger powers up the vehicle in just 20 minutes for a driving range of 248 miles, with a max driving distance of 373 miles. The SUV’s power starts at 600hp, which is unsurprising given its eye-popping acceleration.
Taking the essence of what’s made Lotus a powerhouse in performance vehicles for decades, the Eletre follows the introduction of the marque’s first electric car, the 2,000-HP Evija, last year, and takes design notes from the curvy coupe. The unmistakable dramatic exterior of the Eletre lends itself to Lotus’ sports car DNA, but the vehicle itself has the build and drivability of an SUV, with four-wheel drive and several drive modes that include Range, Tour, Sport, Off-Road, and Individual.
The Lotus Eletre is the first of three lifestyle EVs to be released by Lotus over the next four years, all of which will utilize the design ethos of the Evija. It also offers an array of intelligent driving technology, such as the first-ever deployable Light Detection and Ranging system in a production car. The Eletre will start manufacturing at Lotus’ all-new China facility later this year, and no price point for the speedy SUV has been announced as of yet.