The New Lotus Eletre SUV Is Fast and Functional, We Just Wish it Looked Better

·3 min read
It’s actually kind of better with the camo.
It’s actually kind of better with the camo.

The fact that Lotus is going all-electric has definitely gotten some people’s underwear in a twist, and the fact that one of those electric vehicles is going to be an SUV sent some other people into fits. The thing is, though, if the Eletre is what Lotus needs to do to make money – ala Porsche with the Cayenne in the early aughts – then I’m fine with it, at least in theory.

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In practical terms, I am less ok with it, and that’s based on this new video from Mat Watson and CarWow. The Eletre doesn’t really look like a Lotus and more than that, it’s just ugly — like, Lamborghini Urus levels of “but it’s got a great personality.” Where the Lotus one-ups Lamborghini’s gussied-up Q8 is with its bad looks being mostly functional.

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The vent-laden nose of the Eletre has all kinds of pass-throughs and diverters to reduce drag, which is always a good thing for an EV. It also has some genuinely cool active vents for the drivetrain’s cooling pack. Rather than being louvers, they’re triangles arranged in circles and almost look like low-poly flowers. The C pillars have air vents in them, again for drag reduction.

New 900hp Lotus Eletre review with 0-60mph & 1/4-mile TEST!

Inside, things are better. First, the fact that you can option the interior of the Eletre with almost violently pink/purple or bright green seats and trim is glorious. The seats look super supportive and comfy, and the stitching looks high quality. I don’t love the massive center screen and the narrow “digital driver’s display” in theory, but maybe it will be less odd in practice. Lotus made things like climate only adjustable through the center screen, which is a bummer. The passenger also gets a screen like the driver’s, ala modern Ferraris.

In more practical terms, the Eletre features dual motors and a 112-kWh battery pack, which are good for either 905 hp in the Eletre R or 603 hp in the Eletre and Eletre S. Estimated range on the more generous-than-EPA WLTP cycle is up to 373 miles, but if everything stays the same for its trip to the US, expect that to drop to around 291 miles based on the average drop between cycles. Charging can be done at up to 350 kW DC and 22 kW AC.

The Eletre R does 0-60 in a claimed 2.95 seconds, which is pretty damned good and puts it in the same ballpark as the Rivian R1T and R1S and the Lucid Air Grand Touring.

We’re expecting to see the Eletre in the US sometime this year, and because it’s built in China, it’s not likely to qualify for the federal EV subsidy. Pricing is supposed to start at under $85,000 for the base model, but it’s unclear if it will remain there or get a bump like we saw with the Emira’s pricing. Still, it seems like a decent deal if Lotus can nail the software and regular car stuff, which, even at this point, isn’t a given. Fingers crossed.

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