The Lotus Eletre will go down in history as the very first production SUV from a company essentially known for its lightweight two-door sports cars. Developed from the ground up on a dedicated electric vehicle platform, the Eletre will not only take on the Tesla Model X, but potentially also the upcoming BMW XM. And to some extent, the BMW iX. The Lotus Eletre measures 5,103 millimeters (201 inches) long with a wheelbase measuring 3,019 mm (118.8 in). It’s 2,231 mm (87.8 in) wide with the conventional mirrors, but the width decreases to 2,135 mm (84 in) with the side cameras. Although its weight has not been mentioned, we do know the engineers made extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber to shave off fat. In fact, all the black body parts are made from carbon fiber while the other panels are in aluminum.
600 Horsepower, 373 Miles Range
But compared to the BMW XM, the Lotus Eletre has coupe-like roofline delivering a “floating” roof effect by painting all the pillars black. Upfront, it features the same split headlight design with an upper LED strip for the daytime running lights. The rear-end also stands out with a long strip of LED lights which extends past the shoulders to give the car additional width. Inside, the Lotus will fit the higher-spec Eletre with no fewer than 23 speakers as part of a premium sound system with 2,160 watts of power. The more expensive models also get a panoramic glass sunroof and 23-inch wheels with ceramic brakes featuring 10-piston calipers for superior stopping power.
Lotus specifies power starts at 600 horsepower but a more powerful version could arrive also. And that will put it into the BMW XM territory which will have a top power of 750 horsepower, with a slightly less powerful model being planned as well. Also, the BMW iX falls within this power range with its 610 horsepower. All these three SUVs will compete in the same premium segment of electric crossovers.
While the BMW XM is a V8 plug-in hybrid, the Lotus Eletre is purely electric with a battery capacity of over 100 kWh enabling an estimated WLTP range of 373 miles (600 kilometers). Once it’s depleted, the pack can be charged at up to 350 kW, which translates to 248 miles (400 kilometers) of range after only 20 minutes of charging. In comparison, the BMW iX xDrive50 has an EPA rating of 324 miles with 20-inch wheels, 305-miles with 21-inch wheels and 315 miles with 22-inch wheels. The XM – being a PHEV – only has an estimated electric range of 30 miles.
Already available to order, the electric Lotus Eletre will be built at a new factory in Wuhan, China. The first deliveries to customers are scheduled to take place next year in Europe, the UK, and China. Details about US availability will be disclosed at a later date.