2023 Lotus Eletre
2023 Lotus Eletre

2023 Lotus Eletre

The all-new and all-electric Lotus Eletre is a striking and progressive Hyper-SUV – the first of a new breed of pure electric SUVs. It takes the core principles and Lotus DNA from more than 70 years of sports car design and engineering, evolving them into a desirable all-new lifestyle car for the next generation of Lotus customers. Known until reveal only by its Lotus codename, Type 132, the Eletre is a globally relevant product, a shining halo of sustainable mobility for a worldwide audience. Embodying emotion, intelligence and prestige, it extends the reach of the Lotus name, badge and renowned driver engagement to a new audience. The company’s famed expertise in the fields of ride and handling, steering and optimised aerodynamics have been carefully and respectfully evolved. The Eletre takes the heart and soul of the latest Lotus sports car – the Emira – and the revolutionary aero performance of the all-electric Evija hypercar, and reinterprets them as a Hyper-SUV. A bold new dimension to the Lotus performance car portfolio, the Eletre delivers a significant number of firsts for Lotus – the first five-door production car, the first model outside sports car segments, the first lifestyle EV, the most ‘connected’ Lotus ever. And yet it remains a true Lotus, a beautiful car ‘carved by air’, packed with pioneering technology, genuine sporting performance and simplicity of purpose, designed and developed by a passionate and global team. The Lotus Eletre is alive with character and personality.

2023 Lotus Eletre
2023 Lotus Eletre

The Eletre takes Lotus interiors to an unprecedented new level. The performance-oriented and technical design is visually lightweight, using ultra-premium materials to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Shown with four individual seats, this is available to customers alongside the more traditional five-seat layout. Above, a fixed panoramic glass sunroof adds to the bright and spacious feeling inside. The driver-focused cockpit and high centre console are inspired by the Lotus Emira and Evija, creating a cossetted feeling. The layering of materials and textures creates a truly premium feel, augmented by a triangular theme – seen externally on the car’s active front grille – replicated in multiple locations around the cabin. Sustainability has been a core focus of the design team, which has worked with leading supplier Kvadrat on material choices. The interior uses premium feel and highly durable man-made microfibres on the primary touchpoints, and an advanced wool-blend fabric on the seats. It is 50% lighter than traditional leather, allowing for further weight savings. The hard materials are carbon fibre, though rather than use the traditional ‘weave’ most often associated with automotive design, Lotus has recycled the fibres trimmed from the edge of the weave. These have been reconstructed into a new matting, then compressed in a resin to create the car’s premium marble-like finish. The Lotus philosophy of light-weighting – removing material if it’s not needed – is clearly illustrated in the instrument panel. The floating wing’s central section has been taken out, echoing the design of the rear spoiler. Design of the Lotus Eletre has been led by Ben Payne. His team has created a daring and dramatic new model with a cab-forward stance, long wheelbase and very short overhangs front and rear.

2023 Lotus Eletre
2023 Lotus Eletre

A signature element of the design is its ‘porosity’ – the aerodynamic principle of air flowing through the car as well as under, over and around it. Porosity was at the heart of the Evija’s design, is integral to the Emira, and has provided clear inspiration for the Eletre. It is most obvious where air is channelled under the leading edge of the car, emerging through two exit vents in the bonnet above. There are other examples of porosity ahead of and behind the front wheel arches, behind the rear wheels, and even at the top of the D-pillar. For the driver there are clear benefits to porosity – less resistance in cutting through the air, delivering a more efficient journey in terms of improved vehicle range, speed and performance. Lower down is the Lotus Eletre’s active front grille, a network of interconnecting triangular petals that dominate the central section. Intricately designed, they remain closed when the car is at rest or when there’s a need to reduce drag during driving. They open in a distinctive pattern to feed air into the radiator, allowing the Eletre to ‘breathe’ when cooling of the electric motors, battery pack and front brakes is required. It’s a further example of the car’s porosity and also offers aerodynamic benefits. Just above the leading edge are the very slim and technical light clusters which house the Daytime Running Lights and scrolling directional indicators. The main lamps, which are available with matrix technology to permit constant high beam use without affecting oncoming traffic, are housed below, recessed and partially hidden. Overall there is a unique sense of flow and a kinetic quality to the Eletre’s front end, which also includes a deployable LIDAR sensor mounted at the top of the windscreen. All the black components are finished in carbon fibre while the body panels are aluminium. It is the bold leading edge of the Eletre’s bonnet which continues round into the front wing, wheel arch and ultimately the length of the vehicle as a feature line. The car’s taut and muscular lines are dominant above it, while the aerodynamic elements are below.

2023 Lotus Eletre
2023 Lotus Eletre

The infotainment experience in the Eletre sets new standards in the automotive world, with pioneering and innovative use of intelligent technologies. The result is an intuitive and seamless connected experience. It is a collaboration between the design team in Warwickshire and the Lotus team in China, who have huge experience in the fields of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). Below the light is a ‘ribbon of technology’ which provides the front seat occupants with information. Ahead of the driver the traditional instrument cluster binnacle has been reduced to a slim strip less than 30mm high to communicate key vehicle and journey information. It’s repeated on the passenger side, where different information can be displayed, for example, music selection or nearby points of interest. Between the two is the latest in OLED touch-screen technology, a 15.1-inch landscape interface which provides access to the car’s advanced infotainment system. It automatically folds flat when not required. Information can also be displayed to the driver via a head-up display featuring augmented reality (AR) technology, which is standard equipment on the car. Below the instrument panel a blade of light runs across the cabin, sitting in a ribbed channel that widens at each end to create the air vents. While it appears to be floating, the light is more than decorative and forms part of the human machine interface (HMI). It changes colour to communicate with occupants, for example, if a phone call is received, if the cabin temperature is changed, or to reflect the vehicle’s battery charge status.

2023 Lotus Eletre
2023 Lotus Eletre

Gavan Kershaw, Director, Attributes and Product Integrity, Lotus, has been involved in defining the attributes of the Eletre from the very start, and continues to lead the Hethel-based dynamics team in their collaborative work with colleagues in China, Sweden and Germany. The Lotus Eletre is built on an all-new 800v dedicated electric vehicle architecture with integrated, high-voltage power distribution system. This architecture uses aluminium and high tensile steel for optimum structural rigidity. The flat ‘skateboard-style’ battery pack and electric motors are close to the ground to create a low centre of gravity and deliver on the core Lotus commitment of outstanding dynamic performance. The high energy density of the battery pack provides the best possible balance of performance and driving range. There are two electric motors, one driving the front wheels and another driving the rear wheels. A three-in-one electric drive system integrates each motor with a controller and reducer, an efficient design which makes the unit smaller and lighter – a very Lotus solution. Every Eletre comes with exceptional dynamics, outstanding comfort and true Lotus performance. The car has five-link suspension at the rear for optimised ride and handling, while standard equipment includes air suspension and Continuous Damping Control (CDC). Active ride height, active rear axle steering, an active anti-roll bar and torque vectoring via braking are all available. The car comes with four drive modes, which adjust the steering, damper settings, powertrain and accelerator pedal response. The modes are Range, Tour, Sport, Off-Road and Individual, and are standard on all versions of the car.

Source: Reviews, Lotus

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