A Lotus EV? If British electronics are involved, isn’t a Lotus EV going to be useful only as a paperweight?
I kid, I kid. Lotus, however, is dead serious — the Lotus Eletre is here, and the company calls it “the world’s first electric Hyper-SUV”.
Cutting through the press-release hyperbole, we see that Lotus is building the first of three planned new EVs, with plans to launch all three over the next three years.
Key specs include a power output that starts at 600 horsepower, a battery pack with a 100 kWh capacity, a 350kW charge time of 20 minutes that will give you 248 miles of range, and an overall maximum range of about 373 miles. Lotus also claims a 0-62 mph time of under 3 seconds.
The battery pack and electric motors are “skateboard” style, meaning they’re close to the ground to keep the center of gravity low. There are two electric motors, one driving the front wheels and one driving the rear. The suspension is five-link at the rear, and the car has a standard air suspension and damping control. Adjustable ride height, anti-roll bar, torque vectoring, and rear-axle steering are available.
Drive modes include an off-road mode.
The company will use Lidar as a base for advanced driving-assistance aids (ADAS), and carbon-fiber and aluminum (say it in a British accent, it’s fun) are used heavily in an effort to reduce weight.
Manufacturing will begin at an all-new plant in Wuhan, China later this year. Yes, that Wuhan.
The company’s release sure isn’t short of hyperbole. To wit: “A momentous point in our history” – Matt Windle, MD (Managing Director, we assume), Lotus Car.
“The Eletre, our Hyper-SUV, is for those who dare to look beyond the conventional and marks a turning point for our business and brand” – Qingfeng Feng, CEO, Group Lotus
I suppose Windle isn’t totally wrong — a Lotus SUV was once nigh unthinkable. But the world is changing, and Lotus is changing with it.
Other key features include a rear spoiler that deploys at speed, flush door handles, a choice between four or five seats, a fixed panoramic sunroof, wireless cell-phone charging, ambient lighting that communicates various things, such as level of battery charge; voice-recognition controls; digital and analog controls; premium audio; a thin gauge cluster; fold-flat infotainment screen; and a head-up display that uses augmented reality.
Various ADAS features, some of which can be updated over the air, include smart cruise control, collision-mitigation support, front and rear cross-traffic alert, traffic-sign information, lane-change assist, lane-keep aid with lane-departure warning and prevention, and child-presence detection.
A Lotus SUV. We’ve lived to see the day.
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