Lotus’ first SUV, known as Type 132, finally has a name and it’s Eletre. That’s fitting considering this battery-electric utility vehicle is the first of four new products coming from the British brand. The Lotus Eletre makes its official debut tomorrow after being teased over the last few months. We’ve seen everything from its aero-enhancing components to its driver assistance features, which include a lidar sensor.
The most recent teasers of the Lotus Eletre showed off the crossover’s electric motors and its tires wrapped around carbon fiber wheels, hinting at the brand’s focus on cutting weight. We also get a glimpse of the car’s exterior lighting elements that turn on sequentially and part of the dash, revealing a digital gauge cluster, interior ambient light, and a steering wheel that appears to have flat top and bottom sections. Its steering wheel controls have also been revealed along with a paddle that appears to change the drive modes.
Finally, Lotus gives us a glimpse of the Eletre’s side profile. Like most electric SUVs, it has a low roofline that should improve its wind-cheating capabilities. The front end appears short, which should give it a wedgelike shape. Its greenhouse, however, appears similar to the Lexus RX thanks to that black trim piece or small window on the C-pillar and raked rear window. A high beltline further shrinks the greenhouse and should make it look sleeker. In terms of size, the Eletre appears to be similar to the Audi e-tron SUV and Jaguar I-Pace, putting it in the heart of the mid-size luxury crossover segment.
The Eletre is the first vehicle on Lotus’ new premium platform, which will be one of two architectures developed specifically for battery-electric vehicles. Models on this platform will have wheelbases ranging from 113.7 to 122 inches and include everything from compact to full-size cars and SUVs. Their battery packs will range from 92 to 120 kWh in capacity and will be capable of high-speed DC charging thanks to the standard 800-volt architecture. Lotus also noted that every vehicle on this platform will be able to do the 0to 60 mph run in less than 3.0 seconds.
Development of Lotus BEVs on the premium platform will take place at a new campus in China, which will complement the brand’s home facility in Hethel, United Kingdom. The development center in China will also house Lotus Technology, a subsidiary aimed at speeding up the development of battery and energy management systems, electric motors, electronic control systems, and manufacturing processes. A new assembly plant in Wuhan, China will complement the two facilities in the United Kingdom, the latter of which will be dedicated to the brand’s sports cars and vehicles on its Esports platform, its second BEV architecture. Hethel will also be in charge of sports car development, which likely includes the model being made in partnership with Alpine.
In addition to the Eletre, the premium platform will also underpin a second smaller crossover aimed at vehicles like the Porsche Macan and Tesla Model Y. That model, currently dubbed Type 134, is due out in 2025. In 2023, Lotus’ first electric sedan, the Type 133, is due to make its debut and is described as having a coupe-like roofline. The final vehicle is the Type 135, a sports car that will debut in 2026 and will likely be on the Esports platform.