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Lotus Eletre Test: The Founder’s Dream Car

Lotus Eletre Test: The Founder’s Dream Car

Not a traditional play

When you take a look at Lotus’ new SUV, the British brand isn’t the first that comes to mind.

Having said that, it’s an attractive piece that aims to compete directly with cars like the Aston Martin DBXAnd Ferrari Pure Sanghi And Lamborghini Urus.

In terms of design, the Eletre offers smoother lines and a more futuristic look. It’s also something that’s reflected in the interior, and it definitely feels like a car.

Inside, you’ll find five screens – seven if you opt for the digital rearview mirrors – in the form of a three-centimetre-high instrument panel, a 29-inch head-up display, a front-passenger display and one in the rear seat.

The comfort level is high, even if the suspension doesn’t always appreciate bumps and speed bumps. Otherwise, the car is very comfortable to drive, and the back seat is roomy and comfortable.

The feel of quality is generally impressive, but some of the surfaces you touch often feel a bit cheap. An example of this is “switching oars”. The paddle on the left controls regeneration while the paddle on the right is responsible for the different driving positions.

Even the glovebox feels really cheap and the indicator levers and windshield wipers seem to be taken from one of the much cheaper models of the range.

Lotus Eletre features a digital interior. (photo: Lotus)

Screens and screens again

The new infotainment system is called HyperOS and is, according to Lotus, a very important component of the car.

The system is highly accurate and responsive, but unfortunately Lotus has fallen into the touch trap and almost all of the car’s functions are controlled by a 15.1-inch screen, including seat heaters, audio volume, and climate control.

The software is the same used in a number of PC games, including Fortnite, it’s not overly intuitive and requires a lot of tinkering before you get to work with it.

The navigation system was developed specifically with the Eletre being an electric car and Lotus believes many of their new customers will be first-time buyers of electric vehicles, which requires the ownership experience to be as simple as possible.

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This means that the system contains information about chargers and their availability, and takes into account the prevailing conditions in real time.

lotus eliter
Previous Lotus cars had a more streamlined interior. (photo: Lotus)

lotus on stilts

At the site in Norway, we had the opportunity to drive both the luxury Lotus Eletre S and the top-of-the-line R.

The entry-level model is simply spelled Lotus Eletre and only offers less luxury equipment compared to the Eletre S.

Another step in the luxurious focus of the Eletre is the KEF sound system in Dolby Atmos format consisting of 23 speakers with a capacity of 2160 watts that will make any audiophile blush.

Lotus Eletre S boasts 603 hp and 710 Nm.

However, it should weigh around 2,490 kilograms, but Lotus has worked hard to make the car feel lighter than it is, something they used the car’s low center of gravity.

lotus eliter
The Lotus Eletre is more fun to drive than you might think. (photo: Lotus)

The Lotus Eliter prefers luxury over sportiness

The power delivery is very linear and well-calibrated, which means the car always feels predictable, never shifting into a twitchy feeling, unless you step on the gas.

The noise level in the passenger compartment is low and you quickly get the idea that it is possible to log several miles in the Eletre without feeling tired.

There are up to five driving modes available—standard, sport, range, and off-road—and in the R version, you also get a track mode, called Track.

Different driving modes adjust parameters such as steering, dampers, powertrain, and throttle response. The difference between the different modes is distinct, which bodes well for the driving experience.

Conceptually, you get the impression that the Eletre aims to combine luxury and sportiness, whereas previous Lotus cars really only focused on the experience behind the wheel from a driving dynamics perspective.

According to the brand’s on-site engineers in Norway, the biggest challenge during the development of the Eletre was ensuring it was truly fun to drive. Eletre is undoubtedly more fun than you think, and it stands out in this segment.

lotus eliter
Lotus Eletre attracts a lot of attention. (photo: Lotus)

R is like a word horribly fast

Most of our driving time took up getting behind the wheel of the entry-level Eletre S, but we also had the chance to test the Lotus Eletre R, the top model with 905bhp and 985Nm.

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It promises a 0-100 time of 2.95 seconds, making it the world’s second fastest SUV to 100 km/h, behind the X Plaid. However, Lotus wants to point out that the Eletre only has two electric motors while the Model X has three.

The Eletre R was driven at an airport and we had the opportunity to drive partway through a slalom track that was supposed to highlight the Eletre’s more dynamic skills.

Despite the rain, you can push hard before the car starts to roll. Once that happened, the Eletre’s anti-drag system allowed for a lot of fun rather than stopping the action entirely.

The steering communicates well and you’re constantly aware of how much you can push the car before the laws of physics become too much to handle.

lotus eliter
The Lotus Eletre R has a whopping 905 horsepower. (photo: Lotus)
lotus eliter
The Eletre R starts at SEK 1.75 million. (photo: Lotus)

range and charge

The Lotus Eletre is offered in three variants – Eletre, Eletre S, and Eletre R.

The Eletre and Eletre S offer a range of up to 600 kilometers according to WLTP. In fact, you can count on the Eletre S to get about 48 miles on a charge.

The Eletre R travels 490 kilometers according to WLTP.

All versions of the Eletre have an 800V system, which means the car can be charged up to 350kW, meaning 10 to 80 percent takes 20 minutes.

Eletre has the same battery as i Polish 3 And Volvo EX90That is, a capacity of 112 kWh.

However, something Eletre doesn’t share with its Geely siblings is the platform – while the Eletre platform is called EPA, the Swedes are building on the SPA2 platform.

lotus eliter
The Lotus Eletre can charge up to 350 kW. (photo: Lotus)

bottom line

The Lotus Eletre is a huge step up for the British sports car brand. The Eletre is the polar opposite of anything Lotus has ever produced, but it doesn’t make for a bad car for it.

As previously mentioned, the founder, Colin Chapman, was also allegedly interested in a future Lotus SUV, something that did not come directly from Lotus themselves but from Clive’s son.

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The new Lotus Eletre enters the high-performance luxury SUV segment with gusto. They make cars like the Aston Martin DBX and Ferrari Purosangue look very old, for better or for worse.

Compared to cheaper competitors such as Audi SQ8 e-tronAnd BMW iX M60and the Nio EL7 characterizes the Eletre as being gentler to drive and more luxurious.

Lotus has truly started a new chapter with the launch of the Eletre but they certainly haven’t spared their money.

lotus eliter
Lotus Eletre gives a positive overall impression, but there are some faults. (photo: Lotus)

Lotus Elite S (2024)
engine:
Electric motor front and rear 603 hp 710 Nm
moving in: 1 speed automatic transmission, four wheel drive
Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 4.5 seconds
maximum speed: 258 km / h
electric range: 600 km
battery size: 112 kWh
Weight: 2,520 kg
Dimensions (Length / Height / Width): 5103/1636/2135 mm
prize: From 1,420,990 SEK

Lotus Elite R (2024)
engine:
Electric motor front and rear 905 hp 985 Nm
moving in: Two-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive
Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 2.95 seconds
maximum speed: 265 km / h
electric range: 490 km
battery size: 112 kWh
Weight: 2640 kg
Dimensions (Length / Height / Width): 5103/1636/2135 mm
prize: From 1,750,900 SEK

Högsta Växeln’s first impression of the Lotus Eletre

Final score: 4.5/5

“It’s not a real Lotus” seems to be the only thing you hear if you drive an Eletre every day. Indeed, it seems that the transition to the Lotus SUV was not as great as one might think.

However, the Lotus Eletre is the polar opposite of everything the British sports car marque has ever been, but the Lotus badge is exotic enough to generate a fair amount of interest.

Heritage aside, the Eletre is a perfect piece that impresses in many ways, not least when it comes to driving dynamics.

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