Lotus’ All-Electric Eletre SUV Has a Grill That ‘Breathes’

SUVs do not usually get referred to as stunning. Rugged, cool, perhaps even fashionable from time to time. Marketing departments wish to pepper SUV launches with adjectives that faucet into our primordial instincts to haul stuff or ram via forest roads, however the typical Range Rover, Toyota RAV4, or Volvo has lengthy since left its utilitarian roots behind. Looks, versus precise means, are more and more essential with SUVs. Looks are additionally completely subjective, however we’ll go forward and say it: Inside and out, the Eletre is a stunning SUV.

SUVs are completely new to Lotus. Even lengthy after Bentley and Porsche brushed apart custom and launched their very own first SUVs, Lotus remained a sports-car-only firm. With SUVs turning into the dominant passenger automobile sort, it could have been inevitable that Lotus would ultimately throw its hat into the ring. As is perhaps anticipated, Lotus introduced a lot of its outdated sports activities automobile methods into the design and manufacturing of the Eletre.

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Photograph: Lotus Cars

Light Me Up

Colin Chapman, founding father of Lotus Cars, had a saying that sums up Lotus’ total 74-year historical past: “Simplify, then add lightness.” The essence of the proper sports activities automobile was shared with that of the proper racing automobile—and Lotus was a racing automobile producer, in the beginning. 

Since giant packs of batteries make EVs heavier than internal-combustion-powered autos, the Eletre pulls out a few methods to cut as a lot weight as doable from the 201-inch-long SUV. For comparability, it is in regards to the dimension of a Ford Explorer and a foot longer than the Ford Mustang Mach-E, one other performance-oriented, all-electric SUV.

Lotus says the Eletre options “extensive” use of carbon fiber and aluminum to maintain the (nonetheless undisclosed) weight down. The exterior physique panels are aluminum, and all of the black exterior trim items, such because the wheel arches, rear spoiler, and side-view mirrors, are carbon fiber. Hard inside trim items are additionally carbon fiber, and the seats are wrapped in a wool-blend cloth that, in line with Lotus, is 50 % lighter than typical leather-based seating. 

You also can see the tendency to subtract within the entrance middle console, echoing the inside of the Eletre’s sister Lotus EV, the much-delayed Evija hypercar, the place an open pass-through between the left and proper footwells additionally trims weight.

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