The Lotus Eletre will drive you round the ‘Ring

by Nik Berg and Antony Ingram
26 October 2022 2 min read
The Lotus Eletre will drive you round the ‘Ring
Photos: Lotus Cars

If performance driving sounds a little bit like hard work but you still want the thrill of speed, then Lotus might have just the tool for the job. The firm’s engineers are developing autonomous driving features that will allow the new Eletre hyper-SUV to pilot owners around the Nürburgring at full tilt.

The Eletre’s suite of deployable LIDAR sensors are standard fit and mean that it should be ready for “end-to-end autonomous driving” when regulations around the world allow, but until that time racing circuits such as the ‘Ring might offer the only opportunity to see just what the Eletre can do on its own.

Lotus has also announced more detailed spec, and UK pricing, while stating that “thousands of customers around the world have placed deposits to secure their Eletre.”

Three versions will be available with a choice of two powertrains. The Eletre and Eletre S come with a 603bhp single-speed setup providing a range of up to 373 miles, while the flagship Eletre R offers a 905bhp dual-speed arrangement with 304-mile range, but cuts the 0-62mph run down from 4.5 seconds to under three seconds.

Lotus claims it’s also the fastest electric SUV out there, at 165mph – noting the important distinction of course, Tesla fans, that ‘fastest’ refers to speed, and not acceleration…

All Eletres come with a 112kWh battery pack with the capacity to charge from 10-80 percent in 20 minutes on a rapid charger. On-board tech includes sophisticated navigation with predictive routing to steer you on  the most energy-efficient route and there’s a Dolby Atmos entertainment system with KEF speakers.

Lotus Eletre charging

Six different interior options will be offered, including those with sustainable alternatives to leather. The entry-level Eletre will cost £89,500 in the UK, with the S costing £104,000 and the R £120,000. 

Whether in racing or on the road Lotus has always been an innovator, and the amount of tech offered in the Eletre is mind-blowing. It makes Ferrari’s V12 Purosangue look like a dinosaur, although the world may not be ready for it. It could be many years before governments permit true autonomous driving, but at least in the meantime your Eletre will be able to lay down some laps.

The only thing we’re not so sure about is this cornering photo accompanying the Eletre’s latest press release, and what looks suspiciously like understeer.

Lotus Eletre testing

Look, it’s miles away from the apex! Let’s just hope this one was user (or maybe computer)-inflicted, and that this new Lotus SUV still has some Lotus-style dynamism to offer, whoever or whatever is driving…

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