The announcement of the Lotus Eletre electric SUV shocked hardcore Lotus so badly they almost spat tea all over their oily workshop manuals. But now the price and power figures are out, its the turn of Lotus’s rivals to get a fright. Because the Eletre makes cars like the Lamborghini Urus look distinctly undernourished and expensive.
According to Lotus’s figures the range-topping Eletre R will cost £120,000 in the UK (€150,990 in Europe), arrive packing 893 hp (905 PS / 675 kW) and 727 lb-ft (985 Nm), be capable of zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.95 seconds, have a top speed of 165 mph (265 km/h), and offer a driving range of 304 miles (490 km) from its 112 kWh battery.
The visually similar Urus Performante produces only 657 hp (666 PS), needs 3.3 seconds to hit 62 mph and costs £209,000 (€218,487 in Italy), though it does have a superior, if pointlessly so, top speed of 190 mph (306 km/h). U.S. prices for the Eletre won’t be announced until closer to its 2024 on-sale date in North America, but you can guarantee that the Anglo-Chinese EV will offer more power per dollar than any Urus or Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT in the States, too.
Yeah, the Cayenne. Porsche doesn’t get to breathe easy either, because in addition to offering more punch for less cash than the top Cayenne, the Turbo GT, the £89,500 (€98,490) base price for the entry-level Eletre puts it squarely in the space occupied by regular mid-level Cayennes, which are available with hybrid power, but not yet as EVs.
Both the £89,500 Eletre (€95,990 in Europe) and £104,500 (€120,990) Eletre S are equipped by a milder powertrain that makes 595 hp (603 PS / 450 kW) and 524 lb-ft (710 kW), takes a more leisurely 4.5 seconds to reach 62 mph and pegs the top speed back to 160 mph (258 km/h). But the better news is that the slower Eletres can achieve a far more impressive 373 miles (600 km) of electric driving from the same 112 kWh battery. Charging from 10-80 percent takes 20 minutes in all three cars if they’re connected to a rapid charger.
Base Eletres come with five drive modes, active air suspension, torque vectoring, matrix LED headlights and 22-inch, 10-spoke forged wheels, plus wireless phone charging, 12-way electric seats, four-zone climate control, a 1,380 W 15-speaker KEF HiFi and LIDAR tech for when regulations allow autonomous driving.
Stepping up to the Eletre S adds privacy glass, an active rear spoiler, configurable ambient lighting and an even more louder music system, while the flagship R gets a handling pack, carbon fiber trim, black wheels and badges, stainless steel pedals and high-performance tires. But with almost endless personalization opportunities available, and kit like ceramic brakes and twin-bucket rear seats in place of the bench available with a wave of a credit card, that’s just the start.
Tempted, but worried about Lotus’s patchy reliability record? Like the Elise and Esprit, that’s in the past, Lotus says. The Eletre is built in a state of the art Geely-owned factory in Wuhang, China and comes with a five-year, 100,000-mile (161,000 km) warranty. Would you pick one over a combustion or hybrid Porsche Cayenne? Leave a comment and let us know.