The new Lotus Eletre is a significant departure for a company that has built its reputation on motorsport racing and light sports cars. While the new crossover may not be a match for longtime Lotus fans, its success is critical to the company’s future, especially if you want that future to be filled with new Lotus sports cars.
If the Eletre succeeds, Lotus will have the money to invest in a new sporty model. Lotus boss Matt Windle told Top Gear that the company had to make money, something it couldn’t do well in the past. This had hindered the company’s ability to invest in new products, and Lotus designed the Eletre to relieve financial pressure.
Lotus also has high hopes for the model, with the company estimating sales of the Eletre to hit “tens of thousands” once production is fully underway. That’s a huge increase for a company that doesn’t sell more than 2,000 cars by 2021. his best selling year in a decade. However, the company doesn’t chase hundreds of thousands of sales, so sports cars will always be the “heart of the brand,” according to Wilde.
Lotus launched the Eletre late last month, introducing the 600-horsepower (448-kilowatt) all-electric crossover. Despite having four doors and enough cargo space for Thanksgiving groceries, it can still hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in under 3.0 seconds with a two-motor setup. Lotus says the crossover offers a range of 373 miles (600 kilowatts) on the WLTP cycle. The Eletre can extend range to 248 miles (400 km) in 20 minutes, thanks to a 350 kW charge.
One thing the company hasn’t confirmed is the weight of the crossover, which will likely surprise Lotus fans. The Evija, the brand’s all-electric sports car, weighs 3,700 pounds (1,680 kilograms), and there’s little doubt the Eletre crossover will be heavier. However, rumors suggest Lotus engineers were aiming for 4,409 lbs (2,000 kg) for the crossover’s curb weight. While that’s a lot for the Lotus, the 4,400-lbs target would make it the lightest in its segment. The Eletre isn’t the model expected for Lotus, but it still stands out from its competitors even though it’s a crossover.