British automaker Lotus, best known for their sports cars, has drifted over into the SUV segment with their all-electric Eletre.

According to Lotus, the Eletre is poised to be the world’s first hyper-SUV. That bold claim is backed first and foremost by the Eletre’s powertrain. While exact numbers are yet to be disclosed, it has been confirmed the Eletre will provide at least 600 horsepower, hinting at higher power outputs.

That’s a long set of reins, driven by a battery with a more than 100kWh capacity delivering power to the standard four-wheel drive (4WD) system. Speaking of speed, said battery can charge up to 248 miles worth of range in approximately 20 minutes, utilizing a 350kW charger. The Eletre can, however, use 22kW AC charging to reach its targeted driving range of 373 miles, albeit at a much slower pace.

When it’s all said and done, the Eletre will enter the “two-second club;” meaning a sub-three second 0-100 kmh/ 0-62 mph time.

The design of the Eletre is said to be carved by the air, sculpted with “unique Lotus design porosity.” In short, that means air can flow over, under and through the vehicle for improved aerodynamics, speed, and efficiency. In fact, the Eletre is said to include the most advanced aerodynamics package on any production SUV, and weight is shaved by an extensive use of carbon fiber.

The interior is to be premium and performance-oriented, as lightweight materials make their way into the cabin. The Eletre is shown with four individual seats, but a more traditional five-seater configuration is also available. Maybe not the most lightweight, but certainly enjoyable (and becoming almost a staple of electric SUVs) is a fixed panoramic sunroof, shedding light on the sustainably-sourced materials inside. Said materials include a wool-blend fabric on the seats (which is said to be 50 percent lighter than traditional leather), as well as recycled carbon fiber-- er, fibers, a byproduct of the weaving process.

Beyond names beginning with “E,” many of the aforementioned principles of weight savings and aerodynamics can be seen as carryovers from the Lotus Emira sports car, as well as the all-electric Evija hypercar; but the Hyper-SUV is bespoke in its own right, serving as a milestone for the company, according to Matt Windle, MD, Lotus Cars. In fact, the Eletre cuts the ribbon on a number of Lotus firsts: the brand’s first five-door production car, first production non-sports car model, first lifestyle EV, and the “most connected Lotus ever.” 

Connectivity comes in a variety of fashions; the infotainment software, crafted in joint between the Lotus teams in Warwickshire and China, features a simple user interface and user experience, while offering digital controls for all vehicle functions (though analog switches remain for key controls). The Eletre is capable of 5G compatibility, too, meaning over-the-air updates can be done via smartphone integration. A special app for Eletre owners will also show driving logs, vehicle and charge status, remote features, location services, and more.

Possibly the notable example of connectivity, or technology as a whole, is the deployable LIDAR technology-- a world’s first supporting intelligent driving technologies. LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, allows for a variety of autonomous driving functionality and greater accuracy of said systems. Sensors are deployed at the top of the windscreen and on each side of the front wing. The mirrors, on the other hand, utilize Electric Reverse Mirror Displays, which house three different cameras to craft a 360-degree view of the car for parking purposes.

There is so much to cover on the Lotus Eletre, but this is just the beginning. Stay tuned to MotorWeek for more updates!