SUVs do not typically get referred to as lovely. Rugged, cool, perhaps even fashionable once in a while. Marketing departments prefer 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 skill, are more and more vital with SUVs. Looks are additionally completely subjective, however we’ll go forward and say it: Inside and out, the Eletre is a lovely 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 changing into the dominant passenger automobile sort, it could have been inevitable that Lotus would finally throw its hat into the ring. As may be anticipated, Lotus introduced a lot of its outdated sports activities automobile tips into the design and manufacturing of the Eletre.
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Light Me Up
Colin Chapman, founding father of Lotus Cars, had a saying that sums up Lotus’ whole 74-year historical past: “Simplify, then add lightness.” The essence of the right sports activities automobile was shared with that of the right racing automobile—and Lotus was a racing automobile producer, at the beginning.
Since massive packs of batteries make EVs heavier than internal-combustion-powered automobiles, the Eletre pulls out a few tips to cut as a lot weight as potential from the 201-inch-long SUV. For comparability, it is concerning 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 material that, in keeping with Lotus, is 50 p.c lighter than typical leather-based seating.
You may also 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.