Lotus has revealed its first SUV, the Eletre, which will make it one of the historical sports car brands to add a utility vehicle to its lineup, following the likes of Porsche, Maserati, Lamborghini and Ferrari. McLaren is the last that sells cars in significant volumes that’s yet to join the fray.
As its name suggests, the Eletre (which is pronounced El-etra) is also all-electric as all of Lotus’ future models will be.
The Eletre is slightly longer than a Ford Explorer, but only has two rows of seats. It’s equipped with a 600 hp all-wheel-drive system that Lotus says will be able to accelerate the vehicle to 60 mph in less than three seconds and on to a top speed of 161 mph. It’s expected driving range is over 373 miles per charge on the European test cycle, which is typically around 10% more generous than the EPA’s regimen.
Among its standout features are video cameras mounted in slim aerodynamic housings instead of side view mirrors, although this technology is not currently a legal replacement for the reflective surfaces in the U.S.
There are also four Lidar sensors that pop out from both the front and rear of the roof and the front fenders to enable autonomous driving functions that will be added through over the air software updates when available.
Unlike Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system that only uses vision sensors, Lotus blends the Lidar with radar and cameras and is reportedly aiming to reach Level 4 autonomy, where the car can drive itself without any driver involvement in most situations.
Pricing for the Eletre has not been announced, but it goes on sale in Europe in 2023 before making it to the U.S. in 2024.