SUVs do not typically get referred to as lovely. Rugged, cool, possibly even trendy from time to time. Advertising and marketing departments wish to pepper SUV launches with adjectives that faucet into our primordial instincts to haul stuff or ram via forest roads, however the typical Vary Rover, Toyota RAV4, or Volvo has lengthy since left its utilitarian roots behind. Appears to be like, versus precise means, are more and more vital with SUVs. Appears to be like are additionally completely subjective, however we’ll go forward and say it: In and out, the Eletre is an exquisite 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 turning into the dominant passenger car sort, it might have been inevitable that Lotus would ultimately throw its hat into the ring. As is likely to be anticipated, Lotus introduced a variety of its previous sports activities automotive tips into the design and manufacturing of the Eletre.

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{Photograph}: Lotus Automobiles

Gentle Me Up

Colin Chapman, founding father of Lotus Automobiles, had a saying that sums up Lotus’ total 74-year historical past: “Simplify, then add lightness.” The essence of the right sports activities automotive was shared with that of the right racing automotive—and Lotus was a racing automotive producer, before everything. 

Since giant packs of batteries make EVs heavier than internal-combustion-powered automobiles, the Eletre pulls out a number of tips to cut as a lot weight as attainable from the 201-inch-long SUV. For comparability, it is concerning the measurement 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 “intensive” use of carbon fiber and aluminum to maintain the (nonetheless undisclosed) weight down. The outside 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. Exhausting inside trim items are additionally carbon fiber, and the seats are wrapped in a wool-blend material that, in line with Lotus, is 50 p.c lighter than typical leather-based seating. 

You can too 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.

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