The 2024 Lotus Eletre Nails Comfort, Struggles with Connection


Pity the wind because it approaches the 2024 Lotus Eletre. From distant, it have to be gleeful, recognizing what seems to be a big SUV, good for settling down in opposition to in a pleasant enjoyable whirl. However there can be no relaxation for our molecules. As an alternative, they’re going to discover themselves sped up and rushed by way of in orderly traces, bullied by way of tunnels and tucked intently in opposition to the stomach and sides of the Eletre, left breathless in its barely disturbed wake. It is a tough day for a would-be vortex when Lotus makes a slippery SUV.

The Eletre has a mission in addition to sustaining a drag coefficient of 0.26. Lotus needed to get a day job, and the Eletre is it. For the previous 70-plus years, Lotus has been noodling round in Norfolk, England, constructing the type of automobiles whose simplicity and purity are admired by many and bought by few. A giant gross sales 12 months for Lotus would see possibly 4000 automobiles go away its manufacturing unit. Most years noticed fewer than 1500. All this was high-quality as a result of a Lotus was artwork, made by a small group of devoted craftspeople, content material merely to maintain the lights on and the automobiles gentle.

Geely Group bought a controlling stake in Lotus in 2017, and the Chinese language conglomerate needs to make the model a recognizable title outdoors of those that can quote Colin Chapman. With an formidable aim of promoting 100,000 automobiles a 12 months by 2028—be aware that it took 70 years for Lotus to make its first 100,000 automobiles—Geely wants Lotus to supply greater than sports activities automobiles for twisty roads. The answer, because it appears to be for therefore many sports-car manufacturers, is a efficiency SUV. Lotus barrels into this section with a two-motor, all-wheel-drive four-door that feels half Evija—electrical, quick, Swiss-cheesed with aero from entrance to rear—and half Europa—fat-backed and more likely to encourage heated design discussions.

The primary Lotus SUV

There’s lots to speak about. The Eletre is an enormous machine, a pair inches shorter than a Lamborghini Urus, or, if you happen to want a extra prosaic baseline, about the identical size as a Honda Pilot. Not like a slab-sided Honda, the Eletre is a fancy panorama of rises and gullies, its sides sucked in prefer it had buccal fats removing, its bodywork break up with pass-throughs like a midcentury kitchen.

With out many locations for the air to bunch up and trigger a ruckus, the very first thing we seen in our Photo voltaic Yellow Eletre S was how quiet the cabin was, even by EV requirements. There is not any piped-in artificial whirring, and the automotive’s energetic road-noise cancellation works so properly in live performance with the strictly managed airflow which you can hear the susurrations of your arm in opposition to the assorted faux-suede-covered surfaces within the Eletre’s well-padded inside. The one different noise throughout our drive is the occasional click on and buzz of the energetic rear spoiler because it adjusts between its 4 settings, tucking away at low pace and absolutely deploying beneath laborious braking.

The Eletre presents three trim ranges, all with two motors and an 109.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack able to charging at as much as 350 kilowatts and providing an estimated vary that, as soon as the EPA slaps their label on it, must be round 260 miles for essentially the most potent variant and 315 miles for essentially the most civilized trim. Even the bottom Eletre comes normal with adaptive air springs, 22-inch wheels, four-zone local weather management, a head-up show, and wi-fi telephone mirroring. The Eletre S provides within the efficient—if noisy—energetic rear wing, soft-close doorways, ambient lighting, and a really spectacular 23-speaker audio system. Flip that factor up and you may simply drown out the spoiler. Each the bottom automotive and the S use the identical permanent-magnet electrical motors making a mixed 603 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque. If that is not zippy sufficient, there’s the Eletre R, with a extra highly effective rear motor that bumps up the whole pony depend to 905 and provides a two-speed transmission (just like the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT) for an environment friendly mixture of launch efficiency and vary at excessive pace. The R additionally will get a Monitor mode that minimizes the soundness management’s interference and ramps up accelerator response.

Driving the Eletre

With regards to accelerator response, we will not precisely name the Eletre S sluggish, however we had been shocked on the laid-back strategy it took to off-the-line acceleration. From a roll, it should stretch your jowls to your ears, however a stoplight begin comes with a noticeable pause earlier than the Eletre units its Lotus-spec Pirelli P Zero PZ4 Elects in movement. Lotus says the relaxed begin is on objective, because the proposed viewers for the Eletre S could be coming into the electric-vehicle house for the primary time and would like a extra civilized begin. For the feral amongst us, the Eletre R twitches and wriggles beneath energy like a preventing trout, even with stability management on. Like Goldilocks, we would want one thing within the center.

When not tasked with making an attempt jack-rabbit begins, the Eletre S rides easy as custard, because of light-weight aluminum suspension parts, electronically managed dampers, and the air springs. We by no means caught the automotive out with a bump or a pothole, and even an sudden cattle guard could not unsettle it. The Eletre is Lotus’s first enterprise into electrically assisted energy steering, and right here we discover the electrons much less favorable. The steering is fast and simple to dial in however heavier than needed and quick on suggestions, diminishing the sense of connection.

Heavier than needed additionally describes the Eletre’s really feel in corners. The Lotus rotates like a barrel racer, however even Lotus’s coaching cannot disguise that it is extra Clydesdale than quarter horse. The Eletre’s roughly 5500 kilos make themselves identified in sharp turns and beneath braking, when even the entrance Brembo six-piston brake calipers clamping aluminum hats and iron-faced rotors require a strong push of the pedal to convey issues to a halt—and that is with the brake regen cranked as much as max.

The Eletre’s inside

The positives of an enormous Lotus are discovered within the Eletre’s top-shelf inside. Each touchable floor is sueded or knurled, with refined pops of colour and bronzed-metal finishes. The seats are plush but supportive within the entrance, and the rear seat presents limo ranges of legroom. Each the bench and the rear sport buckets are padded sufficient that calling shotgun can be a recreation of the previous. Particulars just like the metallic mesh speaker grilles and pop-flush cupholders supply visible rewards from the second you open the door. The long-term knowledge of overlaying these cupholders in suede is one other story, however that is an issue for after the spill.

In case you’ve ever been in a Lotus Evora with its minuscule 7.0-inch infotainment display, you could be stunned by the Eletre’s huge, shiny interface. The motive force faces a 12.6-inch digital instrument cluster with a head-up show that was not customizable in our check automobiles, however Lotus says will turn out to be tweakable by way of a later over-the-air replace, if not at supply. The middle touchscreen presents 15.1 inches of crystal-clear graphics, and even the passenger will get a slim strip of touch-sensitive show that permits management of the radio. Bodily controls for media are on the steering wheel, and a few local weather controls have bodily switches—beautiful, textured toggles. Different controls, together with for the air vents and the driver-aid settings, can solely be accessed by way of the display, however we discovered that the majority had been inside one or two faucets of the primary menu.

A number of of the Eletre’s flashier tech options—like the fragile cameras changing the side-view mirrors and the adaptive LED headlights—will not be accessible within the U.S. Others, just like the deployable lidar, are makes an attempt to get forward of attainable upcoming expertise. Ought to extra closely automated driving turn out to be a actuality, Lotus needs to have the {hardware} prepared for an over-the-air software program replace.

The Eletre is progressive and impressive, however it struggles to search out the center floor between the expectations of a Lotus shopper and people of a luxury-SUV buyer. One needs a automobile to be uncooked, nimble, and linked; the opposite needs one thing comfy, properly optioned, and chic. Whereas it tries to straddle each lanes, the Eletre pulls laborious to the SUV aspect. It nails comfy, properly optioned, and chic. It is also quick and supple, however even Lotus hasn’t discovered easy methods to make an EV really feel gentle and easy simply but.

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2024 Lotus Eletre

Automobile Kind: front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 4- or 5-passenger, 4-door wagon


Base: Eletre, $115,000; Eletre S, $135,000; Eletre R, $155,000


Entrance Motor: permanent-magnet AC

Rear Motor: permanent-magnet AC

Mixed Energy: 603 or 905 hp

Mixed Torque: 523 or 726 lb-ft

Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 109.0 kWh

Onboard Charger: 22.0 kW

Peak DC Quick-Cost Price: 350 kW

Transmissions: direct-drive, direct-drive/2-speed computerized


Wheelbase: 118.9 in

Size: 200.9 in

Peak: 64.2–64.4 in

Cargo Quantity, Behind F/R: 54/22–24 ft3

Curb Weight (C/D est): 5500–5850 lb


60 mph: 2.7–4.2 sec

100 mph: 6.3–7.4 sec

1/4-Mile: 10.3–11.4 sec

High Pace: 160–165 mph


Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 70–75/75–80/65–70 MPGe

Vary: 260–315 mi

Headshot of Elana Scherr

Senior Editor, Options

Like a sleeper agent activated late within the recreation, Elana Scherr didn’t know her calling at a younger age. Like many women, she deliberate to be a vet-astronaut-artist, and got here closest to that final one by attending UCLA artwork college. She painted photos of automobiles, however didn’t personal one. Elana reluctantly received a driver’s license at age 21 and found that she not solely cherished automobiles and needed to drive them, however that different individuals cherished automobiles and needed to examine them, which meant any person needed to write about them. Since receiving activation codes, Elana has written for quite a few automotive magazines and web sites, overlaying classics, automotive tradition, expertise, motorsports, and new-car critiques.    


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