‘I’m sure Colin Chapman will be very proud of the Lotus Elector.’

The new Lotus Eletre is probably the most exciting and controversial new car launched by a British brand. A big SUV that is heavy, expensive, self-driving and made in China, not Norfolk – what would Lotus founder Colin Chapman think of it?

In many ways this is an inevitable evolution – as many other car manufacturers have found. The first official image of the new Ferrari Porsangu, the first Italian brand SUV (although Ferrari calls it the Ferrari Utility Vehicle), will be unveiled this week. What does Enzo Ferrari have to do with that?

From an economic point of view, Lotus and Ferrari SUVs make perfect sense; See the success – and the cash loss – Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Bentley Bentega and Lamborghini Urus have all been brought in by their makers. And we all know that Porsche will fight for survival today if it does not sell Keynes and McCann.

Chances are, the founders of that great company will be extremely proud of the accomplishments of the people who are running their business today. We haven’t heard much about the Ferrari yet, but after talking to the team behind the Elater, many of Colin Chapman’s guiding principles have been applied to the car, even if it has a large, heavy battery sitting underneath.

We often treat the cars you dream about or will buy in the coming years for incredible initial access. And sometimes, when a veil is pulled, what we see takes our breath away – for all the wrong reasons. I hope I got a good poker face for those events.

But tears welled up in my eyes when I first glanced at Elater – at least not as a fan and former Lotus owner. It’s really good – it’s a lot like Lotus, it looks like a lotus and it’s very clever.

We have already said that Gili, the Chinese owner of Lotus, is a good guardian. If Eletre (and the new Emira) hints at the future of Lotus, I’m sure Colin Chapman would be really proud.

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