Lotus is entering a new era and is entering a new segment of the market with its first SUV, the all-electric Lotus Eletre. Eletre is described by Matt Windle, the brand’s managing director, as “an important point in our history”, maintaining the British brand naming convention for models starting with an E.
Based on a brand new 800-volt platform called Electric Premium Architecture, the new model is powered by a battery of more than 100kWh (an exact figure of available power is not confirmed) that feeds a pair of electric motors – a target axle of one per axle – 592bhp. For total power output. It will rise for high-specific, even more performance-centric versions, with Lotus aiming for the fastest Eletrace to deliver 0-62mph in less than three seconds.
By their very nature, EVs are heavy, and when the traditional model of the Eletri Lotus and company founder Colin Chapman depart from the low carbweight policy, there is a lot of innovation in keeping with Mark’s policy. Lotus’ vision for mass reduction is still at the center of development, and Eletre “adopts the basic principles and lotus DNA from more than 70 years of sports car design and engineering, turning them into a desirable all-new lifestyle vehicle for the next generation.” Generation of Lotus customers “.
A three-in-one electric motor system that integrates motors, controllers and reducers into one package, for example, helps save weight in an EV context. Carbon fiber and aluminum have been widely used in the construction of cars.
Aerodynamics has also played a major role in vehicle engineering, helping to reduce the drag and increase the target range of the elevator up to 373 miles, as well as greatly shaping the design of the vehicle. With 350kW fast charging power, the car is capable of adding 248 miles in just 20 minutes.
The Evija takes advantage of the aerodynamics of the elevator from the Hypercar, especially the rear tunnel – although adapted to the needs of the passenger SUV. Lotus calls it “porosity”, with which air flows through the vehicle, as well as around, above and below. This is evident in the front, where a large vent of the bonnet works together with the active grille, the front and rear of the front wheels, as well as the tunnels protruding from the rear bumper of the rear wheels; This was inspired by Evija. There are also vents at the top of the D-pillar that work with roof-mounted winglets. These channels ventilate the active rear spoiler below the tailgate, which sits on top of a full-width LED light ‘ribbon’ that can change color to indicate different messages or usage conditions.
In normal use the strip turns red, with a scrolling index at the end. It is animated with a traditional Lotus green and yellow theme for locking and unlocking, while the bar has the possibility to scroll from left to right to show the remaining battery charge. When Eletre’s autonomous driving mode is employed, the plan is to convey it with a specific color for the LED strip.
Advanced LED cameras will facilitate this capability (there are also plenty of active protection kits), including pods that pop up sensors on the front and back of the roof.
Digital wing mirrors have been installed instead of conventional items, and screens have been installed on doors. The displays are joined by two more screens, a thin instrument cluster less than 30 millimeters long (also as an augmented reality head-up display standard) and a central 15.1-inch touchscreen that controls the car’s main functions. .
The parent company for Lotus technology is leaning towards its relationship with Gili, and it should be reliable, the graphics from this initial experience of this car certainly looks crisp and clear.
Although voice control is also offered, the core functions have been duplicated with physical control for climate and other major systems to deal with the frustrations that often come with touchscreen-control. Lotus claims that while it should still be a simple system to use, 95 percent of the car’s functions can be accessed from the main screen with just three touches.
With built-in 5G capability, over-the-air software updates are possible, which the brand claims will allow customers to purchase new features to be activated by the software as soon as they become available.
Five selectable driving modes are also controlled via the new interface, range, tours, sports, off-road and personal are all available. These change the parameters of the steering, powertrain, throttle response and adaptive air suspension, which controls a five-link set-up on the rear axle.
At 5.1 meters long, with a 3.0-meter wheelbase, the Eletre is a large car, but 1.6 meters long, the roof is relatively short, which gives a smooth, fast-looking profile.
With a flat, skateboard-style platform, it helps keep most of the vehicle’s weight down in the chassis to minimize the center of gravity. According to Gavan Kershaw, Director, Attributes and Product Integrity: “Dynamically, Eletre is designed to deliver everything you would expect from Lotus – exceptional ride and handling, highly interactive steering and exceptional driver engagement. From a performance standpoint, we know the world is watching, so there’s an obsession to make everything right. “
Lotus’ UK team, led by design and development, has been operating under the tagline ‘Born British, Rise Globally’, the last part of which also points to a brand new Chinese factory to be built in Elter later this year. Prices are set to start at around £ 100,000
Q&A with Ben Penn
Head of Studio – Group Lotus
The head of the Coventry-based Lotus Tech Creative Center spoke to us about how the brand has applied the Lotus policy to a new class of cars.
Q: Some fans of the brand will say that an SUV cannot be an accurate Lotus. What do you tell them?
A: “Eletre is a lotus and through. The brand is changing and it is a new vehicle for us
A new category, so it has a slightly different focus, but it’s still a lotus in its core. We’ve applied Lotus DNA – lightweight engineering and innovation – across the car in an EV context. Lightweight motor systems, materials, aerodynamics, many clever technological solutions. “
Q: This is a new era of design for Lotus as well, but is there any consensus for past Lotus models?
A: “Yes. The graphic on the back is very simple, for example, and has a negative surface on top of the badge and light strip, just like Alice. Such small touches indicate our history when we look to the future and what it contains. “
Q: Lotus models always focus on the driver, so how difficult was it to integrate all the necessary technology into a modern SUV without losing its inner simplicity?
A: “It was a big challenge, but the simple digital display and the central screen that can be turned off really helps keep the driving environment tidy; we also wanted physical control for simplicity. It can be done when we want to give a technical, bespoke feeling with Switchgear. Different interior themes are also available. “
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