Lotus unveiled the first part of their lineup of all-electric cars on March 29 – the Lotus Eletre. Calling it a “hyper-SUV” and the first in what Lotus believes will be an expanding market of all-electric SUVs.
Just because it’s an SUV doesn’t mean it isn’t imbued with the engineering spirit of past Lotus vehicles. The event Lotus held to reveal the Eletre was called “Carved by Air,” referring to the unique design Lotus created in which air flows through the vehicle, rather than just around it to improve aerodynamic performance, speed, and overall efficiency of the SUV.
The Eletre is just as fast as one would expect from Lotus with a 0-60 time of less than three seconds. That speed, and more than 600 horsepower is delivered through its 4WD system. It features a battery capacity greater than 100kWh – compare that to the long-range Tesla Model 3 which only has an 82kWh battery – which should mean its no slouch in terms of range – in fact, the maximum range is estimated to be about 373 miles, but a 350kW charger will put 248 miles of power into the battery in less than 20 minutes.
Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars, said, “It is a true Lotus, and we’re confident it will delight performance car customers and offer a distinct alternative to the segment’s established players. The Eletre has the soul of a Lotus and the usability of an SUV.” Honestly, twenty years ago we would have thought Lotus was crazy for building an SUV, but considering the success Porsche and other sports car brands have had with their own SUVs, it just seems to make sense now.
Eletre - Coming to Life
The latest in a long line of Lotus cars with names that start with the letter E, the Eletre’s name means, “Coming to Life” in some Eastern European languages, quite a fitting name for the first accessible electric car and first SUV from Lotus. This is the first of three all-electric models that Lotus will be unveiling in the next few years which makes the Eletre name all the more fitting as the manufacturer heads away from ICE-powered vehicles.
New Lotus Electric Cars - Why Should Collectors Care?
The significance of the Lotus Eletre is difficult to understate. Lotus is betting their future on electric vehicles and this is the first attainable one to be offered. We’ve seen plenty of cars come to auction that were the first of their model or the first year of a new generation of a model and collectors seem to be drawn towards those examples, of course with the lowest mileage examples generally pulling the highest prices.
We’re not going to say that the Eletre is guaranteed to be an instant collectible, but if any Lotus aside from extremely limited-production models has a chance at instant collectibility it has to be the one that marks an all-new direction for the company. It’s not unreasonable to think that ten years down the line we’ll see first-year Eletres hitting the auction blocks just as we see Tesla Roadsters getting lots of attention and strong prices when listed for sale – recently a 2008 Tesla Roadster sold for more than $250,000, quite a bit more than the original MSRP. In fact, we’ve seen a few listed with asking prices well above that $250,000.
Even if we set aside any possible ROI – and let’s not kid ourselves, new cars lose value right away with very few exceptions – the simple fact that this is the vehicle that starts Lotus down this new road will be appealing enough to Lotus collectors, even if they go out and buy them from Lotus brand new. There will always be something special about having the first of a car, especially one that appears to have as much importance as the new Lotus Eletre.