While it may be a far cry for many, once great sports car manufacturers have traded their iconic petroleum-burning motors in low-slung sports cars for the comfy confines of a plush but potent SUV. Lotus is no different and Eletre Pre-Orders prove why.
It is no secret. Automakers are going electric but before that automakers were going the route of SUVs to help bolster sales. Now, new electrified SUVs join the ranks of firms in frequent fashion and there is a simple reason for that. In the initial half of the current year, under the ownership of the Chinese Geely Group, the Lotus marque witnessed an impressive surge in its order log, amassing a global tally of approximately 17 000 vehicles, a record-breaking feat that effortlessly eclipsed the meagre 576 units sold throughout the entirety of the preceding year.
This remarkable surge can largely be attributed to the introduction of the all-electric Eletre SUV, which made its debut towards the end of 2022. The Eletre, which commenced Chinese deliveries at the close of March this year, is expected to reach UK and European shores in the coming months.
An SUV would be the polar opposite of what Lotus founder Colin Chapman would have ever wanted, but that is the nature of the automakers wanting to survive in the industry dictated by consumers. Constructed at Geely’s Wuhan facility in China, the Eletre is energized by a potent 112 kWh battery pack, channelling power to a dual set of electric motors. These motors generate 450 kW and 710 N.m in the base configuration, while the R trim elevates these figures to 675 kW and 985 N.m, enabling brisk acceleration despite its heft and size. What was once the embodiment of lightweight sports cars has morphed into a sizable electric SUV but the reason is simple: sales. The Eletre is leading the best-ever sales year for Lotus.
While the Eletre has been the star child, the conventional sports car from Lotus is not yet dead since the mid-engined Emira achieved a prodigious production volume of over 2 200 units in the United Kingdom during the first half of the year. This figure represents a staggering 381% increase compared to the fiscal year 2022, as proudly stated by Lotus.
Think of the popular Eletre SUV in a similar manner to the Porsche Cayenne during its debut in 2002; a cash cow enabling the automaker to continue producing iconic sports cars that only few could afford and would choose.