When Lotus pulled the covers off its first-ever SUV (those words still don’t sound right together, do they?) in March, one of the details the company chose not to share was the price. The Eletre, in keeping with the brand’s “E”-themed naming convention, will have three configurations: Eletre, Eletre S and the range-topping Eletre R. It’ll start at £89,500, or roughly $101,000, the British automaker announced Tuesday.
The base Eletre gets 603 horsepower and 523 lb-ft of torque from a dual-motor setup that delivers a claimed 373 miles of range on a full charge. Lotus isn’t saying what testing method it used to come to that range estimate, but given that all the news today is centered on the European market, I’m going to bet EPA-certified numbers will prove a little less generous when they’re published later.
The Eletre S incorporates that same powertrain, but throws in more luxuries, like configurable ambient lighting and illuminated side sills; privacy glass; soft-closing doors; an air purification system; and a 2,160-watt, 23-speaker KEF Reference audio setup. It also adds auto-dimming side mirrors — a feature the $36,000 Mazda3 Turbo I tested earlier this year also had. The Eletre S, though, costs $117,850.
For the most performance, step up to the Eletre R. Here, power leaps to 905 hp and 726 lb-ft of torque. With that kind of motivation, the Eletre R hits 60 mph from a standstill in 2.95 seconds, Lotus claims. That doesn’t make it the world’s quickest SUV in a sprint — the $130,000 Model X Plaid can still beat it by about half a second. But it is quick enough to make the Eletre the world’s fastest dual-motor EV according to Lotus, if you want to get semantic about it. (Tesla’s Plaid models all use three motors.)
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The Eletre R will cost $135,330. Just so you don’t think Lotus turned up the motors and called it a day, the R has other exclusive go-fast features that help it turn as well as take off:
The experiences from the Nürburgring have been implemented into the Eletre with Track Mode, which is exclusive to the Eletre R and part of its standard specification. Compared with other versions, it provides a lowered ride height, and more performance-oriented settings for the dampers and anti-roll control. It delivers a higher level of dynamic performance at longitudinal and lateral limits for the most ambitious drivers. Track mode also includes a fully open active grille and a launch control with instant access to the car’s full power.
The standard specification of the Eletre R also includes Lotus Dynamic Handling Pack, Carbon Fibre Pack, gloss black wheels, stainless steel sports pedals, black badging and high-performance tyres. The Eletre R is priced £120,000 (from €150,990 in Europe).
By the way, those “experiences from the Nürburgring” refer to a project to allow the Eletre to drive the Green Hell autonomously, so owners may “experience the thrilling driving performance and dynamic capability of a Lotus from the driving seat.” So if you’re skeptical of the current state of “self driving” and its ability to get you to work without incident, get ready to be hurled around the world’s longest and most intimidating circuit in a two-ton EV. If you don’t scream once, I will personally deliver a pizza to your door, wherever you live.
That is the Eletre, and with its price now public knowledge, there is one final question Lotus still hasn’t answered: weight. Rumors peg it at about 4,400 pounds. That would actually be somewhat sprightly compared to many electric SUVs, including the 5,390-pound Model X Plaid. Those who want a truly featherweight “SUV” will probably have to entertain a different British brand.