If something has historically characterized Lotus, it is the lightness of its cars. A lightness from which Colin Chapman, founder of the brand, stood out, and thanks to which other attributes of his cars derive, such as exceptional driving dynamics. With his first electric car, the Lotus Eletre, lightness would take a backseat… Or not. Because the Lotus Eletre aims to be a “featherweight” among electric SUVs of your category.
In a recent interview with Drive, the general manager of Lotus Cars, Matt Windle, has revealed one of the great unknowns of the Lotus Eletre: its weight. At least partially, because he has not given the exact data, but his statements have been surprising. According to Windle, the Lotus Eletre weighs “just under two tons”, a fact that is undoubtedly surprising -and even difficult to believe-, since they are between 200 and 600 kilos less than other similar models due to size and battery capacity.
Windle points out several keys to reduce weight: on the one hand, the chassis, where they have been used carbon fiber, aluminum and composite materials to reduce weight as much as possible. On the other hand, textile materials (both natural and synthetic) have been used in the interior, which are 50% lighter than conventional leather upholstery. And finally, holes. According to Windle, there are holes all over the car: in the wheel arches, the hood, the dashboard… You may be wondering what they mean, but he responds to one of Colin Chapman’s principles: “nothing is as light as a hole ». And he was right, nothing is as light as nothing.
The result is a super light car given its dimensions and the capacity of its battery. The Lotus Eletre measures 5.10 meters long by 2.23 meters wide and 1.63 meters high. The battery will have “more than 100 kWh” of capacity, according to Lotus, which has not yet revealed the exact figure. Y a battery with 100 kWh capacity weighs between 600-650 kilosso “only” 1,400 kilos would remain for the rest of the vehicle, being a fairly large vehicle with luxury equipment.
In the Eletre launch statement, lightness or weight reduction was mentioned almost a dozen times. However, Lotus did not reveal the weight of the vehicle. Many thought (we think) that it could be around 2,500 kilos, about three times more than some sports cars of the brand. For example, a Tesla Model X Plaid, with a 100 kWh battery and 5.03 meters long, weighs about 2,500 kilos. The BMW iX xDrive50 with a 111.5 kWh battery weighs 2,585 kilos, and is somewhat smaller than the Lotus. And the Mercedes EQS SUV exceeds 2.7 tons.
Matt Windle reserved, yes, an ace up his sleeve in the form of “small print”. According to the British director, depending on the configuration and equipment chosen, the Eletre will exceed two tons. Thus, the “base” weight must be very close to 2,000 kilos, something that still has a lot of merit.
Let us remember that the Lotus Eletre has all-wheel drive thanks to two electric motors, one on each axle, which offer a minimum of 600 horsepower and a 0-100 km/h under 3 seconds. More powerful versions are planned. The battery will offer about 600 kilometers of autonomy (the final figure has not been announced) and will use an 800-volt electrical system with which it can recharge at 350 kW in direct current and achieve about 400 kilometers of autonomy in 20 minutes.
The Lotus Eletre will start manufacturing in China in the second half of this year and the first deliveries to customers, starting with the United Kingdom, are scheduled for next 2023.