Lotus is readying a 900bhp Eletre hyper-SUV | Top Gear
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Lotus is readying a 900bhp Eletre hyper-SUV

The new electric Lotus SUV is already fast, but soon it'll be untouchable

Published: 30 Mar 2022
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It’s not slow, Lotus’s new Eletre. And it’s only going to get faster. In case you were in any doubt, the Eletre that was unveiled last night - a twin motor car with 600bhp and the ability to hit 62mph in 2.9secs - is the entry level version. It’s in with a shout of being proclaimed the world’s fastest SUV with better sprinting ability than a Lamborghini Urus (3.6secs), Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT or Aston Martin’s DBX 707 (both 3.3secs). Tesla claims a 0-62mph of 2.6secs for the forthcoming Model X Plaid.

This means the Lotus is light. Comparatively. 600bhp is less than any of those ICE rivals, and although electricity’s torque-from-zero and zero gearshifts hands it an advantage, it means Lotus’s claim the Eletre weighs around two tonnes dead likely holds true. The 2,455kg Model X needs over 1,000bhp to go 0.3secs faster. And that’s impressive when there’s no escaping the sheer mass of a 105kWh battery. We’ll have to assume the lightweight philosophy has been applied successfully elsewhere.

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Anyway, Lotus refers to the Eletre as a Hyper-SUV. Of course it does, the super-SUV is so passe these days. But it’s only a few tenths faster, and is actually likely to substantially undercut its rivals on cost, starting at around £100,000. Not very hyper.

But the next one just might earn the tag. We learned the flagship Eletre, due in a couple of years, will have 900bhp thanks to a second 300bhp motor on the back axle. If this proves true, it should drop the 0-62mph time well below 2.5secs, putting it completely out of reach of any internal combustion rivals. The fast-SUV game is now making the transition to electric.

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