• The 2023 Lotus Eletre – All Fluff And No Substance?

Was the Lotus Eletre hyped more than what it could deliver?

29th March 2022. This date was supposed to go down in the books as one of the most important milestones in Lotus’ modern history. It was the day the company embraced the two evolving aspects – SUVs and electrification – of the auto industry and took its first step towards the same by debuting its first all-electric production SUV, the Eletre. Now, the company built up the hype for a very long time and revealed the product with fairly decent specs. But, given the competition, the time it took to roll out an SUV, and the fact that it called a 600-HP vehicle a “hyper SUV”, was the Eletre a disappointment?

The Eletre Should’ve Been A Game-Changing Product

The 2023 Lotus Eletre – All Fluff And No Substance?
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Let me be clear right off the bat – the Lotus Eletre is not a bad product by any means. My rants are based on the fact of how much it was hyped and what we got. Personally, I had a lot of expectations from this product. First of all, Lotus is late to join the party. Every automaker with a long history has an SUV in its portfolio currently. The company has had a shaky history, so I’m not complaining about why it didn’t come out sooner. But, when Lotus decided to roll it out, it should’ve been ground-breaking; one that got “good” attention for every little thing about it.

The 2023 Lotus Eletre – All Fluff And No Substance?
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Let’s start with Lotus calling it a ‘hyper SUV’. When you talk about a ‘hyper’ vehicle, especially from a revered brand like Lotus, you expect a lot more. The 2,000-HP Evija, for instance, is a ‘hyper’ car. Not a 600-HP SUV that tops out at 161 mph. There are a lot more cars that are more powerful and have a higher top speed. Forget EVs, which are generally mighty quick. I’m talking about fuel-powered SUVs. You’ve got the 710-horsepower Dodge Durango Hellcat with a 180-mph top speed. Even the SUV that people are saying it looks very, very similar to, the Lamborghini Urus, puts out 641 horsepower and has a top speed of 190 mph. And, did we mention the 697-horsepower Aston-Martin DBX 707 that goes up to 193 mph? Not to mention, the Bentley Bentayga and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan beat it, too. Mind you, all these SUVs, except for the Durango and the DBX (to an extent) are the first SUVs from each of the brands. And, it wouldn’t be wrong to say they are unique and successful in their own ways. So, I’m not sure what Lotus tried to do there. Some of you might say that ‘hyper’ was a marketing terminology and I’m getting hung up on it. But, “hypercars” are a niche, and calling the Lotus Eletre a hyper-SUV doesn’t seem justified in my books. But, to Lotus’ credit, the Eletre is quick to 60 mph from rest – takes under three seconds, although exact numbers are still not revealed. That said, three seconds for EVs isn’t too big a deal these days. Much bigger heavier vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV, the Rivian R1T, etc. also sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in about the same time.

The 2023 Lotus Eletre – All Fluff And No Substance?
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Speaking of weight, Lotus cars are known for their lightweight and fantastic driving characteristics. So, it was imperative for Lotus to announce how heavy – rather, light – the Eletre will be. But, the automaker conveniently left it out of the press release, which certainly points at the Eletre not being very light. Yes, we get it, EVs have battery packs, etc., and keeping the weight contained is not possible. But, this is the ethos and the reputation of Lotus, so we can’t help but point this out loud. While the exact weight is unknown, we can be sure that it will be the heaviest Lotus ever built.

Conclusion

The 2023 Lotus Eletre – All Fluff And No Substance?
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Yes, this will be a more mainstream product if Lotus wanted to create something more mainstream, it should’ve skipped out on words like “hyper SUV”. Also, for a company that’s entering the immensely successful SUV segment for the first time with an electric offering, you tend to have high hopes as an enthusiast. Lotus has had great products in its lineup since the beginning and it has a reputation to live up to. Its arrival to the scene should’ve been a banger. This, on the other hand, seems like a design "inspired" from the Lamborghini Urus and without mind-boggling specs when compared to many other SUVs are in the market.

The 2023 Lotus Eletre – All Fluff And No Substance?
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As I stated at the beginning of the article, the Lotus Eletre isn’t a bad vehicle per se. Specs like 372 miles of range on a full charge, 0-60 mph in under three seconds, many tech features, etc. make it a good product overall. But, the fact that Lotus could’ve done it better makes us question this whole product. The only saving grace would be the price, which isn’t announced yet. It is speculated to be priced around $125,000, which puts it up against the Tesla Model X Plaid. We’ll have to wait and watch how the Eletre competes against its rivals.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Managing Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a managing editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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