Lotus Heads Back to Manchester for Eletre SUV Preview Event

A year after last visiting our region, Lotus has come back — and to the same place — to present a first chance to get up close with its first ever SUV: the pure-electric Eletre.

Just as it did in 2021, Lotus invited media, including members of the Northern Group of Motoring Writers, to the spectacular hangar at the Concorde Conference Centre at Manchester Airport. This event space is dominated by its centrepiece, the British Airways Concorde G-BOAC.

It’s tough to top this very fast British legend, but Lotus brought along three examples of the “hyper-SUV” Eletre — originally revealed in March — for the attending writers to poke around.

When the Eletre goes on sale next year it’ll be available in three forms: Eletre, Eletre S, and Eletre R. The regular car and the S will use a twin-motor set-up which produces 450kW (603hp), with a 225kW motor on each axle. That’s good for a claimed range of 373 miles.

However the R model swaps the rear unit out for once that’s twice as powerful and incorporates a two-speed gearbox. That dents range a little, with 304 miles claimed, but also sees the 905hp car hit 60mph in 2.9 seconds — quicker than anything Lotus has ever made until the 2000hp Evija arrives.

It comes at a price, with the R starting at £120,000 compared to the £89,500 range starting point. All Eletres will be well-equipped, with active air suspension, 12-way adjustable electric seats, four-zone climate control, and a choice of five high quality interiors. You can even specify an “executive seat pack” which deletes the centre seat in the rear.

The idea of an all-wheel drive, all-electric SUV from Lotus, particularly one which weighs as much as three of the original Elises and is 5.1 metres long, may well rankle with fans of the brand.

Lotus though says it has stuck to its principles and kept the Eletre as light and engaging as possible for a vehicle that’s very much a necessity to keep the marque going into the 21st Century.