After 70 years of history, the British manufacturer Lotus has passed into the hands of the Chinese giant Geely, which has recovered and resurrected it as an electric car manufacturer. The first result of this new stage has begun at the new Lotus Technology plant in Wuhan, whose work has begun with the departure of the first production units of the Lotus Eletre .
The production lines, as well as the adaptations of the installation, have involved an investment of 1,200 million euros, where in addition to starting up the entire infrastructure for the production of the Eletre, and where the construction of a test track of 3 kilometers.
This circuit refers to some elements of the Formula 1 tracks, but also addresses the need to develop autonomous driving systems, and where Lotus technicians will have at their disposal a space where they can experiment with the manual driving experience, even automatic systems.
The first beneficiary of all this investment will be an Eletre, which has become the brand’s first electric car. An important milestone in the transition to electrification of a brand that is part of the history of motorsports.
This first model will also be the first to be developed on the Electric Premium Architecture (EPA) platform, whose development has been led by Lotus and which seeks to be the benchmark 800 V architecture in the sector.
A spectacular SUV of 5.1 meters long, and with a wheelbase of 3019 mm, which places it above the Porsche Cayenne, but also other rivals such as the Audi Q7, or the Maserati Grecale.
It is powered by two permanent magnet synchronous motors with a maximum combined power of 675 kW (920 hp) that catapult it to 100 km/h in just 2.95 seconds. The battery, for its part, will be a pack of more than 100 kWh, which will provide autonomy of over 600 km WLTP.
It will take advantage of its 800 V architecture, and in an ultra-fast connection it will be able to recover 120 km of autonomy in just 5 minutes or go from 10% to 80% in just 20 minutes thanks to a system capable of reaching a peak power of 350kW
Sales of the new Lotus Eletre are already underway. A model that will be manufactured in China, from which it will be sent to the markets where the brand has a presence. For its part, the first deliveries to customers will take place this coming September in China, and in early 2023 in Europe.