New Lotus electric SUV to weigh at least two tonnes – report

Even if the marque’s ambitious targets are met, the 5.1-metre SUV will weigh almost five times as much as the original Lotus Seven sports car.

The upcoming 2023 Lotus Eletre large electric SUV will weigh approximately two tonnes in production guise, according to a new report from PistonHeads citing company insiders.

If accurate, this would make it the heaviest Lotus ever by a significant margin – and almost five times the weight of Colin Chapman’s original Seven sports car.

However, it still represents an ambitious target weight for the 5.1-metre-long vehicle, which is fitted with a 100kWh-plus lithium-ion battery pack in its floor.

For reference, the smaller Tesla Model X tips the scales at 2459kg, while the Audi E-Tron weighs 2655kg in ‘S’ guise.

It’s so far unknown what materials or production methods will be used to keep weight down, beyond aluminium panels and some carbon-fibre accent pieces.

According to Lotus, dual motors will send at least 447kW to all four wheels via a single-speed transmission – with some variants rumoured to offer closer to 650kW.

This will allow the 0-100km/h sprint to be completed in “less than three seconds,” on the way to a top speed of 260km/h.

A driving range of 600km between charges on the WLTP cycle is targeted by the marque, but yet to be finalised.

Simply Sports Cars – the Australian distributor for Lotus – has confirmed it plans to offer the Electre locally.

“At the moment it is our intention … obviously subject to ADR compliance,” a spokesperson told Drive. “Timing of availability and pricing are unconfirmed at this stage but active discussion is taking place.”

The vehicle will be built in Wuhan, China by Lotus’ parent company Geely from later this year, with the first deliveries in Europe promised next year.

Pricing is yet to be announced for any market, however overseas reports suggest the entry-level variant will start “under £100,000 ($AU170,000)” in the UK.

While the new model has irked traditional fans of the Lotus brand, the now-Chinese-owned manufacturer has promised it will retain the ‘DNA’ of its predecessors.

“If you want Lotus sports cars to be around forever, we’ve got to make money … we haven’t been making money in the past,” Lotus boss Matt Windle told Top Gear earlier this week.

The majority of sports car makers have caved into market pressure to build an SUV, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, and Jaguar.

McLaren remains the only major hold-out. However its CEO Mike Flewitt – who had long promised the marque would never build an SUV under his leadership – recently resigned, clearing the way for a high-riding model.

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