Lotus Eletre makes global public debut

UK already the biggest market for Eletre deposits – and that was before the Goodwood crowds descended

By Matt Bird / Friday, 24 June 2022 / Loading comments

Having been unveiled in March, the new Lotus Eletre has earned its global public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. And you thought it was a busy stand with the Emira’s unveil last year! The electric SUV is part of what Lotus is calling an ‘ultimate three-car garage’ line-up on its stand, with the Emira V6 and Evija hypercar also on display. Given how Lotus show stands looked not that long ago, it’s an impressive trio of performance cars to show off. A global reveal of an electric SUV still feels so far beyond what we might have previously expected from Lotus – it hadn’t even done a five-door car before this – yet here the Eletre is, promising “pioneering technology, genuine sporting performance and simplicity of purpose”. It’ll give prospective customers a good chance to actually see the car in person, too, not that that has delayed some – the UK is already the biggest market for the Eletre in terms of deposits placed.  

There’s a nice, round 3,000hp between the triumvirate, too, assuming 600hp for the Eletre (apparently up to 900hp is coming). That’s just the road cars, too; the recently announced Emira GT4 – “the start of an exciting new era in performance GT racing for Lotus” – is there for all budding track stars to gawp at, having already sold out its first 12 months of production. Which is some going given the variety of GT4 race cars available. 

It says much of the current situation at Lotus that the 2,000hp electric hypercar isn’t necessarily the headline grabber. But the Evija is on the Lotus stand, and remains unmissable. Very close to the road, too, as MD Matt Windle explained when PH spoke to him: “The first cars are online now; we’ll begin production next month.” There’s never a good time to launch a flagship hypercar, but the delays inflicted by a global health emergency and a supply chain crisis have seemingly hit the Evija hard. Windle suggests that having Evija and Emira going into production at the same time is “not ideal”, which is probably underselling it a tad. Buyers remain keen, however; though exact numbers perhaps inevitably fell under “not that I’m going to share” territory, the Evija is said to be sold out for 2022 and lots of next year. Not bad going at £2m a pop.  

It’s the SUV and the petrol sports car that feel most important right now, though, especially with Emira First Editions due with customers next month. Having been on sale for a year, Windle confirmed that more examples of the Emira had been sold in the past 12 months than Lotus had sold cars in the past six years, which is encouraging. The 81-page thread in the Lotus forum about deposits would attest to the Emira’s popularity already.  

Furthermore, for those customers not so keen on the newer Lotus products – even perhaps the best car yet with the Toyota V6 – there are developments afoot to appease older-school enthusiasts. Asked about the expansion of the Certificate of Provenance programme into something more like Ferrari Classiche – what with the overwhelming majority of Lotuses now in the ‘old combustion era’ – Windle said that it was “in the strategy” of Lotus Advanced Performance to do something along those lines. He added that there were “some exciting programmes planned, some with Lotus Classic.” Lotus Advanced Performance was launched in February, headed up by Simon Lane – previously of Aston’s Q Division. He spoke to Autocar yesterday about some of those plans – and when it comes to the business of realising the dreams of Lotus engineers and designers from decades gone by, it’s safe to say ‘exciting’ was an accurate description. 

In any case, it promises to be a big weekend for Lotus. The Goodwood Festival of Speed is the de facto British motor show now, and it’s one heck of a setup Lotus has on the lawn. Four new cars, enormous screens, music that’s too loud and even some merch you might actually want to buy – it’s some turnaround. Once Emira production is underway, we can expect production intent Eletres in the UK before the end of 2022, with the cars themselves ready from the Wuhan factory for customers early in 2023. So imagine how the Goodwood stand might look in 12 months’ time…

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