Lotus holds first UK test drives in Eletre hyper-SUV at Goodwood

Almost a year to the day after rolling its first Eletre hyper-SUV off its assembly lines in China, Lotus Cars is letting customers in the UK finally get behind the wheel and test drive it firsthand. Most eyes are on the hill climbs at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week, but Lotus is using the motor circuit to show off its new EV tech.

The Lotus Eletre kicks off a new era of electrification for Geely-owned Lotus Cars, and it will soon be followed by three additional BEVs – the last of which, an all-electric sports car (go figure), is expected in 2026. Although Lotus is a UK-based automaker, its parent company and BEV production is stationed in China at a new $1.2 billion factory.

After we learned that Lotus’ “Type 132” SUV codename would be called the Eletre, Lotus began cranking out its first BEV models overseas – leaving us wondering, “When are the test drives?” Since then, we’ve seen the official specs (0-60 in under 3 seconds) as well as pricing and even watched the Eletre go head to head with a Tesla Model X… and lose.

Still, a lot of hype is surrounding this all-electric hyper-SUV – especially in Lotus’ native land of the UK, where potential customers at Goodwood finally for the opportunity to test drive a production model Eletre themselves.

Lotus Eletre test drive
Credit: Lotus Cars

Lotus Eletre test drive

Following its first test drives at the Goodwood Motor Circuit this week, Lotus shared some images and quotes from potential customers after their drives. The automaker says feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, but it’s not as if they’re going to publish any negative comments, right? Here’s a post-test drive comment from an actual Lotus Eletre R customer:

The luxury interior is astounding; the whole cabin is incredible. The driving experience is so light and responsive with brilliant visibility, it really clings to the road. Instant acceleration, super luxury, enjoyment personified. I can’t wait for my Eletre R to arrive.

The “R” trim ordered by “Mr. M” above will cost around $113,000 and produce 905 horsepower. It’s the upgraded version of the base-level Eletre that will deliver 603 hp and cost about $85,000. Both versions come equipped with twin e-motors and a 112 kWh battery.

Lotus says deliveries of the Eletre will begin in the “coming months.”

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