In the race for electrification, there are many ways to compete.
There is the violent aesthetic of motor performance, breaking the shackles of the fuel-engine era of stacked cylinder counts with extreme acceleration. Compared to the more complicated ones, the need to add handling to the performance base, in addition to taking into account, the acceleration also needs better chassis tuning, ultimate wind resistance optimization, and the co-channel experience of human-vehicle unity.
Today and I galloped on the track of the protagonist, the “wind” as the theme of the brand, the game with the wind of madness into a dance with the wind of the British romance, which is Lotus Eletre.
I. Welcome to the 2-Second Club
In the 70 years of its development, the Lotus was “banned” several times for being too “radical”. The mid-engine Lotus Type 38 broke the shackles of the front engine with its proud speed, and later introduced the gas turbine engine of jet aircraft into Type 56. Type 56 was then banned from racing with turbo engines.
In the era of “ground effect” played out in the Lotus F1 race, Type 88 was equipped with a ground effect twin chassis, successfully solving the problem of the “dolphin jump”, because of Lotus’s “daring” But because of the “daring” and “ahead of its time”, this rebellious youth is ready to be confined again.
And now before we are the Lotus ELetre, which appears to be no longer tangled with change and unchanging, but rather an invisible force breaking free from the confines of the times, who can not stop Lotus in the car technology of that talented cash.
Eletre’s fast is hard to describe in numbers. It is equipped with dual permanent magnet synchronous motors front and rear, with peak power 450kW/603hp, peak torque 710N-m, and zero hundred acceleration time 4.5s in the Sport version.
The track version has a two-speed rear electric drive transmission, with a peak power of 675kW/905hp, peak torque of 985N-m, zero hundred acceleration time of only 2.95s, and a top speed of 265km/h.
The superpower also makes it a real SUV pure electric beast and enters the 2-second club.
Even if this 2.95s beast is parked in the depot, you can’t predict its speed limit on the track like a spring to geometry? Is it just a flash of brute force, a fleeting thrill of acceleration, or is it the ultimate driving pleasure?
And after the post-race experience, I realized that it was more fun than I could have imagined.
With the sport mode, after lightly giving the throttle before coming to the entrance of the corner, speed has exceeded your expected value, accompanied by a heavy brake and steering, both attitude and lateral support can be completed without dragging like a corner, and due to the linear tuning of the throttle pedal, you can lightly press the throttle when passing the center of the corner. The comfort of the throttle allows you to quickly find a sense of rhythm on the track, making it easy to drive, making it easy to drive. You quickly forget about the break-in period you need with her, and then you forget that this is a pure electric SUV.
In straight performance, ELetre’s high-performance front and rear motors can reach a total power of 675kW. At this moment, you just need to step on the electric door and feel the thrill of easily breaking 10,000 torque at the wheel end, but also imagine the airflow and inner crazy heartbeat of the wind tunnel shuttle, also at this moment releasing it.
At high speed with heavy braking close to stepping on, the 10-piston braking system with carbon ceramic discs bites so that you will not feel any decay in braking performance. Under continuous braking, the carbon ceramic discs can withstand temperatures of more than 1000 degrees Celsius. Even though we do not have a lot of straight-line sections in the venue to leave ventilation time, the braking performance of the system is outstanding.
The Eletre chassis features a five-link independent suspension front and rear, along with air suspension and a CDC electromagnetic induction suspension system. Vehicle responsiveness and vehicle linearity to chassis performance are all tuned by the Lotus UK team.
The entire chassis domain can achieve 6 degrees of freedom control of the suspension, and ELETRE with an active stabilizer bar, in cornering, can give the driver more stable dynamic handling, especially at high speed and high-pressure cornering support, so that you will not feel “lying” on the other side but will be firmly a reaction force pulling you, and you can also be very This feeling will make you greedy to have a faster acceleration time and a faster exit speed in the next corner.
But also, at this moment, on the corner to do extreme pressure, you will find that it is still an SUV. These special tuning genes from the chassis feedback in fact will not be so extreme. This is a set of chassis that can take into account the daily use based on the track driving spill, taking into account a certain amount of road comfort.
II. Must be fast, but not just fast
On the track, the battle with the wind trumps the engine and speed, which has been the past handiwork of Lotus.
The ultimate pursuit of aerodynamics has been a long-standing source for Lotus, starting with the era of weight reduction opened by Type 25. The traditional concept of a tubular spaceframe chassis was abandoned in favor of an aircraft-style monocoque structure to reduce frontal air resistance.
To solve the problem of “floating” after weight reduction, the new car was equipped with a wind deflector, bringing the aircraft idea to the racing car, so that the car could better balance wind resistance and downforce at high speed.
The most innovative car, the Type 79, solves the downforce problem by adding a skirt to the side, allowing airflow above and vacuum below to create an air pressure differential that holds the car firmly to the ground.
Away from the track and back on the road, the ultimate in aerodynamics and aesthetics, Lotus has created a “porous” design that incorporates aerodynamic performance into the body shape.
It is not a coincidence that the visual sense of lightness is brought about, but rather a deeper integration of visual to empathetic track experience from driving against the wind. When you look at the car itself after a dynamic test drive, you get used to counting how many air ducts the car has and how they should work at top speed.
And the details of these apertures are like the designer’s paintings. Looking at the apertures and channels of the Eletre body, you can feel the speed of the body cutting through the air, and the imperceptible wind seems to be able to make its flowing paths inside and outside the body well under the designer’s brush so that the disorderly turbulent resistance is reconciled by great aerodynamics.
And if you look at the details from the whole to the local, the air intakes in the hood, wheel arches, side belt lines, and rear are a perfect aerodynamic “route”.
At high speeds, the front nose air intake is the first to break up the oncoming airflow. The opening of the bypass tube under the nose directs the air back to the top of the hood, and the infinitely variable active lower grille opens automatically depending on the speed of the car and closes when it is needed to reduce drag, and the airflow is directed to cool the drivetrain and battery pack.
Side-to-side airflow, on the other hand, flows downhill into air intakes in the wheel arches and exits behind them, further reducing wind resistance.
Exhausted air is then quickly discharged into the front door panels to avoid the formation of turbulence, further improving dynamics, while also boldly carving out a concave and sporty line.
Following the beltline to the rear, the ducts in the D-pillar effectively control the wake, the fixed rear wing on the roof helps keep the air attached to the rear window, and the most exaggerated is the active rear wing from the rear. The suspension shape must also refer to fighter jet elements. When opened, it can provide the vehicle with up to 112.5kg of downforce, which helps to dynamically balance drag and downforce, and this in our high-speed track. Performance on the track today gives a more stable stance and keeps the car firmly “attached” to the track.
The Eletre adopts the same Evija’s cockpit forward design to maximize the classic mid-engine sports car ratio, with a short front overhang and short rear overhang, giving a wheelbase length ratio of 0.59.
So when you look at it from the side, the visual impact of this special golden ratio gives it a special low-slung stance. With 7 sets of Race-Aero air ducts, the Evija’s unique aperture design concept is also applied to the Eletre, which can reduce the wind resistance coefficient to CD=0.26 and provide a maximum net downforce of 90kg, so that you will still believe in its composure when accelerating in a straight line at over 250km/h, and take you to the next corner quickly with the accompanying forced power.
III. Both inside and outside
From a new platform to the first model, the Eletre was born as a blank sheet of paper, and the designers wanted to inherit the classics of the Lotus family, but also to add more innovative, technological elements across generations.
The new exterior design, following the porous design language of the Lotus 10 million pure electric supercar EVIJA, applies aerodynamics to the extreme, with the front face driven by the porous design concept to lighten the visual perception.
The front hatch not only has a representative lower air duct and hood air duct design, but also the split headlight design gives its appearance a bit more aggressiveness.
At the side, a high waistline runs to the rear of the car, and the angular lines and curved surfaces create the same excellent side air ducts, which also make the whole car extremely smooth lines. The new car will use electric suction doors and a hidden door handle design, also very good to highlight the sense of technology of the car.
Body dimensions, the new car length, width, and height of 5103*2019*1636mm, respectively, and the wheelbase of 3019mm.
The rear end is still fighting. Eletre adopts the popular through-tail lamp design, angular and curved, plus the left and right sides of the curved air channel to achieve excellent wind resistance in addition to also providing a dynamic and soft visual effect of the rear.
In addition, the car is equipped with 34 intelligent driving sensors, including four LIDARs, three of which are reversible, and the LIDAR on both sides also has an integrated cleaning function inside.
LIDAR at the front and rear
The rear-aware camera on the front wheels
The Eletre has a 5-screen layout inside the car, in keeping with Lotus’ philosophy of lightweight simplicity.
In terms of lightness, 95% of the car’s functions can be operated with less than three clicks. The gear knob is a lightweight, minimalist design that still sits in the center console area, but doesn’t take up much space.
Screen interaction Eletre is equipped with two 8155 chips that drive the whole car 5 screens, including a 12.6-inch instrument panel, 29-inch HUD, 15.1-inch center screen, 12.6-inch passenger entertainment screen, and 8-inch rear entertainment screen. Among them, the 15.1-inch center screen is made of OLED material, and the screen resolution is 2560*1600. The resolution is relatively high.
And the entire cockpit system of Lotus Eletre HYPER OS is based on UNREAL ENGINE to create a real-time rendering cockpit operating system.
With more than seventy years of track history, Lotus is a rebellious young man, that is, created many “firsts”, but also “banned” many times. But rather than this rebellion, Lotus founder Colin Chapman used the RAF service to master the basic principles. It was this rebellion that led Colin Chapman to use his mastery of and love for the fundamentals of aircraft during his time in the RAF to write a new legend in racing.
Putting aerodynamic inspiration to work on the competitive race track has brought out technical efficacy beyond the engine, and this special gene still works in the era of electrification started by Lotus. Combining streamlined curves and apertures to bring order to the disordered air, combining the order of wind control with chassis tuning that emphasizes handling, a new way of thinking about handling has been created… This is the era of driving control presented by Lotus Eletre.