The car was designed in the Lotus Tech Creative Centre (LTCC) in Warwickshire, UK, where the team worked to create a link to Lotus sports cars.
The blade-like nose as well as the system of air intakes and ducts in the front and side of the car create a “porosity” to the surfaces that evoke sports such as the electric Evija hyper, said Ben Payne, head of LTCC.
Lotus claims the car has the most advanced active aerodynamics package seen on any production SUV.
The most eye-catching feature is the network of triangles in the front of the car that can open when the battery and other elements need cooling and then close again.
The Eletre has a short hood and an elongated cabin. This key design element references the styling of the brand’s sports cars and mid-engine coupes but also makes it clear it’s an electric car, Lotus said.
The styling reflects the electric era, rather than current car designs that go back to the era of horse-drawn carriages, said Lotus design boss Peter Horbury.
“The Aston DBX the Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne, the Ferrari SUV — all of them have got a massive V8 in the front. That is really the technology of the horse-drawn vehicle with the driver behind,” Horbury said.
“We’ve been able to see this parked next to a Urus and Cayenne and it looks the newest by far,” he said.
Inside the cabin the designers have worked to create a high-tech look demanded by customers particularly in China but without making it too distracting.
A 15.1-inch screen in the center of the dashboard folds when not needed and much of the driver information is given via a standard head-up display with augmented reality.