Lotus made a decision some time ago that sat like a jug of cold water not only for the most adept of the brand, but also for the most hardened petrol heads. And it is that the English firm went from manufacturing pure and hard combustion sports cars – with permission from the still in force Emira – to producing 100% electric cars, one of them being the Eletre, an SUV. Well, now we must add that the most radical variant of this, the so-called R, it could have a function to go around the Nürburgring… autonomously!
No, it’s not a joke, and I don’t know whether to understand this ability as the perfect circuit monitor or as the radical death sentence to sensations. And it is that on the one hand we are talking about a car that will be able to give its best in one of the most demanding circuits in the world while you, the driver, observe its expertise; but on the other hand it is taking all the fun out of the matter.
The Lotus Eletre could go around the Nürburgring circuit by itself
At the end of the day, we are talking about eradicating the experience of getting to know a circuit, dealing with it, improving our skills, getting to know a car and its behavior better and, in general, enjoying it. On the other hand, it should also be taken into account that, if this function of the Lotus Eletre R reaches production, it would not be permanent and the driver could decide whether to activate it or not.
And to this we must add the complex development that not only autonomous driving has in real traffic conditions, but also the added complexity of applying it in a circuit. In this second scenario, the vehicles do not move in more or less predictable conditions, in addition to the fact that the vehicle itself must have knowledge about the layout, how to take curves, when to accelerate and when to brake properly, weather setbacks…
In addition to the fact that we are facing a system that would end up being applied to the Lotus Eletre R, a version that must be remembered that develops 918 hp and 958 Nm of torquefigures that catapult this mass of more than 5 meters long up to 100 km/h in 2.95 seconds, as well as allowing it to reach a maximum speed of 265 km/h.
Logically, this variant of the electric SUV had its development at the Nürburgring, and it has been the Maximilian Szwaj, Vice President of Technology at Lotus and General Manager of LTIC, who confirmed the system that motivates these words. They have not revealed data about its operation or capabilities, or when it would be available on the market, but its ability to allow you to go in the passenger seat while the Lotus Eletre is responsible for bending the path of green hell.
However, and if this autonomous driving reaches production, it will not be applicable only on circuits, but also on public roads. Be that as it may, if we are dealing with an optional system that works properly, we can talk about a very useful school car, but also one that would be the tip of that iceberg ready to end the sensations at the controls of a car.