So much is different here. Not only the fact that this is an all-electric Lotus SUV but also the fact that this car has five doors, a big boot and, at 5.1-metres in length, is vastly bigger than anything the brand has previously made (almost the same size as a Lamborghini Urus). Yet great lengths have been gone to by Design Chief Ben Payne and his team to give the car a Lotus 'feel', primarily in the way that the compact bonnet, the short overhangs and the cab-forward stance reference the brand's previous mid-engined design layout. There are nods to Lotus cars of the present too, with sharp edges at the front and the glass canopy on top of the body, both referencing the look of the Evija hypercar. Huge 23-inch wheels help visually 'shrink' the silhouette. And at the rear, there's a full-width ribbon light that changes colour according to battery charge level. Plus there's a carbonfibre three-stage deployable roof-mounted spoiler. And digital stalks replacing the usual door mirrors.
Inside, if anything, it's even more extreme and yes, again there is a very Lotus feel thanks to the driver-focused minimalist vibe. The small-diameter steering well with its regen-adjust and drive mode paddles is retro, yet futuristic. And through it, you view a slim info strip (under 30mm tall) which displays key vehicle and journeying info. Anything else you'll need is found on a 15.1-inch landscape-orientated central infotainment screen, which automatically folds flat when not required. A camera on the dash watches where you're looking and adjusts screen brightness automatically - which is useful to stop the little screens at either end of the dash (the ones replacing the door mirrors) becoming distracting. The front seats are super-slim race-style items trimmed in a wool-blend fabric that's lighter than leather. For the rear, a three-person bench is standard and rear legroom is impressive. A four-seat layout is optional with individual rear chairs. However, this reduces boot space from the normal 688-litres to 611-litres. Not bad for a Lotus though.