Lucid Motors has debuted a new luxury electric sedan called Lucid Air, in a bid to raise the bar for sustainable transportation in the luxury EV sector, according to a Wednesday event broadcast live on YouTube.
The lowest-end model of Lucid Motors' electric vehicle will go for less than $80,000 in 2022, and features a 517-mile (832-km) range on a single charge. However, the limited Dream edition will be first-to-market in 2021, for $169,000, according to an early press release shared with Interesting Engineering via email.
Reservations for purchases will begin immediately on the auto-manufacturer's website, at $1,000.
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Lucid Motors debuts bar-raising luxury electric vehicle
Lucid Motors is stepping up the luxury electric vehicle game with a new sedan called Lucid Air. Deliveries for the all-electric sedan will begin in spring 2021.
"Lucid Motors is driven to make the electric car better, and by doing so, help move the entire industry forward, towards accelerated adoption of sustainable mobility. The goal of this relentless approach to developing the world's most advanced electric vehicle is to benefit all mankind with sustainable, zero emission transportation, and to also attract new customers to the world of EVs," said CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson of Lucid Motors, in the press release. "With Lucid Air, we have created a halo car for the entire industry, one which shows the advancements that are possible by pushing the boundaries of EV technology and performance to new levels."
1,080 horsepower, 517-mile range on single charge
The new all-electric sedan offers up to 1,080 horsepower in a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive design capable of covering a quarter-mile (blah-kilometer) in 9.9 seconds. As of writing, Lucid Air is the only electric sedan that does this in less than 10 seconds.
This unprecedented power comes with an extended-range capability that clocks an EPA-estimated range of up to 517 miles (832 kilometers) on one charge.
Lucid Air will be the fastest electric vehicle ever offered on the market, capable of charging at rates upwards of 20 miles (32 km) per minute with a DC Fast Charging network, according to the press release. This translates to a real-world charge of 300 miles (482 km) in range in only 20 minutes of charging.
Race-ready 113 kWh battery packs, full-size interior
Lucid Air's battery pack is a compact, 113 kWh extended-range model. Built in-house, it's based on 20 million miles and 10 years of real-world testing.
The vehicle has a full-size luxury-class interior balanced with an unprecedented aero-efficiency, with a 0.21 drag coefficient — the lowest of any luxury car in the world, according to the press release.
Additionally, the interior integrates software into the cabin's architecture, with a 34-inch (86.3-cm) curved Glass Cockpit 5K display that "floats" above the dashboard, which evokes a light, airy feel. A retractable central Pilot Panel sits between the driver and passenger for deep-function vehicle control.
The digital displays are joined with tactile-intensive, precision-milled physical controls — including ribbed turbines, steering wheel functions, a rolling volume control, and an alloy toggle for tuning internal climate settings.
Level 2, Level 3 driver assistance technology
Lucid Air's driver-assistance system — called Lucid DreamDrive — combines the most comprehensive suite of functions available on the market. This includes a Driver Monitoring System (DMS) as standard on the Lucid Air Dream Edition.
The vehicle features 32 sensors, covering vision, and radar and ultrasonics, not to mention the first-ever high-resolution LIDAR installed in an all-electric vehicle — all of which work with the standard DMS and geo-fenced HD mapping to support Level 2 and Level 3 driver assistance tech, the press release read.
Alexa Voice integrated into all Lucid Air versions
Amazon collaborated with Lucid to bring an integrated Alexa into the new vehicle. This lets the driver and passengers employ the full suite of Alexa experiences — including calling, smart home control, navigation, and adding items to a shopping cart or personal itinerary — without taking one's eyes off the road, or one's hands on the steering wheel.
Visual support for Alexa commands will appear on Lucid Air's Glass Cockpit display, and can update via Lucid's integrated Over-the-Air (OTA) updates. There's no mention of scheduling updates — as opposed to being delayed from driving while the vehicle downloads and installs them — in the press release.
Pricing, release dates for Lucid Air versions
Lucid Air will enter the North American market first, with four models. The Air is available in 2022, and starts at less than $80,000 ($72,500 after U.S. federal tax credit). The more well-equipped Air Touring model comes out late in 2021, starting at $95,000 ($87,500 with tax credit).
The fully-loaded Air Grand Touring comes out mid-2021, starting at $139,000 ($131,500 with U.S. tax credit), and the limited release and all-inclusive Air Dream Edition comes out spring of 2021, at $169,000 ($161,500 after U.S. tax credit).
Lucid Air's 'Space Concept' uses proprietary EV drivetrain
Lucid Air makes use of a new approach in automotive packaging — called the Lucid Space Concept — which relies on a miniaturization of Lucid's proprietary EV drivetrain to optimize the vehicle's cabin space.
The concept is crucial to a new EV architecture called Lucid Electric Drivetrain Advanced Platform (LEAP). The new LEAP architecture will serve as the basis not only for Lucid Air but also for subsequent all-electric vehicles.
"It's a holistic, clean-sheet approach to advance EV construction, without using existing 'off the shelf' solutions so often seen in EVs from legacy automakers," read an early press release shared with Interesting Engineering via email.
Lucid Motor's 'hyper-efficiency' design gives distinctive look
With Lucid Air, Lucid Motors is launching a two-pronged campaign: to simultaneously make more powerful electric motors combined with an upgraded packaging of the underlying electric powertrain. This allows the company to offer more passenger space, increasing comfort and extending its goal of hyper-efficiency, via optimized space, and offer an unprecedented combination of practicality, performance, range, and luxury.
The company's Space Concept also differentiates Lucid Air from traditional automotive designs — offering a new distinctive look that feels like a prologue to a Blade Runner redux.
"When we embarked on this journey at Lucid Motors and the development of our first vehicle, the Lucid Air, we refused to compromise. We decided early on that we were going to pursue every facet of performance, innovation, and luxury," said Lucid Motors' VP of Design Derek Jenkins. "The result is that we are building the best car in the world and the numbers simply speak for themselves. What's more, we did all this without ever sacrificing the beauty of the Lucid Air, which will stand as the first example of a car being created from a 'clean sheet' to leverage the total design freedom that an EV architecture provides."
'California spirit' inspires Lucid Air's all-electric luxury
Lucid Air's design takes inspiration from its home state: California. The company aims to embed this spirit into its retail and digital experience. The name "Lucid" implies an ability to take hold of one's dreams, and thus find better ways of making them come true.
"The Lucid brand was created with a progressive, post-luxury mindset, ideally suited to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the most congressive buyers. We are heading into a future where conscious consumers see sustainability, advanced design, and technical innovation as equally important to more traditional luxury values of quality and craftsmanship," said Jenkins in the press release. "We consider Lucid to be at the forefront in a shift in consumer preferences toward new brands that offer direct relationships alongside products featuring entirely new levels of technology, performance, and design."
As Telsa claims more of the automotive market with affordable, all-electric vehicles, it's interesting to note that even in the eco-friendly future, luxury sedans like Lucid Motors' Lucid Air will push the limits of all-electric options in a future more uncertain now than ever before.