After years of dragstrip victories over gasoline vehicles, the Tesla Model S might have at last met its match: in the form of the Lucid Air electric sedan.
Lucid Motors revealed Wednesday—ahead of a full reveal of the production Air on September 9—that the Air will be able to perform a traditional American performance metric, the quarter-mile, in just 9.9 seconds. Furthermore, Lucid says it’s achievable “on a consistent, repeatable basis.”
That makes it the world’s quickest production electric sedan, according to Lucid, and the only electric sedan able to do the sprint in under 10 seconds.
Lucid Pure Flux motor
Technically, the Air isn’t in production yet, but it’s due to go into production in spring 2021 at a plant newly built in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Altogether, the Air’s dual-motor system is rated at up to 1,080 hp. Lucid’s motor, inverter, transmission, and differential have all been combined into a single unit, with each of the two units weighing just 163 pounds and small enough to fit into a carry-on bag—yet packing more than 650 horsepower. Compared to that “closest rival,” those drive units weigh 45% less and are 59% more power-dense, and for the power produced, the Lucid motors take up 40% of the space.
Furthermore, the motor has an innovative core-cooling system and can spin up to 20,000 rpm—higher than any other production model’s motor—which could enable either a higher top speed or lower gearing.
The Air electric sedan is the first product from Silicon Valley rival Lucid Motors, led by Peter Rawlinson, who was the chief engineer of the original Model S. And versus the Model S it’s shaping up to have more interior space, better aerodynamics, a longer 517 miles of range, and quicker charging.
Lucid Air platform
Lucid Air inverter
Lucid Air battery pack
Although Tesla will almost certainly rise to that challenge with a potentially even quicker Model S Plaid that’s expected soon, who’s to say Lucid can’t go even faster with whatever follows the Lucid Air Dream Edition that’s arriving first?
We like where this rivalry is going.