Standard-Setting Luxury EV Sedan Due in Spring
Timing is everything, so says the cliché. If there’s a perfect time to introduce a new vehicle, it is probably not in the middle of a pandemic that has wreaked physical and economic havoc on our society. Yet, as the other cliché goes, the show must go on. Thus, this week Lucid Motors finished the introduction of its Lucid Air luxury sedan, though the car will not go on sale until next spring.
We say “finished as the introduction” as the company has been dribbling out the tantalizing and significant details of the car during the past several weeks, which we’ve reported on. The reveal was mostly virtual, given the constraints of the pandemic, a contrast with the rock concert-like recent reveals of Tesla products. Of course, Lucid lacks a rock star-like leader like Elon Musk, but that may not be a bad thing. What Lucid has is solid automotive engineers who’ve been working during the past five years to create the 2021 Lucid Air.
The production intent Air Dream Edition that was featured brings together a list of superlatives that mark the Air as one of the leading electric cars—if it were on the market today. We’ll have to see what this fast-moving market looks like when the Lucid Air rolls off the production line of the company’s brand-new plant in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Any car company looking to top the Air will have to aim pretty high. The marks set by the first edition include:
- 1000+ horsepower from three electric motors
- Quarter mile acceleration of 9.9 seconds
- 517-mile range on a full charge from a 113 kilowatt-hour battery pack
- Space utilization that packages a full-size interior in a midsize exterior
- The most aerodynamic luxury sedan (drag coefficient of 0.21)
- Charging capability that can add up to 20 miles per minute
- A sophisticated ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) that uses 32 sensors
- Amazon’s Alexa natively embedded in the car to enable voice commands over a variety of functions
We’ll look at these in more detail below, but it’s an impressive list. All the more impressive is how much of the technology in the car was developed in-house at Lucid. Of course, Lucid also teased an upcoming SUV, which will put it closer to the heart of the current market.
The Four Trim/Two-Year Roll Out
Lucid is following the standard playbook—bringing out a loaded, performance-oriented, expensive, exclusive model as its initial foray into the auto world. Following will be stair steps down in performance, features and price. Here’s the sequence laid out by CEO/CTO Peter Rawlinson.
- The Air Dream Edition at $169.000 with the full 1080-horsepower (hp), a top speed of 168 mph, a range of 465 or 503 miles depending on the wheel choice and a charging capability of adding 300 miles in 20 minutes. It will be available in limited numbers (Lucid didn’t specify how many) starting in spring 2021.
- The Air Grand Touring model at $139,000 will have 800 hp, a top speed of 133 mph, a range of 517 miles (with 19-inch AeroRange wheel/tire package) and charging capabilities similar to the Dream model. It is due to arrive soon after the Air Dream Editions hit.
- The Air Touring model will be the first to dip below the $100,000 mark, retailing at $95,000. It will have 620 hp, a range of 406 miles with the referenced wheel/tire combo and similar charging capabilities. It is expected the first quarter of 2021.
- Finally, the base Air model will arrive in 2022. Its price will be below $80,000, but other than the fast-charging capabilities, Lucid is not divulging any of the equipment or performance levels.
The 21-inch wheels of the Dream Edition will reduce its range somewhat, but up the aggressive look of what promises to be one of the most powerful production cars (not just Evs) on the market. The Lucid Motors website has more details of the various trims for the different models. The company is collecting $1,000 refundable reservations for the second and third models. The Dream Edition requires a $7,500 deposit. Using a direct-sales model like Tesla, Lucid plans to have 20 Studios (its name for its dealership, which are envisioned as more of a homelike atmosphere as opposed to a showroom) open by the end of 2021, so it will rely on online ordering and configuration. Service centers will be aligned with the Studios. U.S. sales will comes first, followed by the EU and Middle East. To make the spring delivery date for the first models, production in their new Casa Grande, Arizona, plant will begin soon, according to Lucid.
The Feature List
While new models and upgrades of existing ones can be expected between now and the spring 2021 arrival of the Lucid Air, for now its feature mark it as a new benchmark for production electric cars. Here’s a brief rundown of the key elements that stand out.
In spite of an emphasis on big numbers (horsepower, range and charging capability), Rawlinson said “efficiency” was the hallmark of the Lucid Air. He built his case around the company’s in-house development of miniaturized, but powerful electric motors and a drivetrain that allowed the in-house design of a platform that maximizes interior space in a relatively compact exterior package. That design efficiency results in the Lucid’s ability to haul items as long as a surfboard with a folded down rear seat and also claim a frunk (front storage compartment) larger than any of its current competitors.
The technical efficiency extends to the batteries, where Lucid has documented 517 miles of range from a 113 kilowatt-hour pack, compared to the 402-mile range of the Tesla Model S’ 100 kWh pack. Its battery pack development was sped up by involvement in the Formula E electric race, in which Lucid supplied batteries for all of the cars for the past two race seasons. Aerodynamics also help since the Air has a coefficient of drag of 0.21, which is closer to what is found on concept cars.
In spite of their small size, the motors are capable of delivering 1,080 hp for the top-end Air model with less powerful versions in other models. As announced this week, Lucid confirmed the car could turn in a quarter-mile time of 9.9 seconds, which is a record for a production electric car.
Another factor of efficiency is found in the electrical system, which Lucid said was a 900-volt system that enables fast-charging for all of its models. All Lucid Air models will be able to add up to 300 miles of range with a 20-minute fast charge.
As befits an electric luxury car, the Air will have a full complement of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), utilizing 32 separate sensors. Dubbed the Lucid DreamDrive system, it covers vision, radar and ultrasonics, plus the world’s first standard high-resolution lidar in an EV, all working alongside the standard driver monitoring system and geo-fenced high-definition mapping to provide up to Level 2 and Level 3 driving assistance.
Next step will be getting behind the wheel of an Air to validate all of these claims.
The post News: Lucid Motors Finally Unveils the Whole Lucid Air Package first appeared on Clean Fleet Report.