Lucid airs details of upcoming EV

11 September 2020

11 September 2020

Lucid Motors has unveiled the production version of the ‘world’s most powerful and efficient luxury electric sedan.’ Revealed in its online ‘Dream Ahead’ event, the Californian startup looks to raise the bar with its debut model.

The Lucid Air promises rapid charging times, breathtaking speed and an impressive range. On sale from 2021, the upcoming battery-electric vehicle (BEV) will rival Tesla’s Model S, as well as other luxury BEVs like the Audi e-Tron and the Jaguar I-Pace.

Benchmark BEV

The dual-motor, all-wheel-drive architecture produces some 1,080 horsepower. This means the Lucid Air can cover a quarter-mile in as little as 9.9 seconds, making it the only electric sedan capable of doing the distance in under 10 seconds. The model goes from 0 to 60mph (96kmh) in 2.5 seconds, clocking in a top speed of 168mph.

But these numbers seem somehow insignificant when considering the car’s charging time. Lucid does not pull any punches in calling the Air the ‘world’s fastest charging EV.’ It will be capable of charging rates of up to 20 miles per minute when connected to a DC fast-charging network. ‘For owners charging their Lucid Air in real-world conditions on the road, that can translate into 300 miles (482km) of range in just 20 minutes of charging,’ the startup said. To put this into perspective, the Audi e-Tron Sportback 55 can recover up to 80% of its roughly 280-mile range (WLTP) in around 40 minutes at a 150kW charge point.

The Air boasts an estimated EPA range of 517 miles (832km) on a single charge. The compact 113kWh battery packs are the result of 10 years of experience and 20 million miles of real-world testing. The model even claims the top spot as the world’s most aero-efficient luxury car. Following tests at Windshear’s rolling-road wind tunnel, it was confirmed the Lucid Air has a drag coefficient of 0.21.

Leaping forward

Miniaturisation looks to be a core concept in the development of the BEV’s drivetrain, which falls under the umbrella of the startup’s Space Concept, which is in turn central to the Lucid Electric Advanced Platform (LEAP). This architecture defines not only the Air, but also other upcoming Lucid vehicles. This approach not only means more power within less space but also a spacious interior, which features a 34-inch curved glass cockpit 5K display, a retractable pilot panel and Alexa voice control.

‘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,’ said CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson. ‘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.’

‘With the 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,’ Rawlinson added.

While all these advances prove what an EV can achieve, it is not attainable for consumers seeking an affordable EV. With the basic model starting at around $80,000 (roughly €67,000), and the Dream Edition costing $169,000, it cannot really be considered an entry-level BEV. However, as manufacturers push the limits of what is possible, it should not be too long before more EVs benefit from Lucid’s advanced technology.