Lucid debuts Air electric sedan at prices from $80,000


Lucid Motors have finally fully unveiled the production version of their first car: the Lucid Air, a luxury electric sedan designed to match any electric S-Class if it would be a Mercedes or Tesla back in the days.

Some data were already known since Lucid had technically trickled information before the planned debut date of the Air electric sedan.

The now presented luxury EV claims a range of 517 miles or 832 kilometres in the 588 kW ‘Grand Touring’ trim. Only the ‘Dream Edition’ is stronger with 794 kW, but the power reduces the range a little to 503 miles (809 kilometres). The lower-level Lucid Air ‘Tour’ with 456 kW and 653 kilometres EPA range is still among the two top models. There are no performance and range specifications yet for the basic model – called Lucid Air – which will be available at a later date.

The two top trims will be out for delivery in the second quarter of 2021. Lucid lists the Grand Touring model for at least 139,000 dollars (around 117,500 euros) with the Dream Edition coming in at 169,000 dollars, just under 143,000 euros. The Tour version, planned for Q4/2021, will cost 95,000 dollars, the equivalent of 80,300 euros. For the Air, which is scheduled to follow in 2022, Lucid envisions an entry price of fewer than 80,000 dollars (67,600 euros). All prices are still before initial tax credit of $7,500 per vehicle.

According to the announcement, the electric vehicle will initially be available in North America in the four model series mentioned above. Customers in the US and Canada may now place a reservation, but Lucid mentions “selected countries in Europe and the Middle East” as being able to do so too. Delivery dates, prices and details of direct sales and service centres in these other markets will follow later.

The largest battery installed in the Grand Touring and Dream Edition has the previously stated capacity of 113 kWh. At the premiere, the company did not make any statements about the smaller battery of the other two versions.

Incidentally, the 503-mile range of the Dream Edition is only valid with the standard 19-inch rims. With the optional 21-inch rims, Lucid states the range as 465 miles, or 748 kilometres. The company wants to achieve this high range with a “custom Battery Management System, clever cell packaging, and world-class energy density”. In the past ten years, the company has covered more than 32 million kilometres in real-world tests, according to Lucid.

The 900-volt system is to make recharging exceptionally fast. Lucid does not mention charging capacity in the message, only charging times. At a corresponding DC pillar, it should be possible to restore electricity for up to 20 miles (32.2 kilometres) in just one minute. A 20-minute charge stop is supposed to recharge electricity for 300 miles (482 kilometres). The charging times should apply to the sizeable 113-kWh battery; other data has not yet been published by Lucid. For AC charging, there is a bidirectional onboard charger with 19.2 kW.

To talk range, there is aerodynamics and Lucid claims a cW-value of 0.21, which makes the Air the most aerodynamic luxury car in the world according to the company.

The body design is hardly surprising; it mostly corresponds to the prototypes already shown in 2017. A continuous strip of lights at the front and the very elongated sideline dominate. Minor changes between the series version and the show cars of that time are hardly noticeable.

However, there are some changes in the interior compared to previous versions. The continuous and curved 34-inch display of the instrument cluster has made it into series production – including the retractable touchscreen underneath for the air conditioning and other functions. However, the lounge-like seats in the rear of the luxury sedan are more conventional than previously envisioned, according to the images now published.

Lucid cooperates with Amazon for the infotainment system. The driver should be able to control the navigation, telephony and air conditioning via Alexa, as well as smart home applications. Other functions are to be added via over-the-air updates.

“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,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors at the virtual launch in the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters. Derek Jenkins, Vice President of Design, added: “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.”

The next year will show whether the Lucid Air will keep all these promises in initial tests. Provided that Lucid brings the first two versions of its luxury sedan to the road in spring 2021 as announced. Construction of the plant in Casa Grande in the US state of Arizona did not begin until December 2019. In Peter Hochholdinger, however, the company has a production manager in its ranks who is very familiar with tight production start-ups. “We’re building a brand-new factory to produce the world’s first true luxury EV,” said the former Tesla production manager back in June. “That requires an incredible amount of effort and planning, with our ‘just-in-time’ model continuing to serve us well as we enter this critical home stretch.”

With reporting from Sebastian Schaal., (with videos)


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