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The Lucid Air: A potential Tesla killer?

Lately, it seems like there have been a stream of new-fangled EV brands cropping up, which each one of them claiming to have made a car with the longest range, or the quickest acceleration times, the highest top speed, or the fastest lap times. You get the drift. Even some existing carmakers have started announcing plans to produce the next revolution of EV drivetrains or supercars. But one company has stood out to me more than most. That company, is Lucid Motors.

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

In the last few weeks, Lucid Motors has been making waves in the motoring industry. Since their first announcement back in 2016, the Californian company has coined the Lucid Air as the luxury EV of the future. And in the past 3 or so years, we’ve seen a few videos and stills of test mules performing on track, and stunning road-going pre-production cars that seem a little too good to be true.

Lucid Air (Side View)

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

But with the official unveiling of the Lucid Air, it seems that Lucid is close to delivering on their promise to set the standard for the luxury EV segment. And since the chief engineer, Peter Rawlinson, was the chief engineer of the Tesla Model S as well, it’s a safe bet that this car will measure up too.

Lucid Air (Top View)

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

Externally, the car is devoid of any large grilles or intakes, with just a handful of vents that channel air across the bodywork to improve its aerodynamics. And at a rated drag coefficient of just 0.21Cd, I can see why so much emphasis has been placed on keeping the car’s contours smooth.

Lucid Air (Side View)

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

The level of detail that goes into this car is incredible. From the Lucid Space Concept that expands the cabin space, to the Clamshell style hood and trunk that is both good looking and functional. Even the headlights have been engineered, with a new lamp design that utilises a micro lens array which uses less energy but maintains the sleek blade-like design.

Lucid Air (Interior - Front Seat)

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

The passenger compartments of the Lucid Air are divided into two zones. The front cabin uses darker leather and interior trims to exemplify the sporty nature of the car, while the rear seats are finished in a lighter shade to enhance the comfort of the rear passengers.

Lucid Air (Interior - Driver's Seat)

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

The driver’s display is comprised of three screens, consisting of a central gauge cluster, a touchscreen infotainment display, and a third screen nestled between the gauge cluster and the door. And there is even another screen set lower on the center stack that can be hidden to reveal some cabin storage beneath. A bit of a tech overload, but it’s a welcome change. And mighty impressive to watch.

Lucid Air (Interior - Front Seat)

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

The Grand Touring and Touring models come with a massive glass canopy. And it really is massive. A single pane of glass encompasses the entire front of the cabin from the windshield all the way up to the sunroof. It really isn’t much of a stretch to call it a glass canopy. Drivers in the front would really have to crane their necks backwards to even get a glimpse of the roof pillars.

Lucid Air (Interior - Back Seat)

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

Rear passengers also get a glass dome to gaze up at the sky and bask in the airy cabin (befitting of the “Air” namesake). And the sunroof panels will also have electromagnetic tinting, which can cut out the glare by turning almost opaque.

Image Source: Autoblog

To maximise cabin and interior space, Lucid has dropped in their compact, powerful motor that weighs just 74 kilograms but produces up to 670 horsepower. Comparatively, other existing EVs use motors that are far less power dense. As a result of the increased space, the front trunk has 202 liters while the trunk has 456. But if buyers opt for the executive reclining bucket style seats, that rear trunk capacity shrinks rather considerably. But at the expense of rear seat comfort, it’s a worthy trade in my opinion.

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

In the Dream Edition, the Lucid Air will hit 0-60mp/h in just 2.5 seconds, and it’ll clear the quarter mile in just 9.9 seconds. The Dream Edition will have 503 miles of range on a full charge, while the Grand Touring will have up to 517 miles, 28% higher than the 402 mi range (647 km) of the Tesla Model S. And the Touring model will have 406 miles. The Lucid can be charged on the Electrify America Network, which provides users with fast charging capability nationwide. All models are capable of 300kW peak charging, which is the highest in the industry.

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

The Lucid Air will be offered in 4 different trims. A special launch variant called the dream edition, the Grand Touring model, a Touring model and a standard lucid Air is coming in 2022. Powertrains for the various models are as follows: 620 horsepower for the Touring, 800 for the Grand Touring, and 1080hp for the Dream Edition.

Image Source: ©2020 Lucid

The Dream Edition Air will hit showroom floors in Spring of 2021, while the other models will follow suit in the following seasons. If Lucid manages to pull this off, the Lucid Air will be the fastest EV, the EV with the longest range, and most luxurious EV. And Tesla will really have their work cut out for them. But competition breeds change and improvement. So maybe that’s a good thing.


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