It's been almost four years since Lucid first revealed a concept for its Air sedan, and while a lot has changed in the EV world since then, Lucid has managed to stick to most of its original claims for the car—and in many cases improved on them.
Perhaps what's most impressive has been Lucid's ability to stick to its promise of bringing the Air to market with a price tag in the $60,000 bracket, after incentives. The automaker on Wednesday announced that the Air will start from $77,400, which drops to $69,900 for those owners eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit on EVs.
This base Air won't enter production until 2022, but you can already reserve one on Lucid's website. And even though it's the entry point to the range, it will still come with an impressive 480 horsepower from a single-motor powertrain (dual-motor all-wheel drive will be available), and an estimated range of 406 miles. It will also come with a 34-inch curved screen as standard. Lucid's DreamDrive suite of electronic driver-assist features will be an option, however.
Lucid Air base model
Three additional Air models will sit above the base Air, all of them with standard dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrains. They are, in ascending order, the Air Touring, Air Grand Touring and Air Dream Edition. The Dream Edition arrives first, with Lucid promising the start of deliveries next spring. The Grand Touring will follow next summer, and the Touring in the later part of 2021. Full pricing is listed at the bottom of the article.
The Dream Edition is the model with 1,080 horsepower, generated by a dual-motor powertrain that Lucid has “miniaturized” to help boost interior space. Lucid said the Air Dream Edition will boast 26 cubic feet of storage, with almost 10 cubic feet coming from the front storage space (the so-called “frunk”) alone.
Those more interested in performance than storage should be more than satisfied with the car's numbers. Lucid said the Dream Edition will run the quarter-mile in a time of 9.9 seconds or less. That's hypercar territory. It's even close to the 9.65 seconds of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon drag special.
2021 Lucid Air
Lucid also said the performance will be repeatable and consistent, similar to the Porsche Taycan whose Turbo S variant runs the quarter-mile in the 10 seconds bracket. The fastest Tesla Model S at present is also in the 10s, though the upcoming Model S Plaid is expected to drop into the eights.
Maximum range in the Dream Edition is estimated at 503 miles. Those seeking ultimate range will need to opt for the Grand Touring, which promisees up to 517 miles of range and a still healthy 800 hp. And finally, the Touring will offer up 620 hp and 406 miles of range.
All Lucid models will run batteries of Lucid's own design. The batteries have been developed by Lucid's in-house technology division, Atieva, which has been supplying batteries to Formula E since 2018.
Lucid Project Gravity - from video clip during Air debut
The biggest battery will be 113 kilowatt-hours. Lucid said it could have gone with a bigger battery but focused on keeping things as small and tight as possible to improve interior space and keep weight and costs down. This will also benefit future models Lucid plans, like a planned SUV (concept shown above).
Underpinning the Air, and the future SUV, is a skateboard-style platform Lucid calls LEAP (Lucid Electric Advanced Platform). It stores the battery in the floor and features double wishbone suspension up front and a multi-link setup at the rear.
The platform also supports rapid charging, thanks to an electric system running at over 900 volts, or 100 more than the current best. We're talking the ability to recover 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes, when using a high-speed charger like those from Electrify America. That equates to 20 miles of range per minute of charging.
Lucid Air body structure and battery pack
Lucid's motors spin to 20,000 rpm and develop up to 650 hp, and three of them can be fitted in the Air. Each motor is combined with an inverter, transmission and differential to form a single drive unit that weighs just 163 pounds and is small enough to fit in a standard airline carry-on bag. Lucid said its drive unit is 45% lighter and up to 59% more powerful than the closest competitor.
“When the Lucid Air comes to market next spring, the world will see that we have developed the best electric vehicle technology possible by a wide margin and effectively created a new benchmark for EVs,” Peter Rawlinson, Lucid's CEO and CTO, said in a statement.
Full pricing for the Lucid Air is listed below:
Lucid Air - $77,400 - 480 horsepower - 406 miles of range
Lucid Air Touring - $95,000 - 620 horsepower - 406 miles of range
Lucid Air Grand Touring - $139,000 - 800 horsepower - 517 miles of range
Lucid Air Dream Edition - $169,000 - 1,080 horsepower - 503 miles of range