Wannabe Tesla rival Lucid Motors claims its new Air will be able to top 235 mph and charge to 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes.
Other impressive numbers include a potential range of 517 miles, an insane power output of 1080 hp, a quarter-mile dash of 9.9 seconds, and a 0-60 mph sprint of 2.5 seconds. These figures are all for the top-of-the-range $169,000 Dream Edition, but access to the Air will start at a much more affordable $80,000.
Even the entry-level Air packs 400 hp and 240 miles of range and, as you rise up the ranks, price and performance increases proportionally. The $95,000 Touring model offers 620 hp and over 400 miles, while the $139,000 Grand Touring gives you 800 hp and 517 miles on a charge.
Penned by former Mazda designer Derek Jenkins, the Air is pretty distinctive. It’s not quite a sedan and not quite a hatch either. Somehow it reminds us of a sleeker, lower Renault Vel Satis. And sleek it is, the Air is the most aerodynamic luxury car to go in to production with a drag coefficient of just 0.21 (narrowly beating the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class). The aero efficiency is what led to the car’s name and also contributes to its impressive range.
The cabin is, er, airy, with plenty of space for all, whether you configure the car with four seats or five. Eucalyptus wood and leather are lavished everywhere, while the whole of the dash is dominated by a 34-inch curved 5K digital display. Unlike a Tesla there are also physical switches for climate control, audio volume and other key features. Amazon Alexa is built-in to handle voice controls.
Lucid employs 32 sensors including cameras, radar, LIDAR and ultrasonics to power its Dream Drive advanced driver-assistance system. Currently able to handle Level 2 and 3 autonomous driving, Lucid says over the air updates will be able to advance the system further in the future.
Lucid is already taking pre-orders for the Air and customers can configure and order online or visit one of 21 studios to design their cars using 4K virtual reality technology. The company’s Arizona factory will begin building customer cars in Spring 2021. Could this be the machine to finally challenge Tesla’s crown?