Published on September 9th, 2020 |
by Loren McDonald
September 9th, 2020 by Loren McDonald
In a global launch event from Lucid Motors headquarters and after about 6 weeks of press announcements outlining virtually every detail of the Lucid Air, the company finally shared the price of the luxury-performance all-electric sedan.
The Lucid Air Grand Tour edition, the version with the highly promoted 517 miles of EPA range and 800 horsepower, will cost $139,000.
Based on the comment “Well above $100,000,” which Lucid Motors CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson shared with me in a one-on-one interview a few weeks ago, I had guessed a price of $135,000 to $140,000. So, I wasn’t surprised by the $139,000 price tag.
The Air Dream Edition, which has 1,080 horsepower and recently clocked a 9.9 second quarter mile, will set you back $169,000. On the low end, a base Air with an as of yet unannounced range or battery pack size, will start at $80,000. Based on the price-to-range ratio of the other versions of the Air, I would expect an EPA range of around 350 miles.
Below is a detailed chart of the prices, specifications, and availability of each of the four versions and configurations of the Air. Details on the lowest-cost base Air will be announced closer to the commercial availability of that model at some point in 2022.
“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 & CTO, Lucid Motors
The Lucid Air clearly isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile. One obvious giveaway is the Air surrounded by private jets in one of the promotional videos. While comparisons to the Tesla Model S will run rampant, Rawlinson told me that the primary target market is prospective buyers of the fully loaded Mercedes-Benz S-Class. A Mercedes-Benz AMG S 63 starts at nearly $162,000 and an S 560 will run you about $105,000. The Air is designed as a true luxury executive car for those who may prefer to fly in private jets, or at least those who perhaps pay cash for first class seats instead of waiting for the upgrades.
“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,” said Derek Jenkins, VP of Design, Lucid Motors.
As shared in my earlier article on the Air, “Lucid Air’s Electric Drivetrain Powers 9.9 Second Quarter-Mile Time,” Rawlinson’s goal for the Air was to make one of the best sedans period, engineering the vehicle from the ground up with a focus on efficiency and miniaturization. The clean-sheet architecture of the Air, which the company calls the Lucid Electric Advanced Platform (LEAP), is an electric drivetrain designed to optimize interior cabin space that was developed completely in-house.
I had a chance to sit in one of the Air prototypes at Lucid’s headquarters, and as the image above suggests, it has plenty of legroom, and what you would expect in an executive luxury car. I can definitely see the Air eventually becoming a popular high-end choice for black-car services. If, like me, your first thought was that the Air is designed for the high-end market in China, Rawlinson told me that the plan is to eventually introduce the car in China but that the initial market is North America.
And speaking of roominess, Lucid claims to have the largest frunk of any electric car to date and has bi-level storage capabilities in both front and rear compartments.
While touring Lucid’s HQ assembly area, my guide referred to Tesla models as being in the premium segment versus the luxury category that Lucid is targeting. As someone on my second Model S, I completely agree with this assessment. Further, I often read comments that Tesla interiors don’t match true luxury cars like those from Mercedes — it is a common perception.
But while comparisons with the Model S will persist, between the performance specifications, interior spaciousness and materials, Lucid executives are instead setting the competitive benchmark against the best luxury cars on the market.
On that last point and the interior, I personally felt it was a nice step up from my Model S, but I admit to not being truly “wowed.” The Lucid Air Dream Edition interior, however, will feature Nappa grain Bridge of Weir leather throughout, with silvered Eucalyptus wood. Maybe it is was just me and my old-school sense of luxury, or maybe it was the version I sat in, but perhaps I would be much more impressed seeing the interior of the Dream Edition.
“The Lucid brand was created with a progressive, post-luxury mindset ideally suited to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the most progressive buyers. We are heading into a future where conscious consumers see sustainability, advanced design, and technical innovation as equally important to more traditional luxury values of quality and craftsmanship,” said Jenkins. “We consider Lucid to be at the forefront in a shift in consumer preferences toward new brands that offer direct relationships alongside products featuring entirely new levels of technology, performance, and design.”
What I saw and felt in not being totally “blown away” is clearly a result of Jenkins’ design vision as outlined in his press release quote above. Much of this comes from his belief that the definition of luxury is changing and that the new luxury buyer places as much importance on technology and performance as they do opulent interiors.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a stack of press releases from automakers, you’ve probably already heard about many of the features and performance metrics of the Lucid Air. But the following is a brief recap of key features and specifications, with links to past CleanTechnica articles or Lucid press releases:
Range and Acceleration: With its 1,080 horsepower from a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive architecture, the Lucid Air Dream Edition hit quarter-mile times as quick as 9.9 seconds consistently on multiple runs. And the Lucid Air Grand Touring model achieved 517 miles of EPA range on a single charge in private tests.
Super-Fast Fast Charging: According to Lucid, with the capability to charge at rates of up to 20 miles per minute when connected to a DC Fast Charging network, the Air will be the fastest charging electric vehicle ever offered. (Note that Lucid is partnering with Electrify America.) For owners charging their Lucid Air in real-world conditions on the road, that can translate into 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes of charging.
113 kWh Battery Packs: Lucid Motors developed its 113 kWh extended-range battery pack beginning 10 years ago when the company was founded as Atieva. It has now logged more than 20 million miles of real-world testing as the sole supplier to the Formula E racing series. Battery cells are supplied by LG Chem.
The Most Aerodynamic Luxury Car in the World: The Lucid Air is apparently the world’s most aero-efficient luxury car, with tests completed at Windshear’s advanced rolling-road wind tunnel verifying a coefficient of drag of 0.21.
34-inch curved Glass Cockpit 5K: The Air incorporates a 34-inch curved Glass Cockpit 5K display that sits above the dashboard.
In addition, a retractable central Pilot Panel sits in close reach of the driver and passenger for additional control of the car’s systems and functions. Several tactile, physical controls are also used in the Air to supplement the digital displays, including ribbed turbines for steering wheel functions, a volume control roller, and alloy toggle switches for tuning climate settings.
ADAS + DMS: The Lucid Air’s advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS), which Lucid calls “DreamDrive,” combines a comprehensive sensor suite with a Driver Monitoring System (DMS), all standard on the Lucid Air Dream Edition. Lucid says it is “the first system of its kind to offer 32 sensors, covering vision, radar and ultrasonics, plus the world’s first standard high-resolution LIDAR in an EV, all working alongside the standard DMS and geo-fenced HD mapping to provide the safest possible approach to Level 2 and Level 3 driver assistance technologies.”
Advanced Lighting Technology: Developed entirely in-house, Lucid Air’s headlamps use a Micro Lens Array system comprised of thousands of “light channels.” Lucid claims this technology provides the brightest, most precise, and most advanced lighting system ever.
Lucid Air Reservations, Production, and Availability
Unsurprisingly, the most expensive versions of the Air — the Dream Edition and Grand Tour edition — will be available first in Q2 of 2021. They will be followed by the Air Touring in Q4 2021, and finally the base Air sometime in 2022. Interested customers in the US and Canada, as well as in select countries in Europe and the Middle East, can make a reservation for the Lucid Air with a $1,000 deposit or $7,500 for the limited production Dream Edition.
By the end of 2021, you will also be able to view the Air at one of 9 Lucid Studios that are expected to open around the US by the end of 2020. The Studio at Lucid 1 (Lucid’s Newark, California, headquarters) is open now, with additional locations opening in the coming quarter, including in Beverly Hills. In total, 20 should be open by the end of 2021.
According to Lucid, European and Middle East market delivery dates, pricing, and sales and service center details will be announced at a later date.
Production at the Lucid Motors factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, will begin in the next few months, with deliveries of the Lucid Air to North American customers beginning in spring of 2021.
Lucid SUV Teased
Not much has been shared about Lucid’s planned SUV, and it as of yet does not have a name. It is currently called Project Gravity. We do know it will be built on the LEAP platform, the same that underpins the Air, and with a current goal to bring it to market in 2023. Based on the size and specifications of its sister sedan, I would expect the Lucid SUV to go head-to-head with the Rivian R1S, the planned Escalade-sized electric SUV from Cadillac (also without a name, at least publicly), as well as large gasoline-powered SUVs such as the Range Rover from Land Rover.
The reveal event was a fitting way to end World EV Day, with the launch of a world-beating electric luxury sedan that has more range than most fossil fuel vehicles, that charges quickly, and that is quicker than any sedan — electric or gas powered. The Lucid team led by CEO Tomlinson set out to build not just the best electric sedan, but the best sedan period, and the Air certainly makes a compelling case for that status.
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