Months after Lucid Motors began teasing its first production car, the Lucid Air was revealed for all the world to see at an event in San Francisco on December 14. Like the Tesla Model S it hopes to compete with, the Lucid Air is a fully featured sedan built from the ground up to be an electric car. It reportedly has a 100 kWh battery and a range of more than 300 miles. An optional 135 kWh battery will be good for 400 miles of driving, according to the company.
Lucid chief engineer Peter Rawlinson, who was personally involved in designing the Model S when he worked at Tesla, says the car has 1,000 horsepower from two electric motors and will accelerate to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. He also claims that the interior will have generous room for passengers, particularly in the rear, and will feel like “an executive jet.” Prices have not been released, but expect the Lucid Air to be priced similarly to the Model S.
The Lucid Air is said to be ready for autonomous driving thanks to a suite of sensors consisting of long and short range radar units, cameras, and Lidar. Many of its features can be operated via smartphone apps and the company says it will well suited to ride hailing or ride sharing use, although why the owner of a $100,000+ automobile would be anxious to immediately fill it with strangers and operate it like a private taxi remains unclear.
Lucid says it will begin producing cars in 2018 at a new factory it intends to build in Casa Grande, Arizona. Since the factory deal was just announced earlier this month, it seems foolishly optimistic to think a brand new factory is going to be constructed and start churning out cars in under 2 years time, but time will tell.
Lucid Motors claims the Air will be a sports car, a commuter car, a connected car, and a ride hailing car. In other words, it will be all things to all people. Perhaps, but as we reported recently, it is significantly smaller on the outside than the cars it expects to compete against, particularly the Tesla Model S, Mercedes S Class, Audi A8, and BMW 7 Series. People buy on emotion. Are people willing to plunk down $100,000 or more going to get emotional about a car that looks small compared to all the other cars in the lot at the country club? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.