And with Lucid EVs set to arrive in the UK in the next few months, it’s time to get yourself acquainted with this seriously-impressive market disruptor.
First thing’s first - who is Lucid, and why should you care?
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, northern California, USA, Lucid has some serious big-hitters behind it.
British engineer Peter Rawlinson is CEO, someone who made a name for himself working at both Jaguar and Lotus before being snapped up by Tesla in 2009, where he served as Vice President of Vehicle Engineering and had a huge influence in the creation of the Tesla Model S.
Derek Jenkins is Senior Vice President of Design and Brand, and arrived at Lucid having been Director of Design at Mazda North America. Jenkins had a big hand in creating the 2016 Mazda MX-5 roadster.
Meanwhile Michael Bell, Senior Vice President of Digital at Lucid, spent 16 years working at Apple and played significant roles in the development of iPhone, iMac, AirPort, and Apple TV products.
So with all that nous behind the scenes, you can see that Lucid means business. And the firm appears to be holding plenty of cards when it comes to its battery technology - certainly enough to make Tesla nervous.
Lucid has a devoted ‘technology unit’, which it calls ‘Atieva’, and which makes the battery pack that goes into Lucid cars. It’s a pack that’s been used extensively in the Formula E racing series and which has stood up to the challenges posed by thermal management and structural performance without any ‘significant degradation’, says Lucid.
And it’s this battery tech that features prominently in the ‘Lucid Air’, the manufacturer’s first proper production car and which can already be reserved via the Lucid website if you live here in the UK.
Lucid calls the Air the ‘longest range, fastest charging luxury electric car in the world’. Those are bold claims for a firm just entering the EV arena. But if the specs stack up, then the Air really will be a game changer.
There will be a few different Air models up for grabs. The entry level for leasing or owning will be the ‘Air Pure’, which boasts power of 480 hp and a range of 406 miles between charges. That’s already on a par with the Mercedes-Benz EQE. Want to know more about EV range? Take a quick look at our electric car range guid to help put your range anxiety at ease.
Meanwhile the ‘Air Dream Edition Performance’ that sits at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Air Pure is a completely different beast.
Here the range shoots up to 471 miles while the power sky-rockets to 1,111 hp. This is a car that’ll shift from 0-60mph in just 2.5 seconds, which is almost as quick as the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport.
The ‘Air Dream Edition’, which sits a rung down from the ‘Dream Edition Performance’, has slightly less power, at 922 hp, but instead has a range of 520 miles before you need to stop and replenish the battery. As Lucid rightly points out, there’s no other EV that comes close to that figure at present, with the Mercede-Benz EQS hitting a range of 485 miles between top-ups.
With 300kW peak charging power, you can put 300 miles worth of juice in the Lucid Air’s battery - which is as big as 118 kWh in the high performance models - in 20 minutes. Not sure how that translates? We can run you through what kW and kWh really means.
And state-of-the-art, lidar-based driver assistance systems and semi-autonomous driving are, of course, all part of the Lucid experience.
How much does the base Lucid Air Pure cost? It’s retailing in America for $77,400, the equivalent of around £62,000. The Air Dream Edition Performance, meanwhile, will set you back a cool £137,723.
That’s a good chunk of change more than the £120,000, Tesla Model S Plaid - though only time will reveal what the Lucid models will really cost when they land in Blighty.
And what does the Lucid Air look like? Pretty damned good in our eyes, with its sculpted bonnet, razor-sharp rear, and a front end that’s highly distinctive.
Like the Tesla, the Lucid Air is also a do-it-all, practical, every-day family car, with seating for five people and a combined 658 litres of luggage space.
A Lucid spokesperson says:
“Electric has never looked so good. Freed from the rules of traditional automotive design, Air redefines shape, proportion, and dimension of a luxury sedan – while imbuing thoughtful craftsmanship into every detail.”
We’ll be bringing you updates about the Lucid Air as and when they drop - so watch this space.
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