The production version of the Lucid Air EV will arrive early next year, setting new records for the sector for horsepower, range, and charging time.
Lucid revealed the final production version of its Air all-electric sedan during a digital event late Wednesday. After slowing dripping out information on the big four-door over the summer, the company has now given us a clearer picture of what to expect when deliveries begin in early 2021.
The term “Tesla fighter” gets thrown around a lot in the EV space, but the Lucid Air could be the closest yet. The similarities are plenty: both companies are relatively new, both vehicles are sedans, and both aim for a mix of high performance and long range at a similar starting sticker.
Base model starts under $80,000
The biggest takeaway from Wednesday’s presentation was a list of numbers we didn’t have before: pricing. The good news is that the Air will start right around the Tesla Model S range. Lucid is targeting “below $80,000”, which drops the entry-level Air right above the $74,990 Model S Long Range Plus. Both prices exclude any federal tax credits.
This base-model Air won’t arrive until late 2022, however. The initial launch next spring will begin at the other end of the spectrum, with the Air Dream Edition. This early-adopter model packs in everything Lucid has worked on, including the top-spec, 1,080-horsepower drivetrain and up to 503 miles of range, depending on wheel choice. Dream Edition buyers can spec their Air in one of three colours: white, black, and a trim-exclusive Eureka Gold. Nappa leather and Eucalyptus wood await within, plus the requisite special badging to mark out the limited edition.
SEE ALSO: 5 Things I Learned Living With a Porsche Taycan Turbo for a Week
Filling the $90k gap between base and Dream Edition are two more trims. The Air Touring will drop late next year, starting at $95,000. Touring models make do with 620 horsepower, which is still enough muscle to push the Air to a quarter-mile time of 11.4 seconds at 123 mph. Meanwhile the Grand Touring model, which will also be available at launch early next year, starts at $139,000. It features an 800-horsepower version of the drivetrain, dropping 0–60 mph in three seconds flat, with a quarter-mile time of 10.8 seconds.
Over 510 miles on a single charge*
Yes, there’s an asterisk. Like every other EV out there—and, to be fair, every gas-engined car too—the Lucid Air will feature different ranges based on trim level. Earlier this summer the company announced an independent test had achieved 517 miles on a single charge, according to EPA testing procedures. Now we know that number applies to the $139,000 Grand Touring trim, specifically on the 19-inch “AeroRange” wheels.
The limited edition Dream Edition isn’t far behind, slotting in at 503 miles on the same wheels, or 465 on its unique 21-inchers. The Touring model sits below that, at a still-impressive 406 miles on a charge.
The longest-range models will make use of Lucid’s 113-kWh battery pack, but lower trims will likely use smaller versions.
Crucially, all Lucid Air models, including the base model, will feature the same fast-charging abilities. Using DC Fast Charging, Lucid claims the Air can recoup up to 20 miles of range per minute, which could translate to 300 miles of range in 20 minutes in real-world conditions.
A look all its own
We’ve gone this long without talking about the exterior of the Air. That’s because, well, we’ve had years with it. It remains unique, a long, low, and wide design with a pushed-back rear section. The detailing on this final production version is clean and minimal, and the huge optional glass canopy affords it massive amounts of natural light. Lucid says the Air sits between the Model S and Mercedes-Benz S-Class in terms of exterior dimensions, but it’s more like the latter for interior space.
That outer shape is super-slippery too, with a low drag coefficient of just 0.21. Porsche’s Taycan, one of the most aero-efficient designs on the road today, boasts a 0.22 stat.
An enormous 34-inch curved glass display—also Taycan-esque—pulls double duty as central infotainment screen and instrument panel. Another display in the center console also offers control over the Air’s various features. Built-in Amazon Alexa integration handles voice controls for things like the climate control.
It wouldn’t be a high-tech EV without talk of driver assistance systems. Lucid’s own suite, dubbed DreamDrive, uses no less than 32 sensors around the car to provide Level 2 semi-autonomous support. An available package also preps the Air for future Level 3 capabilities.
Availability and pre-order info
Interested buyers can now pre-order the Air on the Lucid website. The Dream Edition requires a $7,500 refundable deposit; all other trims are $1,000.
Deliveries are set to begin spring of next year. Between now and the end of 2021, Lucid is aiming to have 20 Studios and Service Centers throughout Canada and the US.
What do you think? Is this long-distance EV the next salvo in the battery battle? Let us know in the comments section.