Tesla Killer? EV Startup Lucid Unveils Air Sedan To Battle Tesla Model S

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Electric vehicle (EV) startup Lucid Motors on Wednesday unveiled the final production version of its “Lucid Air” all-electric, four-door luxury sedan built to exceed the Tesla Model S.

Scheduled for production in 2021, the Lucid Air is a captivating EV sporting an elegant aerodynamic shell designed to be easier on the eyes than the Tesla Model S. It was designed to compete against the Tesla Model S, which was introduced in 2012, as well as big-name European brands such as Porsche and BMW new to the luxury high-end EV market.

Lucid Motors asserts its new machine is the fastest, longest-ranged and fastest-charging production EV currently on the market.

“This has never been done before,” said CEO Peter Rawlinson, who was chief engineer for the Model S as a Tesla vice president from 2009 to 2012. “An electric car which has got 500 mile range and is the fastest thing on the planet.”

The Lucid Air can run a quarter mile in 9.9 seconds, brags Rawlinson, which would make it the fastest EV on the market. Tesla’s fastest EV takes 10.4 seconds to cover the same distance.

The Lucid Air carries a 400 horsepower (hp) front motor and a 600 hp rear motor for a combined 1,000 hp. Both motors allow the Lucid Air to zoom to a software-limited top speed of 349 km/h (217 mph). In July 2017, a special version of the Lucid Air with a disabled speed limiter roared to 378 km/h (235 mph).

In addition, Lucid Air can charge 300 miles in 20 minutes thanks to its 900-volt architecture. Its highest charging rate is 2 miles per minute. Third party testing shows the Grand Touring version can achieve an EPA-rated range of 517 miles on a single charge compared to the 402 miles for a Tesla Model S.

“What we’ve got is a breakthrough in electric cars,” Rawlinson boasted ahead of the Ludid Air’s unveiling Wednesday. “That’s not just due to batteries, it’s due to a whole host of big picture thinking that’s added up.”

The starting price for the Lucid Air will range from $80,000 for a base model to $169,000 for the limited-volume “Dream Edition.” Lucid Motors plans to sell a Grand Touring version with a 517 mile range for $139,000. A Touring version with a 406 mile range will go for $95,000.

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