Lucid Motors, a company with the same intents of Tesla and Faraday Future has revealed its newest prototype of the Air, an electric sedan which has a 600 km(400-mile) range thanks to it’s 100kWh battery. It can do 0-97 km/h(0-60 mph) in less than 2.5 seconds, and was unveiled today at a special event in Fremont, California.
Of course, the DNA is also in the team, as Lucid’s founders include CTO Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla member, Derek Jenkins, previously Mazda and VW and BMW alum Brian Barron. Their plan is to build these electric vehicles starting in 2017 in Arizona, at a new factory that’s set to bring around 2,000 new jobs to the state according to the company and Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey.
Rawlinson previously noted that the cars would boast a combined equivalent of 1,000 horsepower across its electric motors, and that there would be a version made available with a max 600 km estimated range. The vehicle will also have some autonomous features, according to him.
Previous prototypes have been displayed with the signature black and white camouflage of vehicles worn prior to their official debut, but we did have an idea of what the Air would look like. It’s more impressive without the obfuscating cladding, however, if perhaps a bit more sober and sensible looking than its competition from Tesla, for instance.
That “executive” moniker that Lucid keeps throwing around with this vehicle is a pretty good indicator that you probably have to shell a lot of green. Over $100,000 is where Lucid is setting expectations for early releases, with lots of trims included.
Lucid also has a partnership in place with Samsung SDI, the battery making subsidiary of the Korean tech giant. Lucid has raised over $130 million across three rounds of venture funding, including from the Chinese Environmental Fund.
The sedan design language is also more pronounced in the Air’s design than it is with the Model S, which suggests it may be looking to compete more with vehicles like the BMW 7 series or even the Mercedes S-Class.
Lucid’s vehicle looks interesting, but it’s going to be a very different market in 2018 when this car launches, with EVs from many of the major brands joining the fray at around the same time. The challenge will be getting to the starting line, but new players still might have some advantages over legacy automakers when it comes to electric, even if the established brands are accelerating their EV development.