What’s a few horsepower between friends? Or frenemies?
Lucid, the potential electric car maker shaping up to be a rival to Tesla, has fired another scud in the ongoing battle of impressive claims and counterclaims.
Remember that Lucid hasn’t actually delivered any cars yet. Deliveries will come “in the second half of 2021,” the company assures us on its website. A cynic might look at the calendar and point out that we are already in “the second half of 2021,” and that Tesla delivered just under half a million cars last year. So in terms of real cars on the road, Tesla still leads, but that may be because Tesla had a head start. Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Lucid, was formerly the VP of vehicle engineering at Tesla and chief engineer of the Model S, the very car against which the Lucid Air competes. Rawlinson left Tesla, joined Lucid and is now running that company and driving development of the Lucid Air sedan, which is the car we are talking about here.
The first two models of the Lucid Air—assuming it does come out this year—will be the Dream Edition Performance and the Dream Edition Range.
The dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Lucid Air Performance packs a claimed 1111 hp, 91 hp more than the Tesla Model S Plaid. It is claimed to go 475 miles on a charge, 70 miles more than the Tesla Model S Long Range. Torque is “1000-plus Nm” (Newton-meters), or 738 lb-ft. Those specs are good for 0-60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 168 mph, Lucid says, rolling on specially developed Pirelli P-Zeros: 245/35R-21s in front and 265/35R-21s rear. Nineteen-inch tires are optional. The Model S Plaid has a claimed top speed of 200 mph and a 0-60 time of 1.99 seconds, with a quarter mile in 9.23 seconds at 155 mph.
The dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Lucid Air Dream Edition Range, meanwhile, has a claimed 933 hp and the same 1000 Nm (738 lb-ft) of torque. While the Range model still gets to 60 mph in a claimed 2.7 seconds and to the same top speed of 168 mph, Lucid says the setup is good for “500-plus manufacturer’s projected EPA estimated range” when rolling on its own set of specially developed P-Zeros sized 245/45 front and rear on 19-inch wheels. Then there’s a big asterisk: “Actual range will be dependent on many factors, including battery age, driving habits, charging habits, temperatures, accessory use, and other factors… Final specifications will be confirmed prior to sale.”
Lucid went a little further about range claims in a press release: “Although the official EPA ranges are not yet available, Lucid recently completed a real-world evaluation drive…traveling 445 miles on a single charge.”
No mention was made of what speed those cars traveled during the test or whether either of them had the A/C on. Regardless, we have no reason to doubt any of Lucid’s claims about the Air. We’ve spoken with Peter Rawlinson many times and found him to be entirely credible, so if he says it’ll go 517 miles, then it probably will.
“As a technology company, we seek to exceed expectations and this is clearly evident with our Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance and Range variants,” said Rawlinson in a release. “I’m delighted to provide our Dream Edition customers with this additional choice and breadth of capabilities.”
Lucid says it will be “contacting Dream Edition reservation holders shortly to update their configuration with their preferred version, both of which remain at the fully equipped price of $169,000 ($161,500 after potential $7,500 US federal tax credit).”
Lucid further states that “deliveries of both versions of the fully reserved Lucid Air Dream Edition will begin later this year, with Lucid Air Grand Touring following shortly thereafter.”
Looking forward to driving one sometime before that.
What do you think about the Lucid Air, how it matches up against the Tesla Model S Plaid, or anything else in the rarified, high-end EV field? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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