After we rode in the Lucid Air prototype electric vehicle last month, we learned the upcoming sedan almost assuredly has Tesla beat in the driving range game. Now, Lucid has released details on the Air’s drivetrain, and we have even more reason to be excited about the forthcoming EV ahead of the production model’s debut on September 9.
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The Lucid Air produces up to 1,080 hp from its two electric motors. That amount of thrust allows the all-wheel-drive Air to complete the quarter mile in as little as 9.9 seconds, per the automaker. If accurate, that’s 0.7 second quicker than the time we recorded for a Tesla Model S Performance with the Raven powertrain and 0.6 second quicker than a 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S. As we learned from our first ride, the Air’s big battery pack affords it an estimated driving range of 517 miles on a full charge—115 miles more than the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus and 314 miles better than the most efficient 2020 Porsche Taycan.
The Air’s in-house-developed permanent magnet electric motor drive units are also lighter and more compact than those of its closest competitor, according to Lucid. Presumably, that’s a jab at the Tesla Model S. The drive units combine an electric motor, inverter, transmission, and differential into a package that can reportedly fit inside of a carry-on roller bag.
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Each drive unit weighs 163 pounds, or 45 percent less than that of its closest competitor’s, and produces more than 650 hp. The drive unit’s high output is made possible by new motor winding technology, while its small size comes courtesy of a transmission and differential that are fully integrated into the motor—an industry first, Lucid claims.
Perhaps just as impressive is the Lucid Air’s electrical architecture, which operates at upwards of 900 volts. The Lucid Air utilizes an onboard charging unit called the Wunderbox, which is designed for optimal charging performance across multiple voltage specs. The Wunderbox allows the Lucid Air to replenish up to 300 miles of charge in 20 minutes—or up to 20 miles in just one minute—when connected to a DC Fast Charger.
It also has vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability, meaning your car’s lithium-ion battery can power your house in an emergency. That battery pack has a capacity of 113 kWh in extended-range form and comes from Lucid’s technology division, Atieva, which has supplied batteries for every Formula E race car since 2018.
We’ll know more when the Lucid Air is revealed virtually next week. That said, these details alone should worry Lucid’s competitors. Namely, Porsche and Tesla.
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