Lucid Air breezes into the luxury EV club

15 December 2016

Lucid Air

Tesla Motors has a new rival called Lucid Motors, which has just revealed the shape of its Model S competitor. The Lucid Air is a sleek, four-door, pure-electric saloon with a smoothly contoured design. It is due to begin production at the end of 2018.

Like Tesla, Lucid is a startup based in California’s Silicon Valley and it appears to have followed many other elements of the successful Tesla playbook. The Lucid Air will be an upmarket EV initially costing around $100,000 for a well-equipped model.

Lucid Air front view

Engineering details remain sketchy but Lucid appears to employ a similar technical template to Tesla. A very large battery of 100kWh or more – capable of 400 miles between charges – has been made up of many small cylindrical lithium-ion cells.

While Tesla’s cells come from Panasonic, Lucid is partnering with Samsung on cells that it says are well adapted to frequent rapid recharging.

The considerable power on tap will also be used to provide extreme levels of acceleration. Lucid says the Air will sprint from zero to 60mph in 2.5 seconds, exactly the time required by the top-flight Model S P100D.

Lucid Air front interior Lucid Air rear seating

The Air is thought to use a similar twin-motor, four-wheel-drive layout to achieve this feat.

Lucid’s design differs notably from Tesla’s Model S by virtue of its saloon format - the Model S is a five-door liftback whereas the Air has a fixed rear screen and a relatively modest boot. In the absence of an engine, the Air does offer a front luggage space like Tesla’s “frunk”.

Lucid Air

Of course there’s no telling what Tesla might roll out over the coming two years, while the Lucid Air is made production-ready.

Equally, Lucid is not the only Tesla challenger gearing up to bring a powerful, upmarket, long-range EV to market. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the other luxury electric cars currently in the pipeline:

Audi E-tron Quattro

Audi e-Tron Quattro

Revealed: September 2015
Due: early 2018
Type: five-door SUV, four-wheel drive
Power: 320kW (429bhp)
0-62mph: 4.6 seconds
Battery capacity: 95kWh
Claimed range: more than 500km (310 miles)

Audi e-Tron Quattro rear view Audi e-Tron Quattro interior  

Porsche Mission E

Porsche Mission E Revealed: September 2015
Due: around 2020
Type: four-door saloon, four-wheel drive
Power: 440kW (590bhp)
0-62mph: under 3.5 seconds
Battery capacity: thought to be around 100kWh
Claimed range: more than 500km (310 miles)

Porsche Mission E side view Porsche Mission E interior  

Mercedes EQ

Mercedes Generation EQ front view

Revealed: September 2016
Due: expected in 2018
Type: five-door SUV, four-wheel drive
Power: up to 300kW (402bhp)
0-62mph: under 5 seconds
Battery capacity: over 70kWh
Claimed range: up to 500km (310 miles)

Mercedes Generation EQ rear view Mercedes Generation EQ interior  

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace front view

Revealed: November 2016
Due: 2018
Type: five-door crossover, four-wheel drive
Power: 400PS (294kW)
0-62mph: around 4 seconds
Battery capacity: 90kWh
Claimed range: more than 500km (310 miles) under the NEDC test

Jaguar I-Pace rear view Jaguar I-Pace interior

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