California-based startup Lucid Motors, revealed details of its all-electric sedans that are capable of producing 1,080-horsepower and going over 500 miles on a single charge, depending on which one you buy.
One of four different versions, the top-of-the-line Lucid Air Dream will have a starting price of $170,000. Designed for high performance, it will be able go from zero to 60 miles an hour in about 2.5 seconds and can do a quarter-mile drag race run in under 10 seconds "on a consistent, repeatable basis," according the company. (Electric cars tend to drain and/or overheat their batteries during repeated high-acceleration runs.) Lucid claims the Air is the only electric sedan capable of running a quarter mile this quickly.
Another version of the car, the Lucid Air Grand Touring, will be able to go over 500 miles on a charge, according to Lucid, and will produce up to 800 horsepower. That version will cost about $140,000.
There will be less expensive versions, too. The Lucid Air Touring, with 406 miles of range and 620 horsepower, will start at $95,000. The base model Lucid Air will start at less than $80,000. It's range and power have not yet been announced.
Lucid, which was founded by a former Tesla engineer, is taking direct aim at Tesla. Peter Rawlinson, the CEO of Lucid, helped develop the Model S sedan while working at Tesla from 2009 to 2012.
The starting price for the base Lucid Air, which does not include federal and state tax incentives for electric cars, is slightly more than the base Tesla Model S. The higher-end versions of the Lucid Air cost much more than Tesla's cars — although Lucid's range and horsepower numbers are higher.
Lucid also boasts that its cars have better space efficiency thanks to its use of smaller electric motors and better packaging of other components, such as the electronics for the motors and batteries. As a result, the Lucid Air has the largest frunk — or front trunk — of any electric car, the company claims. Items can be stored on two levels — in both the front and back ends of the car, according to Lucid.
The Air's dashboard is a long high-definition display that houses the driver's gauges, as well as other interactive displays. A second large touchscreen display is lower down between the driver and passenger. The Air still uses ordinary knobs and switches for some functions, though, in contrast to Tesla cars, which rely more heavily on touchscreens.
Outside, the Air has an array of sensors to enable advanced driver assistance systems. These include radar and cameras, as well as lidar. Unlike radar, which uses radio waves to detect objects, lidar uses lasers. Because the light waves of lidar are smaller than the radio waves of radar, lidar can enable finer distinctions between objects and their distances.
Tesla, rather uniquely among carmakers with dreams of building autonomous vehicles, does not use lidar on its cars, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the technology will not be needed to achieve full self-driving capability. Lucid executives have previously talked about the company's cars having full self-driving capability, but Lucid's announcement about the Air included no such claims. For now, at least, the sensors are to be used only to assist the driver.
The most expensive versions of the Lucid Air, the Dream Edition and Grand Touring, will be available in the middle of next year. Less expensive versions will be available later with the base model expected some time in 2022.
Correction: A previous version of this article misquoted the price for the top-of-the-line car.