Lucid Motors unveiled its first vehicle, the Lucid Air electric sedan, at a virtual event from the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. The sedan will have a range of up to 832 kilometers, can reach 400 meters in less than 10 seconds, has more than 1,000 horsepower, and will have a base price of “less than $ 80,000.”
More than a decade in the making
The Lucid Air has been in the making for more than a decade. Founded as Atieva in 2007, the company began manufacturing high-performance batteries for all Formula E teams. It changed its name to Lucid Motors in 2016 with the promise to build a mid-size sedan that feels like a flagship vehicle in droves. and spacious. The vehicle was supposed to be unveiled at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the leadership of former Tesla Model S chief engineer Peter Rawlinson – then Lucid Motors’ CTO, now its CEO – there is a sense in the automotive world that Lucid has the insider knowledge and technical skills to compete at Tesla as the maker of the latest luxury electric sedan.
It seems as if every electric vehicle released today will inevitably take on Tesla. But few EVs actually have Tesla DNA running through their bloodstream. The Lucid Air is one of these vehicles.
That’s not to say that the Lucid Air is a knockoff of the Model S. Far from it, as the Air appears to outperform the Model S on several features (range, acceleration, charge time). Which means the Air was designed by people who claim to have an intimate knowledge of Tesla’s path to global EV dominance. It’s a familiarity that is sure to intrigue customers with large bank accounts, so much so that it seems to upset Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (Musk wrote on Twitter last Tuesday that “Rawlinson did not design the Model S.”)
However, unlike other so-called “Tesla killers”, Lucid Motors has strong sponsors and global reach to successfully challenge Musk. And now, with its first production car and the announcement that it is officially working on an SUV en masse, the Lucid CEO’s plan to steal customers from Tesla will be put to the test.