Lucid Air finally launches, with Tesla and Mercedes firmly in its sights
The Lucid Air is a Tesla killer 'come true,' with the luxury, power, and technology to take on long-time market leader Tesla.
Tesla's status as the defacto electric car manufacturer may soon be threatened as competitors begin to close the gap. But perhaps Lucid and not VW will be the ones to give Tesla a run for their money.
Lucid, in case you've forgotten, was amongst the first companies to gain "Tesla Killer" status a few years back, as a wave of new startups threatened Tesla with largely baseless electric vehicle companies.
But this, remarkably, is one of the first "Tesla Killers" to reach the realm of reality.
Three years after its initially-scheduled launch and $1 billion in Saudi-investment dollars later, Lucid is seemingly ready with its first production vehicle, and oh boy, is it cool-looking.
Here are the headline statistics:
517 miles of range, via a 113 kWh battery pack (Tesla uses 100 kWh packs)
20-miles of range per minute of charging
60 percent of range in 20 minutes of charging
0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds
Quarter-mile in just under 10 seconds
A price range of $80,000-$169,000 (with federal tax incentives)
Three trim levels: Air, Air Touring, and Air Grand Touring
Range of TBD, 406 miles, 517 miles, respectively
32-sensor advanced driving assistance system, including cameras, radar, ultrasonic, and LIDAR
Lucid is obviously marketing this as a competitor to the Tesla Model S and the newly-revised Mercedes S-Class, but in all honesty, the Air blows both of those out of the water. Setting aside Tesla's supercharger network and the risks of buying from an upstart manufacturer, this seems like a very compelling option.
Although Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson says that the Air is for "someone who has an S-Class Mercedes who says: 'Ten years ago, I wouldn't have been that interested in electric. Tesla has piqued my interest, I love what Tesla is doing with electric, but I'm not getting out of my Mercedes for a Model S,'"
Lucid is now taking $1,000 refundable deposits for the Air, with a promise of delivery starting in Spring 2021, with details for the entry-level model coming soon.
But while launching a sedan in an ever-growing SUV market is surprising, Lucid's decision to announce its next vehicle, an SUV, comes as no shock, as foreign markets follow the US in its trend towards bigger, off-road-focused vehicles. With hopes to launch a lower-priced mass-market Model 3 competitor sometime in the future.