The Lucid Air has to be one of the most highly-anticipated battery electric vehicles (BEV) of the year. The company will be debuting its saloon in production guise at this year’s New York International Auto Show.
The Newark-based auto maker has said that they will be revealing more than just the production-ready version of their Tesla Model S rival but also the car’s specifications, pricing and options such as the Executive Rear Seating .
Around that same time, Lucid Motors treated us to footage of one of its testing cars going flat out at absolutely ludicrous speeds. The high-speed run was done with most of the interior finish removed and a roll-cage in place, and added things like a powertrain cooling package and an aerodynamic setup for overall stability at speed.
During the high-speed run, 350km/h was recorded on the telemetry, putting the Lucid Air alongside some of the very fastest cars in the world. That figure was achieved on a car that was “software limited” - which is bonkers. However, unrestricted, this Air managed to hit 379km/h at the Transportation Research Centre’s oval bank in Ohio, USA. If the tests suggest anything, it’s that the Air is on track to becoming the fastest series production EV when it launches.
This is possible thanks to the fire power that lies beneath. Its 745kW powertrain is capable of hurtling the Lucid Air from rest to 100km/h in just 2.5-seconds, while boasting a range of around 640 kilometres. What’s even more interesting is that the Air has a rated energy efficiency of 21.4kWh/100 km which is equivalent to 2.4 litres/100 km in fuel.
While we’re still on the subject of batteries and powertrains, the entry-level Air is slated to feature a 75kWh battery pack which fires 294kW and 600Nm to the rear wheels. This version is said to be able to go almost 400km on a single charge and is available on pre-order in the United States for a refundable $1,000 (AU$1,461).
The all-wheel drive variant of the Air gains a motor on the front axle over the base version for a total system output of 745kW thanks to its 130kWh battery pack. Both variants will use lithium-ion battery cells sourced from Samsung SDI. Lucid also claims that its battery cells differ significantly from normal lithium ion cells due to their tolerance of repeated cyclic fast charging and non-use for a prolong period of time without losing capacity.
Lucid Motors are currently testing 80 prototypes at its Newark headquarters which are said to be “highly representative of the production Air”. The testing phase will help Lucid fine-tune aspects of the Air such as steering, suspension and brakes.
We can’t wait for the production version to break cover in New York this coming April. Watch this space for more updates on the Air.
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