Lucid Motors undercuts Tesla with pricing for new Air
As other potential Tesla-challengers are messing around with (failed) self-parking stunts and fighting each other on Twitter, Lucid Motors has been quietly finishing up the product it plans to sell next year. Although the company showed off a completed car in December last year, we weren't given any info about pricing or finalized performance specs. Finally, three months later, we have the full picture.
Initial speculation suggested the Air EV would sell for well over $100,000, but it turns out that speculation was wildly inaccurate. Pricing for a base Air will start at $60,000 but that figure doesn't include the $7,500 Federal tax credit applied to electric cars sold in the US.
Even in the most basic trim, the car isn't exactly what you'd call stripped-back. It'll be rear-drive and have 400 horsepower (298 kW) on tap, with a 240-mile (386-km) range from the battery. All the hardware necessary for autonomous driving will also be fitted, but there is no word on whether it'll actually be active as standard, or whether you'll need to pay more to use it.
By way of comparison, the base Tesla Model S retails for $68,000 before any rebates, and offers a 210-mi (338-km) range from its 60 kWh battery. Owners can, however, pay to unlock greater battery capacity later in life.
Without motors on the front wheels, the rear trunk is accompanied by a capacious front-trunk (or to quote Tesla, frunk). The two storage areas add up to create 32 cu. ft (906 liters) of luggage space, which Lucid compares (weirdly) to the volume of a four-person hot tub. Who said electricity and water don't mix?
The driver and passenger both sit in 12-way adjustable thrones, faced with four screens for driver information, climate control and entertainment, plus a 10-speaker audio system is standard. Over-the-air software updates are also included in the package.
Diving into the options list can turn your reasonably-priced Air into something much more expensive, very quickly. Bigger batteries can turn the 240-mile range into 315 mi or 400 mi (507 km or 644 km) and, if you're determined to scare your passengers silly, a twin-motor powertrain with 1,000 hp (746 kW) will also be on offer. No, that isn't a typo. Lucid will sell you an Air with more power than a LaFerrari or McLaren P1. What a time to be alive.
Fully active suspension will be available, and probably necessary if you've specced the 21-inch wheels. Inside, the options list will allow for richer materials, 22-way adjustable front seats and an active noise-cancelling 29-speaker audio system. Expect to pay upwards of $100,000 if too many of these options are added.
Lucid has yet to announce how much upper-spec cars will cost, nor has it finalized the spec of the 225 Launch Edition cars which will kick off production. If we're being brutally honest, there isn't any guarantee the car will be built at all, but Lucid certainly looks more solid than the likes of Faraday Future and LeEco at the moment.
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I took a test ride in the Air mule and it was nothing short of spectacular. For a chassis designed in two years and barely tested, that EV took the up ramp at the Peterson Museum at about 25 MPH on off the shelf Pirelli tires. And the interior is well thought out as well.
I would consider it over a Model S, but both in my garage would be better :)