What’s the party everyone wants go to? The one that not everyone is invited to! We all want what we can’t have. Lucid Motors is using that principle to build excitement for two private parties in the Los Angeles area this weekend. The first will be on Saturday at a well known museum in the city where guests will be able to test drive a Lucid Air sedan themselves and chat up muckety mucks from the factory, including members of the design team. The second will take place on Sunday up the coast at a private estate in trendy Newport Beach.
Compared to Faraday Future, another putative Tesla electric car rival, Lucid — formerly known as Atieva — has been keeping a low profile since it was founded in 2007. It has no factory, although one is supposedly going to be built outside of Phoenix, Arizona in the near future. One of its cars was spotted recently driving in San Francisco and the company said last week it is now accepting refundable deposits for the car. The deposits come in two flavors. The plain vanilla option costs $2,500. The Tutti Frutti choice is $25,500 dollars to reserve a “Launch Edition.” Lucid says only 255 of those cars will be built. There goes that “not everyone can have one” vibe again.
The car itself has a certain Wow! factor about it. It features three electric motors — one for the front wheels and two in the rear — with advanced computer controls that allow “torque vectoring.” (See video below.) That’s a fancy way of saying that torque can be fed instantaneously to whichever wheels need it most, something even the mighty Teslas cannot claim to do. All told, the three motors have 1,000 horsepower on tap and a 130 kWh battery has enough capacity to propel the car down the road 400 miles before it needs recharging.
Lucid claims its luxury sedan can scoot to 60 mph in 2. 4 seconds. That may be what prompted Tesla to develop its new Easter egg for the Model S P100D with Ludicrous Mode. That car does the 60 mile per hour dash in 2.34 seconds. Motor Trend just tested one that did it in 2.275 seconds using a NHRA style one foot rollout format. There used to be a time when 0 – 60 times were given in whole numbers. Not today. When you are laying out 150 large or more for a car, hundredths of a second give the owner bragging rights. If bragging is important to you, be prepared to open up your wallet — wide.
The Lucid Air is small on the outside, big on the inside. Chief technology officer Peter Rawlinson, who played a large role in getting the Tesla Model S into production, says that new battery packaging techniques allow the car to have the same interior room as its larger rivals. He promises that riding in the car will be like being in “an executive jet,” Having never ridden in one of those, I will have to take his word for it. Pricing for the car has not been announced but it won’t be the electric car for mainstream drivers we have all been hoping for.
Will the Lucid Air ever see production? That’s the question everyone would like an answer to.