The long-awaited Lucid Air electric sedan is finally here.
At a virtual event Wednesday evening the Air was introduced as a premium, powerful EV to take on Tesla’s Model S — even though the company’s CEO told us earlier this year he definitely doesn’t consider Lucid a “Tesla killer.”
The sedan, which has been in the works for years, was supposed to make its debut at the New York International Auto Show in April, but COVID-19 delayed things. Production at Lucid’s Arizona factory is on pace for the first sedans to arrive in spring 2021.
Lucid has its roots in electric car racing with battery maker Atieva, which is now its in-house battery supplier. The Air’s front trunk space was repeatedly highlighted by various executives throughout the online reveal as the “biggest frunk ever made” and “unparalleled in its volume.”
The California-based company has teased tidbits for the past few months about the high-end versions of the car, including its performance (a quarter-mile in under 10 seconds), its efficient, compact battery capacity (113 kWh) and 900-volt system, and its drool-worthy 517-mile range.
But a small detail was always missing: the price. Finally at Wednesday’s online event the pricing for four different versions of the EV was unveiled.
The highest end Air Dream Edition, the first Lucid available, comes out next year at a whooping $169,000 before federal tax credits. This version includes a classy executive seat option that reclines 45-degrees and California-themed trims and will have a range of up to 503 miles.
That record-breaking range battery of up to 517 miles will be available in the Lucid Air Grand Touring model for $139,000 later in 2021.
The longest-range Tesla Model S is $75,000. Tesla recently announced it had updated its battery to reach 402 miles.
Arriving in 2022, the base Air will start at $80,000, but its range hasn’t been revealed yet. As CEO Peter Rawlinson said during his opening remarks, “[Lucid Air] is designed for mass, mass production.”
The flashy Dream Edition, which Rawlinson called “remarkable,” includes a lot of eye-popping features. Think an exclusive “Eureka Gold” color option and 21-inch AeroDream wheels. It’s also the fastest and most powerful version with 1080 horsepower that can go 0 to 60 mph in only 2.5 seconds.
However, it’s the base model for everyday drivers that’s most crucial to convert car owners to electric. “The world needs to move to sustainable mobility as soon as possible,” Rawlinson continued.
Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at automotive analyst firm Edmunds, sees Lucid relying on its cheapest version. “The real opportunity for Lucid will be the base model of the Air … which will make the vehicle more accessible to a broader group of consumers. Until that becomes more readily available Tesla will likely continue to sit on its throne,” she wrote in an email.
There’s yet another option. By the end of 2021, the Air Touring model will be available for $95,000 with 406-mile range. This version is the most comparable to Tesla’s luxury sedan.
Inside the car, it’s a noticeably luxury experience. Behind the wheel of every model is a 5K, floating curved display and another touchscreen sits in the center space. Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa will power the infotainment system and facial recognition will log you into a personalized profile. The open, spacious feel isn’t just because the battery sits under the car — look up and there’s an expansive sunroof.
This is an electric vehicle, so of course charging is a big part of the experience. The high-capacity battery will take an ultra-fast charge. All versions can add 300 miles of range in 20 minutes. Lucid will have its own home charging system and for on the road it’s partnering with charging network Electrify America.
Reservations are now open on the Lucid website as of Wednesday with a $1,000 deposit — or $7,500 if you fancy the Dream Edition.