Atieva now Lucid Motors; plans 300-mile, 900-hp electric car


Teaser for Lucid electric car

Teaser for Lucid electric car

Enlarge Photo

Chinese-backed startup Atieva has changed its name to Lucid Motors, and revealed more details about its planned electric car.

From what we know so far, that car will be a fast luxury sedan with a range of around 300 miles, putting it in competition with the Tesla Model S.

The company now known as Lucid is one of several startups aiming to repeat the success of Tesla Motors.

DON'T MISS: Atieva Atvus electric car image emerges; is it Tesla competition?

Unlike Tesla, Lucid hasn't built any cars, although it is fairly close to launching its electric luxury sedan, CNET suggested after a recent tour of the company's facilities.

That car is thought to be called the Atvus, although Lucid will not confirm this.

CNET noted that Lucid had completed a body-in-white, the industry term for a car's bare body shell.

Teaser for Lucid electric car

Teaser for Lucid electric car

Enlarge Photo

Lucid was also willing to disclose some technical details.

The sedan is expected to use a dual-motor powertrain producing 900 horsepower, similar to the one used in the company's Mercedes-Benz Metris test vehicle.

The van, nicknamed "Edna," stars in videos that circulated this summer showing it dispatching a Model S, a Ferrari California T, and other high-end performance cars in drag races.

ALSO SEE: When a Tesla Model S and Ferrari drag-race an electric van...what happens?

The production sedan will weigh significantly less than the van, and have considerably better aerodynamics, which should aid performance.

In September, a company official told Chinese media that the sedan would boast a 0-to-62-mph acceleration time of less than 3 seconds.

Lucid CTO Peter Rawlinson also told CNET that a top speed of "over 200 mph" is theoretically possible, although production models would likely be electronically limited to lower speeds.

Teaser for Lucid electric car

Teaser for Lucid electric car

Enlarge Photo

He said the company is aiming for a 300-mile range, and that a 400-mile version might be possible as well.

DC fast-charging will be available, although Lucid hasn't decided whether to use the CHAdeMO or Combined Charging Standard protocol, according to CNET.

The car itself will reportedly be a mid-size luxury sedan close in size to the BMW 5-Series, but Lucid hopes that the lack of an internal-combustion powertrain will give it interior volume similar to that of a full-size BMW 7-Series.

MORE: Tesla, Faraday: Meet Atieva, Your Newest Electric-Car Rival (Dec 2015)

It will likely be close in size to the Model S although, unlike the Tesla, it will apparently be a conventional four-door sedan with a trunk, rather than a hatchback.

Lucid's design department is headed by Derek Jenkins, whose previous credits include the current-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata sports car.

The company that is now Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 by a former Tesla vice president and the founder of a networking company.

Teaser for Lucid electric car

Teaser for Lucid electric car

Enlarge Photo

As Atieva, it began by developing monitoring and control software for battery packs used in a variety of electric vehicles.

It gradually moved toward building its own electric car, and later became tied to Chinese automaker BAIC (Beijing Automotive Industry Corp.), through that company's Beijing Electric Vehicle Company subsidiary.

However, BAIC reportedly sold its stake to Jia Yueting, another major investor in Atieva and founder of Chinese tech giant Le Eco.

Yueting also has ties to Faraday Future, another U.S.-based electric-car startup.

Faraday is currently building a factory in North Las Vegas, Nevada, with the intention of putting its own electric car into production within two years.

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