Lucid reveals design for its luxury Air sedan, a Tesla competitor


Lucid Motors—the California automotive startup formerly known as Atieva—had previously announced its intention to build a long-range electric luxury sedan, putting it in competition with Tesla Motors.

We now have some key details and a first look at the design of this car, as well as its name: the Air.

Confirming previous reports, base versions of the Air will come standard with a 100-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack mounted flat under the floor, with cells supplied by Samsung SDI.

DON'T MISS: Lucid electric 'executive sedan': 100-kwh battery, 1,000-hp motor

Lucid claims a 300-mile range for this version, nearly matching the highest-spec version of the Tesla Model S, the P100D.

That car also has a 100-kWh battery pack, as well as an EPA-rated 315 mile range.

But Lucid will trump Tesla with an optional 130-kWh pack, enabling a claimed 400-mile range.

Lucid Air

Lucid Air

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Lucid also claims the Air will have 1,000 horsepower, and will do 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds.

That matches Tesla's acceleration claim for the Model S P100D, which has appreciably less power than the air.

The Air's styling includes some Model S-like elements, including short overhangs and a fastback silhouette.

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

But Lucid's electric car has many distinguishing features as well, including a taillight element that wraps all the way around the rear end, and a hooded front fascia with slit-like headlights.

The headlight system is called "Lucid Vision," and was inspired by the eyes of a fly.

It consists of 4,870 lenses that can be individually aimed, and uses a third of the power of conventional LED lighting systems, according to Lucid.

Lucid Air

Lucid Air

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The front end incorporates the "Lucid Vortex" cooling system, which Lucid says provides adequate cooling air flow while minimizing aerodynamic drag.

When the Air goes into production, the interior will be available in four- or five-seat configurations, with either individual rear bucket seats or a bench.

Up front, three screens surround the steering wheel, while a fourth, 12.4-inch screen is placed on the center stack.

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

Notable convenience features will include active noise cancellation and a 29-speaker audio system, according to Lucid.

The company also says the Air is prepared for autonomous driving.

It boasts an array of sensors, including two long-range and four short-range radar units, two long-range and two short-range lidar units, three front-facing cameras, five active surround-view cameras, and even a camera that monitors the driver.

Lucid Air

Lucid Air

Enlarge Photo

Lucid hopes to put the Air into production in 2018, and will not discuss pricing at this point.

It recently chose a factory site in Casa Grande, Arizona, although construction work on that factory has not begun.

MORE: Lucid (nee Atieva) to build luxury electric cars in Arizona factory

As a startup automaker, Lucid faces many challenges, no matter how compelling its first product might seem at first glance.

Because while many companies aim to replicate the fortune of Tesla, it is important to remember that Elon Musk's Silicon Valley success story is the exception, not the rule.

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