EV Startup Lucid Motors to Reveal a Near Production Version of its Ultra-Luxurious Air Sedan at the NY Auto Show

EV Startup Lucid Motors to Reveal a Near Production Version of its Ultra-Luxurious Air Sedan at the NY Auto Show

Author: Eric Walz   

California-based electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors another EV startup following in the footsteps of Tesla. The company's first vehicle is its fully-electric Lucid Air sedan, which has been in the works for over three years now. Now the public will get a look at the near production version for the first time this spring.

Lucid announced that an "almost production ready" version of the Air will be on display at the New York Auto Show in April. Lucid will also share production specifications, available configurations, and pricing information for the first time in April.

While a prototype Air sedan had been shown at the New York Auto Show in 2017, a more production ready model has yet to make an appearance anywhere. The company has stayed under the radar for the past three years quietly developing its first fully-electric luxury car that will rival the Tesla Model S.

Lucid Motors traces its roots back to Tesla. The company's CEO and CTO is Peter Rawlinson, who was the chief designer of the Tesla Model S and worked under CEO Elon Musk. In 2013, Rawlinson joined Lucid and set out to build an electric car that's better the Tesla Model S, with a much more advanced electric powertrain and luxury features.

Lucid says its ultra-luxurious Air sedan is the "world's most advanced electric car" and it will define Lucid as a company. The state-of-the-art Air sedan features a what Lucid calls a "California-inspired design" combined with cutting-edge technology. The fully-electric Lucid Air sedan is being developed with the automaker's own in-house technology.

The Air will offer around 400 miles range and can reach 0-60 mph in under 2.5 seconds, producing over 1,000 horsepower from its electric powertrain.

Lucid is one of the few electric vehicle startups with its own factory in the U.S. The company's factory in Casa Grande, Arizona is currently under construction. Lucid said that structural steel for the facility will be in place by the end of February. 

Lucid expects the first pre-production cars to roll off the line in Q4 of 2020, with full production starting by the end of the year.

In July 2019, Lucid Motors announced that it hired former Tesla vice president of manufacturing Peter Hochholdinger to serve as its vice president of vehicle manufacturing. Hochholdinger will oversee production of the Air sedan.

In the meantime, Lucid said its building 80 beta prototypes of the Lucid Air at its Newark, California headquarters, just east of San Francisco. Lucid's headquarters is just ten miles away from Tesla's factory in nearby Fremont. 

The company said that most of the 80 test vehicles will be very similar to the production version. 

Currently, Lucid is tuning the Air's software for traction and stability control, braking, and steering systems as well as performing perform body and chassis durability testing and crashworthiness testing.

Like Tesla, Lucid will sell its Air without a traditional dealership network. Instead, the automaker will open a number of stores where customers can experience the Air in-person.The locations of the stores will be disclosed at a later date, the company said.

Lucid began taking reservations for the Air for the first time in December. Customers can reserve one with a fully-refundable  $1,000 deposit which will be applied towards the purchase price. Lucid has not disclosed the price of the Air, buts it's rumored to start around $60,000 for the base model.

Lucid is also planning a nationwide tour this summer along with exclusive reservation holder events, including the launch of a groundbreaking configurator where customers can design the Air to their personal preferences.

Lucid Motors is well funded. The company is backed by a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, one of the world's largest wealth funds with over $320 billion in assets.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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