Lucid Motors has unveiled its 1,000-horsepower, 400-mile range, Model S-fighting electric sedan. It’s called the Lucid Air and early versions will run north of $100,000 (exact pricing will be disclosed later), with available 100kWh and 130kWh battery packs. Naturally, there are long-range radar, cameras and LIDAR to make it self-drive-ready, with over-the-air updates and an app! Deliveries are planned for 2018.
That all sounds terrific, and you can order one right now. Following in Tesla’s footsteps with the Model 3, buyers interested in the Lucid Air can plunk down $2,500 deposits to reserve a “standard” production model, or a whopping $25,500 for a special, well-optioned “launch edition” that is one of the first 255 cars off the production line.
Setting aside the fact that buying one of the first cars off a production line seems like a terrible idea from a reliability standpoint, allowing customers to put down (refundable) deposits on a new car from a brand new car company takes some balls.
Sure, Lucid has some big names at the helm: the CTO is Peter Rawlinson, who was lead engineer on the Tesla Model S, and chief designer Derek Jenkins who used to head design at Mazda. But building a car is extraordinarily difficult for a new company. Tesla has been doing it for a decade and it’s still having trouble making cars that don’t have issues.
Is the promise of a 400-mile range and 0–60mph time of 2.5 seconds (that latter number is identical to what you can get from a Tesla Model S P100DL right now) enough to get someone to drop big bucks to reserve one? I don’t know, but Lucid is sure hoping it will.