Lucid Motors is releasing a “more attainable” version of its recently revealed luxury electric sedan, the Lucid Air.
At an unveiling event in September, Lucid said the base model would start at “around $80,000” — without revealing the actual price. Now the company says it has settled on a base model price of $77,400 — or $69,900 after applying the US federal tax credit of $7,500.
This version of the Lucid Air will have less horsepower than higher trim levels: 480 hp versus over 1,000 hp for the top-spec Dream Edition version. It will also have less range: 406 miles (EPA projected) as compared to 517 miles for the Dream Edition. And it is available for reservation with a refundable fee of $300. (In September, Lucid said reservations for the base model were initially $1,000.)
But it also won’t be available until 2022 at the earliest. The two most expensive versions of the Air — the $139,000 Air Grand Touring and $169,000 Air Dream Edition — are expected to go on sale in the second quarter of 2021. Like many EV makers, Lucid is hoping to replicate Tesla’s strategy of selling a lot of really expensive cars in the hopes of generating enough cash flow to eventually produce something more affordable.
The Lucid Air will obviously compete with the Tesla Model S for potential buyers. But the company insists Tesla is not the company’s primary target. Lucid’s top executives have said the real prize is to poach customers from Mercedes-Benz and its flagship S-Class.
Mercedes just released an updated version of its flagship S-Class, with updated technology, including a more advanced version of its voice assistant and partially automated driving systems. But the S-Class still runs on good, old-fashioned dinosaur sludge, and Mercedes notes that S-Class customers aren’t exactly clamoring for an electric drivetrain. So it remains to be seen whether Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson’s bid for Mercedes’ crown will succeed.