The Most Luxurious EV Ever Will be a Lucid Dream
Roopinder Tara posted on September 11, 2020 |
Ex-Tesla chief engineer aims to outdo his own Model S

Lucid’s CTO turned CEO, Peter Rawlinson, has announced his dream car. Rawlinson was once the chief engineer of Tesla’s Model S -- in case you were wondering why his dream car, the Lucid Air, is similar to the Tesla Model S, both being sleek electric powered 5 passenger luxury  sedans. 

We'd rather you compare it to a jet aircraft than the Tesla Model S, Lucid seems to say. (Picture courtesy of Lucid)
We'd rather you compare it to a jet aircraft than the Tesla Model S, Lucid seems to say. (Picture courtesy of Lucid)
Not the same…better, Rawlinson would say. And here’s why:

With over a thousand horsepower, there's power to burn. Yet, the twin electric motors are more compact to provide increased interior room. It can go over 500 miles after a full charge -- ending range anxiety that afflicts EV owners. The car is loaded with electronic goodies. A  big touchscreen interface that retracts when not in use. In addition, a very cool curved 34 inch 5K dashboard seems to float behind the wheel. Also floating are the visors on a windshield that blends seamlessly into the roof. Amazon Alexa voice interface is standard. With an app, you can set up the car for your trip before you are in it – like the Batman. Facial recognition will make sure it is you who is driving it. You can charge your devices with inductive charge or via USB-C ports. If want it to drive itself, it will. With 32 sensors as eyes – including LiDAR, maybe a first in a production EV – the Lucid Air will have enough advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) to bring it up to Level 3 automation, though this won’t happen right away. ADAS will be a software update after the first model becomes available. Then it will have forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistance.

 The Lucid Air chassis. Motors front (right) and back Battery modules under the floor except for a well for feet of rear seat passengers. (Picture courtesy of Lucid Motors)
The Lucid Air chassis. Motors front (right) and back. Battery modules under the floor except for a well for feet of rear seat passengers. (Picture courtesy of Lucid Motors)


Model

Horsepower

Speed

Range

Price

Base model




“below” $80K

Touring

620 HP (462 kW)

0-60 mph: 3.2 seconds


402 miles

$95K

Grand Touring

800 HP (597 kW)

0-60 mph: 3.0 seconds

Top speed: 155 mph

Quarter mile: 10.8 seconds


517 miles

$139K

Dream

1080 HP  (805kW)

0-60 mph: 2.5 seconds

Top speed: 168 mph

Quarter mile: 9.9 seconds, 144 mph


503 miles max

$169K

The Lucid base model will not be available until 2022.

A canopy more like a fighter jet than a sedan. Note floating 5K digital dashboard. (Picture courtesy of Lucid Motors)
A canopy more like a fighter jet than a sedan. Note floating 5K digital dashboard. (Picture courtesy of Lucid Motors)
Lucid plans to one-up Tesla in luxury and performance, comparing its cars to the vaunted Mercedes S class, according to Rawlinson in a TechCrunch interview.

How Fast?

Tesla, having brought the electric car to luxury levels and sport car performance may be ripe for such upmanship. While the Ludicrous Mode of the Tesla is blazing fast, it does come with a warning that the rapid battery discharge may affect the service life of the batteries as well as the motor and gears. The Lucid Dream claims to be just about as fast with no warning, able to do a quarter mile under 10 seconds and 0-60 mph in under 2.5 seconds. It can charge up in as little as 20 minutes at fast charging station an be the “fastest charging EV ever.”

To sweeten the deal, Lucid is promising no-limit free charging at Electrify America charging station – unless the car is used for commercial purposes (like Uber, Lyft or taxi service).

How Much?

Lucid claims that its powerful but more efficient motors and batteries allow for more passenger and storage space than Tesla. That big hollow space that would ordinarily be filled with a gas-burning engine in the front combined with  additional  space in the back make for as storage space in the sedan as would be found in an SUV, according Lucid.

When?

The company is taking orders now (a fully refundable $1,000) for cars that will be available in the 2nd quarter of next year.

The cars will be produced in Lucid Motors’ new factory in Casa Grande, 25 miles south of Phoenix, Arizona.

Lucid was previously known for making batteries for Formula E cars.

We Follow the Money

Lucid almost had to close the doors on its first Arizona factory and Ralwinson’s dream to build a better Tesla because of lack of interest from US investors. Lucid’s white knight came in the form of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, and his mega sovereign wealth fund (estimated $300 billion) that pumped in $1.3 billion dollars for a majority share of Lucid. With this investment fund and  partner SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the Saudi’s have been on a shopping spree, buying minority shares in American companies, including $3.5 billion in Uber, less in Facebook and WeWork, to name a few. With Lucid, they are doubling down on EVs -- they also have a 5% stake in Tesla.

The crown prince, effectively the current leader of Saudi Arabia, got a lot of attention from venture capitalists and tech companies when he toured Silicon Valley in June 2016. In two years following his visit, MBS directed $11 billion into US startups, more than any single venture capital fund, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In 2018, the Prince was to get worldwide attention for his alleged role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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