Lucid Air: 1065bhp EV officially unveiled with 517-mile range

California-based EV start-up Lucid has revealed the production version of its Air saloon, an electric performance saloon with up to 1065bhp and a claimed maximum range of 517 miles.

The marque’s debut model is claimed to be “the most aerodynamic luxury car in the world”, with a drag co-efficient of just 0.21 – 0.01 less than the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, for reference. With an (unrestricted) top speed of 235mph, it will be the fastest electric production car on sale.

Lucid said the Air can cover a quarter-mile sprint in as little as 9.9sec, making it the first electric saloon to break the 10-second barrier, and adds that it can achieve this feat on a “consistent, repeatable basis”.

The Air will be available in four trim levels to start with. The standard car, available from $52,100 (£40,040) including the US’s EV tax credit, uses a single electric motor to send 395bhp to the rear wheels and is capable of a claimed 240-mile range from a 75kWh battery pack supplied by Samsung.

The Touring model bumps power up to 612bhp, range to 406 miles and the list price to $87,500 (£67,250), while the Grand Touring packs 789bhp, costs $131,500 (£101,060) and is capable of the maximum claimed range figure.

Buyers who want the full 1065bhp output will need to spend $161,500 (£124,130) for the top-rung, four-wheel-drive Dream Edition, which is capable of sprinting from 0-60mph in 2.5sec. It also brings a bespoke interior design trimmed in leather and eucalyptus wood, and a set of unique 21in wheels. Lucid says production of the top-spec car will be limited, but has yet to confirm numbers.

All variants are claimed to be capable of recuperating 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes at a DC fast charger, making the Air “the fastest-charging electric vehicle ever offered”, according to Lucid.

The Air has been brought to production largely unaltered from the futuristic prototype first displayed in 2016, and retains its distinctive wraparound front light bar, which uses a ‘micro lens array’ system comprising thousands of individual, digitally controlled ‘light channels’ to offer bright, precise and flexible illumination.

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The Air is Lucid’s first foray into the production EV market. CEO Peter Rawlinson – who previously served as chief engineer of the Tesla Model S, the Air’s primary rival – hailed the new arrival as a “halo car for the entire industry, one which shows the advancements that are possible by pushing the boundaries of EV technology and performance to new levels”.

Derek Jenkins, vice-president of design at Lucid, said: “When we embarked on this journey at Lucid Motors and the development of our first vehicle, the Lucid Air, we refused to compromise. We decided early on that we were going to pursue every facet of performance, innovation, and luxury.

“The result is that we are building the best car in the world and the numbers simply speak for themselves.”

Launching initially in the US in spring next year, the Air is also now available to order in selected European countries and the Middle East. A UK launch date remains unconfirmed, but it can now be reserved online for a £770 deposit.

Lucid will build the new car and its SUV stablemate at a £546 million, purpose-built factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. Some 2000 workers will be employed at the plant by 2022, with the company aiming to ultimately produce 20,000 units per year. The firm also plans to open 20 retail and service centres across the US by 2021.