Lucid Air: 235mph EV to be launched at New York motor show

American electric vehicle (EV) start-up Lucid Motors has announced that it will reveal the Air – a luxurious saloon capable of 235mph – in production form at the New York motor show in April. 

First revealed in prototype form in December 2016, the Air is positioned as a rival to the Tesla Model S as well as conventionally powered premium limousines, such as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. 

In entry-level, rear-wheel-drive guise, the Air features a 75kWh battery pack from Samsung and an electric motor producing 395bhp and 443lb ft. It’s said to be capable of travelling 240 miles on a single charge and is available to pre-order in the US now, priced from $52,500 (£40,190). 

The four-wheel-drive model gains a second motor for a total system output of 1000bhp and is expected to manage more than 400 miles per charge, thanks to a 130kWh battery.

Shortly after the original unveiling, Lucid released footage of the top-spec Air hitting a top speed of 217mph, before taking it to 235mph in testing, suggesting it will become the fastest series-production EV when it launches.

The Air has five seats as standard, but two individual ‘executive’ chairs are available as part of an interior upgrade. Lucid also claims that air suspension with regenerative valve technology gives it the most comfortable ride in the class.

The Air will offer autonomous driving functions, although it’s unclear whether it will feature a comprehensive Autopilot mode like that of the Tesla Model 3. Lucid has said previously that it will equip the Air with the necessary sensors for self-driving functions to be rolled out as legislation changes. 

Lucid is currently testing 80 prototypes at its headquarters in Newark, California. Most are said to be “highly representative of the production Air” and will help the company fine-tune aspects such as the steering, suspension and braking.

In November 2019, Lucid began construction of a new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. It plans to begin full-scale production of its debut model there before the end of this year.