Meet the Lucid Air, the Next EV From the Engineer Behind Tesla’s Model S

The electric car maxes out at 517 miles and 1,080 HP, and will be available this spring

The new Lucid Air electric sedan in white from Lucid Motors
Is the Lucid Air the first EV to realistically take on Tesla?
Lucid Motors

The story of electric vehicles in the last five years can be summed up in one word: waiting. Sure, there have been a few EVs available to American buyers, but the electrified future still seems far off. We’re waiting for charging infrastructure to be built, waiting for major automakers to make good on their grand plans and, of course, waiting for a serious competitor to Tesla.

After years of build-up, Lucid Motors seems primed to claim pole position. On Wednesday night, the budding EV startup finally unveiled the Lucid Air, its first electric sedan that promises industry-leading performance that tops out at 517 miles of range, fast charging to about 60 percent in 20 minutes and a ridiculous 1,080 horsepower. 

But the most promising part of the launch — especially for people who find it hard to differentiate between the Wild West claims of the many electric vehicle startups — is that Lucid Motors is helmed by CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson, who not only formerly served as the Vice President of Vehicle Engineering at Tesla, but was the chief engineer of the Model S.

The Verge has a thorough breakdown on the Lucid Air, delving into both the exceptional specs (noting that the newcomer bests the Model S in range, acceleration and charging time) as well as the potentially problematic financing behind the project: “… the company gave up majority ownership to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in exchange for the $1.3 billion investment it closed last year.”

If you’re purely interested in whether or not the Air is driveable, InsideHook actually got a first-hand look at a prototype over three years ago. And even back in that rough concept phase, we came away with big expectations:

What I can tell you from my (super-brief) ride is that the Air lives up to its name. It feels like a sentient piece of silk, gliding down the road with nary a bump or jostle. Except silk doesn’t come with 1,000 horsepower … and this does.

If that sounds like your kind of ride, the Lucid Air is set to start deliveries of the higher-end models in spring 2021 and the base model in 2022. Prices start at $80K and go up to $169K for the deluxe, limited-volume Dream Edition. Replicating many other electric vehicle releases (including Tesla), reservations are open now in the U.S. and Canada as well as select countries in Europe and the Middle East for refundable deposits of $1,000 for the Lucid Air and $7,500 for the Dream Edition.

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