Vehicles | October 31, 2020 7:00 am

Is the Era of Electric Muscle Cars Upon Us?

Electric cars, meet absurd amounts of horsepower

Lucid Air
The sleek lines of a Lucid Air.
Lucid Motors

When you think of a powerful car, what comes to mind? A sleek design, perhaps, or an imposing engine — or maybe it’s the sound of that same engine rumbling as it gets ready to tear off down the track. What happens, though, when the same kind of performance you’d associate with an archetypal muscle car emerges from a car whose engine opts for a modest hum? We’re not far from that moment today.

A new article by Lawrence Ulrich in The New York Times explores a new race for high-powered cars emerging from the world of electric vehicles. Among the companies at work making them? Lucid Motors, whose Lucid Air comes with one configuration — the Dream Edition — featuring, as per the Times, “1,080 horsepower with an industry-leading 503 miles of driving range as rated by the Environmental Protection Agency.”

All of which makes the Lucid Air comparable to numerous gas-powered supercars. The advantage? As Ulrich writes, it comes down to engineering. “Most gasoline engines convert only about 20 percent of stored liquid energy to power at the wheels,” he notes — with the equivalent for electric vehicles being 60%.

Lucid Motors isn’t the only company working on high-powered electric cars; among the other players in the space are Rimac Automobili, with the C_Two, and Tesla, with the Roadster. The Times also points out that the likes of Porsche and Chevrolet are working on new electric powerhouses that build on their manufacturers’ decades of automotive know-how.

Could the next high-powered car you drive be battery-powered? We’re a lot closer to that moment than we were a few years ago, and the innovation driving this corner of the auto world forward shows no signs of slowing down.

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