California-based Lucid Motors revealed its first car today, a fully electric sedan aimed at the “executive” market, with a 400-mile range rating from its onboard 100kWh battery, a 2.5-second 0-60 mph time and a target market date of 2018. The vehicle prototype was shown off today at a special unveiling event in Fremont, California.
Lucid’s founding team includes CTO Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla team member, as well as Derek Jenkins, previously of Mazda and VW and BMW alum Brian Barron. The Lucid Motors plan is to build these electric vehicles starting in 2017 in Arizona, at a new factory facility that’s set to bring around 2,000 new jobs to the sate according to the company and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.
Rawlinson previously noted that the cars would boast a combined 1,000 horsepower across its electric motors, and that there would be a version made available with a max 400-mile estimated range. The vehicle will also have some autonomous features, according to Rawlinson’s previous statements.
Previous prototypes have been displayed with the signature black and white camouflage of vehicles worn prior to their official debut, but we did have an idea of what the Air would look like. It’s more impressive without the obfuscating cladding, however, if perhaps a bit more sober and sensible looking than its competition from Tesla, for instance.
That “executive” moniker that Lucid keeps throwing around with this vehicle is a pretty good indicator of what you can expect in terms of price, which hasn’t yet been made official. Over $100,000 is where Lucid is setting expectations for early releases, with lots of options included.
The sedan approach is also more pronounced in the Lucid Air’s design than it is with the Model S, which suggests it may be looking to compete more with vehicles like the BMW 7 series (in fact, it previously released images comparing it to that and the Mercedes S-Class, like the one above).
Lucid also has a partnership in place with Samsung SDI, the battery-focused subsidiary of the Korean tech giant. Lucid has raised over $130 million across three rounds of venture funding, including from the Chinese Environmental Fund.
Lucid’s vehicle looks interesting, but it’s going to be a very different market in 2018 when this car launches, with EV entries from many of the major luxury brands joining the fray at around the same time. The challenge will be getting to the starting line, but new players still might have some advantages over legacy automakers when it comes to electric, even if the established brands are accelerating their EV plans.