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Lucid Air debuts in New York; completes first high speed stability test at 217 mph

Lucid Motors made its global auto show debut at the New York International Auto Show, presenting the Lucid Air luxury electric sedan and also presenting its Alpha Speed Car test vehicle, which had just completed its first high-speed stability test at 217 mph (349.2 km/h).

The 1,000 hp, 400-mile range Lucid Air was first unveiled in December 2016. (Earlier post.) The Air will be manufactured in Casa Grande, Arizona. The factory, first announced in November 2016, will come online in 2019 and build 10,000 vehicles in the first 12 months. By 2022 the company expects the factory to employ 2,000 full-time employees and manufacture up to 130,000 vehicles annually.

The Lucid Air is priced from $52,500 after federal tax credits. The base Lucid Air will feature a 400-horsepower motor, rear-wheel drive, and a 240-mile range. Deliveries will begin in 2019. Customers can pre-order the Air at https://lucidmotors.com/car/reserve.

In preparation for production, Lucid Air alpha prototypes are undergoing a rigorous development program. Lucid has designated one of these test prototypes as a high-performance test vehicle and has installed a roll-cage for safety purposes. The Alpha Speed Car will be used for evaluating at-the-limit performance.

For the Alpha Speed Car’s first testing session, Lucid headed to TRC Ohio to use its 7.5-mile oval to evaluate high-speed behaviors, including vehicle stability and powertrain thermal management.

The test, software-limited to 217 mph, was successful in demonstrating the capabilities of the car and in finding areas for improvement that could not be properly evaluated in static bench tests.

The collected data will now be used to finesse thermal and aero computer simulations and to make further performance improvements that will be tested later this year at higher speeds.

The company notes that high-speed capability does not compromise the mission to develop a highly efficient vehicle; rather, the focus on maximizing range provides the high power and aerodynamic efficiency that enables higher speeds.

The testing program continues for the Alpha Speed Car and the rest of the Lucid Air alpha fleet. The company will provide more details as these tests progress.


The Lurking Jerk

Not a chance in hell those numbers will happen. The market is certainly growing, but it's only large enough for one Tesla at the moment and for many years to come.


Odds are it will be like every other car: speed limited based on the tires, and customers will have to pay large sums to unlock its full potential from the factory (larger battery and motor)

Electric cars are hard but easy. The more money that you ask for one the more appealing it can be. The Tesla Model S is a great car, but at the asking price, its not a practical choice for most of the population.

217 mph is very impressive for any car, especially for an electric. If this is an Alpha or Beta proto type and they can get help passing safety, this has a very good chance to compete on the market.

I think there needs to be a new kid on the block. I feel like this is targeting a different market then Tesla.

Product differentiation/marketability is going to be how electric car makers survive, speed and power will attract a following.

Where startups like these guys and Tesla do well, is they bring products to market quickly with sometimes risky/not 100% proven technology.

Older style automakers will quibble over the 10mm bolt holding the luggage garnish on the car. They move slower, and they are operating with incredibly small margins and huge overhead, sure they could easily build an electric car, but they would never sell as well as they would need to be a profitable line for them. What they could do, and I am surprised they haven't done it, is run an electric halo car down a production line. An electric Viper, an Electric Ford GT, or other sporty variant could sell, but again, these would likely only sell to those who already have a tesla or two in the garage.

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