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.