Electric car startup Lucid Motors and their sedan, the Lucid Air, have reported that a prototype of the Air reached a top speed of 235 mph on a test track in Ohio. Lucid did say that this particular prototype was designed to go as fast as possible and not to expect the same performance from the production model; however, these are impressive results nonetheless. Along with aerodynamic adjustments made for this top speed run, the production model will be more luxurious and thus heavier, meaning the top speed will drop once the Air reaches production.
The success of Tesla has spurred competition, as new and established brands alike try their hand at creating rival cars for Tesla’s successful Model S, Model X, and upcoming Model 3.
The Lucid Air is expected to start at around $60,000, however, a well-optioned model will be closer to $100,000 and pack nearly 1000 horsepower. The range for this electric vehicle will be around 240 to 400 miles on a single charge depending on the choice of motor. This means it would compete directly with Tesla’s Model S which starts at $68,000 and has a range of 210 to 315 miles.
Lucid Motors is also researching and investing in autonomous vehicle technology with a variety of sensors and cameras, including lidar, a laser-based sensor used by the US military for navigation and guidance systems.
The ludicrous top speed reached by the Lucid Air is an important statement to make as no one disputes the impressive performance figures of Tesla’s lineup. There are many videos online of Tesla's embarrassing Ferraris and Lamborghinis on the drag strip to prove it. To compete with Tesla, you can’t just be green and electric, you have to be blindingly fast as well.
Lucid Motors still has not reached its financial goals needed to produce the Air, so its initial goal of launching the Air in 2018 may not be met. Lucid Motors is still confident the Air will see production sometime next year.