America's hottest EV brand will need a small SUV model when the time comes to scale.
At the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, we had a chance to sit down with Eric Bach, the Senior Vice President of Product and Chief Engineer at Lucid Motors. Even though Lucid only had a couple of models on display, Bach was more than happy to discuss the brand's future.
According to Bach, Gravity is still two years away. "We are not done with the Air yet. We launched the Dream Edition, followed by the GT. Now we are launching the GT Performance Edition with 1,050 horsepower and 446 miles of range," said Bach.
Bach was willing to concede that the smaller SUV market is the big one. When asked whether they'd be going after the Tesla Model Y, Bach responded with "yes, absolutely."
But at the moment, the main focus is Air, which competes in various segments. As you can read in our review of the Air, it has the footprint of a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, yet it offers the same interior space as an S-Class. That goes for just about every German brand out there.
"We've basically conflated nine different competitors into one vehicle, and it outperforms them, outranges the electric variants, and it has more storage space," says Bach.
According to Bach, the same will be true of Gravity when it launches in two years. It will use the same principles to beat its main rivals, but what happens after that?
"Obviously, if we want to scale, and we do want to scale, we'll go down to a mid-size platform," said Bach. "That will bring us to 500,000 [units], possibly even 1 million by the end of the decade."
Lucid's primary selling point will remain range. It was the first to achieve a 500-mile plus rating by the EPA. "Who travels more than 500 miles per day?" asks Bach. "Seldom. Very rarely."
That's likely an indication that Lucid is done with powertrain development for now, but what about the ongoing horsepower war between emerging EV manufacturers?
While we had Bach on hand, we couldn't help but ask whether the EV horsepower war would stop at some point. According to Bach, the answer is no. "Absolutely not," said Bach. "Why should there be a limit? You don't need to utilize it every day. I think the horsepower war is going to keep going," said Bach.
We could be looking at 3,000 to 4,000 hp cars in three to four years. While these kinds of high-performance machines seem unnecessary, it's important to remember that they are the main driving force behind development. In order to get to 4,000 hp, you need a small, yet extremely energy-dense battery.
This is the kind of battery that eventually siphons down into more affordable models like Lucid's upcoming Tesla Model Y rival.