Lucid Teases Tesla Plaid-Decimating Tri-Motor Powertrain

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The drag race videos are going to be lit.

If you thought the German horsepower war is insane, wait until you see what happens next in the luxury EV sedan segment.

Lucid Motors recently posted a not-so-subtle tweet stating that "three is a magic number." Lucid also attached a short video of three stators drifting around in space, so it's not hard to deduce that the long-awaited three-motor Lucid Air will debut on August 19 at The Quail.

Following our recent interview with Eric Bach, the Senior Vice President of Product and Chief Engineer at Lucid Motors, this should be no surprise. We asked Bach whether the EV horsepower war would stop at some point, and he simply said, "absolutely not."

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Lucid Motors/Twitter

According to Bach, we could potentially see EVs with up to 3,000 to 4,000 horsepower within the next three to four years, but for now, the tri-motor Air will have to do.

The tri-motor Air is by no means new. Roughly two years ago, Lucid built an Air with a three-motor setup, and the result was 1,800 hp. At the time, Lucid's CEO, Peter Rawlinson, claimed that the prototype ran a 9.3-second quarter-mile. The current EV quarter-mile record belongs to the Rimac Nevera, with a time of 8.582 seconds.

The additional motor was added to the rear axle, which meant the prototype had a dedicated motor for each rear wheel. Besides the extra performance, imagine what Lucid could do with individually powered rear wheels. Three words: active torque vectoring.

2021-2022 Lucid Air Lucid

When we first started reporting on the tri-motor Air, Lucid revealed that the three motors could produce up to 1,920 hp. The problem was the limitation of the battery pack, which could only provide 1,200 hp at any given time.

It has been two years, and Lucid has made several notable advancements. Perhaps the battery is now capable of transferring the full-fat 1,920 hp to the tarmac without having an identity crisis.

Lucid never revealed why this potent Air wasn't part of the original range. If we had to guess, Lucid likely wanted to make a statement using range rather than power.

Since the Dream Edition is sold out, the most potent model you can currently buy is the Grand Touring Performance. The standard Grand Touring model has 819 horses on tap and an EPA-estimated range of 516 miles, but the Performance has 1,050 hp, dropping driving range to 446 miles.

2021-2022 Lucid Air Side Angle Driving Lucid

It is pretty clear that performance comes at the expense of range, but now that Lucid is an established EV maker with multiple awards behind its name, it can afford to introduce a crazy halo model.

The Grand Touring Performance retails for $179,000. Adding another motor to the mix will likely take the price up to over $200,000. Not that it matters, because its main rival has also become a cost-is-no-object machine. The base price of a Model S Plaid is $135,990 - or at least it is for now as Tesla changes prices without warning.

Whether you're a fan of one or the other, we can all agree that the inevitable drag race video will be lit.

2021-2022 Lucid Air Aft View Lucid

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