The Tesla Model S could be in trouble.
If you're going to create an EV start-up with any hope of success in 2020, you'd best make sure your first vehicle is capable of providing enough real-world electric range to take on a Tesla Model S. Fortunately for American EV company, Lucid Motors, the Air is capable of doing just that. We've heard before how the brand's ultra-luxury EV sedan would be capable of a 400-mile + range, and with the company gearing up to launch the Air as a 2021 model, real-world testing has been ramped up a notch. Lucid has published a video of an Air beta prototype completing a round-trip loop between San Francisco and Los Angeles - more than 400 miles each way.
In case you've forgotten the details of the Lucid Air, like many Tesla offerings it will feature an option of either single or dual electric motors, with the latter providing all-wheel-drive and an expected 1,000 horsepower. This is enough to send the EV from 0-60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds, reach a top speed of circa 200 mph, and, with the largest 130 kWh battery on board, achieve a claimed range of more than 400 miles, while lesser models will still achieve an impressive 315 miles. It's the former model that was tested recently though. Making use of the highway network to complete an 800-mile round trip to test the Lucid Air, the journey saw the Air reach elevation of 4,144 feet and stretch its legs at speeds of up to 75 mph on Interstate 5.
After an overnight stop and a recharge, the engineers set off on the return trip, meeting up with Lucid CEO, Peter Rawlinson, along the way, who joined the convoy in a second prototype for the final leg through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Lucid Motors attributes the special achievement of clocking more than 400 miles on a charge not to using "ever-larger battery packs", but rather to the company's "smart range" tactic of using efficiency instead of size. Of course, when the final product reaches production, the brand hopes to blend this efficiency with world-beating performance and second-to-none luxury, but this is as good a start as any.