(Pocket-lint) - The electric car market is like an arms race. There's established brands like VW and Hyundai, battling it out against newcomers for domination. Of those, the poster child is Tesla - who has made a particular success in the segment, while competing companies want to get in on the action.
Lucid Motors is one such player, announcing the Lucid Air as its latest contender for the title with its new sedan, or saloon. A Silicon Valley company (like Tesla), its empahasis is on technology and breaking records to make its name, rather than being able to trade off its established brand like the motoring world's incumbents.
As such, the Lucid Air is said to be inspired by the state of California, talking about making dreams come true and promising to see things differently.
Key to the company's offering, it's claimed, is the miniaturisation of its components, to maximise space and increase efficiency. The company says: "It's a holistic, clean-sheet approach to advanced EV construction, without using existing 'off the shelf' solutions so often seen in EVs from legacy automakers."
The result is a car that's clearly designed to rival the Tesla Model S, with a sporty drive that preserves interior space for a luxury passenger compartment. There's a 34-inch curved 5K glass cockpit in the interior, along with integrated Alexa voice control and a huge central display too.
The car - claiming to be the most aerodynamic on the road - is sleek, long and low, taking advantage of lots of roof glass to open up the interior space.
But it's really the performance claims that will turn heads. To make sure that Lucid Motors makes its mark, the Air is said to offer up 1080hp and be able to tear-up a quarter mile in 9.9 seconds with its dual motor configuration; it will do 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds on the top configuration.
The battery claims are big too, with a 113kWh extended battery pack able to deliver 517 miles of range on the Grand Touring model. It's also claiming a faster charging record with a 900V+ system compatible with the latest 350kW DC chargers that are starting to appear in some locations.
Aside from that really fast charging, there's also a 19.2kW AC charger on board to take advantage of faster AC chargers too.
Of course, building what aims to be the best electric car comes at a cost and the $169,000 Air Dream Edition model will pack in the 1080hp and lightning fast speeds, with a range of 465 miles.
But, like Tesla, Lucid Motors is planning a phased roll-out of models, so you'll have to wait for the appearance of the most affordable version:
- Dream Edition: 465 miles, 1080hp, $169,000, Q2 2021
- Grand Touring: 517 miles, 800hp, $139,000, Q2 2021
- Air Touring: 406 miles, 620hp, $95,000, Q4 2021
- Air: TBA miles, TBAhp, $80,000, 2022
The challenge that new EVs often face comes in manufacturing and scale, which is where the established brands have the advantage. We'll keep an eye on the roads and see if the Lucid Air makes its Californian dream become a reality.