Lucid Air Sapphire Targets Tesla Model S Plaid

Lucid Air Sapphire Targets Tesla Model S Plaid

Tri-motor electric sedan with over 1200 hp promises 200-mph top speed, quick launches, steep price tag.

If the idea of an electric sedan with 1050 hp on tap sounds a bit tame, Lucid has something else in store for you. The EV maker has used Monterey car week to reveal the tri-motor Lucid Air Sapphire, promising over 1200 hp, along with 0-to-60-mph blasts in under two seconds, and 0-to-100-mph launches in under four seconds.

The sedan will have one motor up front and two motors out back, featuring a new heat exchanger technology and a heightened coolant flow rate. The new motors also use the company's microjet stator cooling and wave winding tech, while offering torque vectoring to help straight-line stability and turn-in control.

Stiffer front and rear springs, in addition to stiffer bushings and revised damper settings, will work to add stability to this version of the Air, with carbon-ceramic brakes being standard along with unique Aero Sapphire wheels wearing Michelin PS4S tires sized 20 inches at the front and 21 inches out back.

"Last year, Lucid rocked the world with the launch of Lucid Air, a fusion of unsurpassed range, efficiency, superior driving dynamics, and interior space, uniquely enabled by our in-house technology," said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Lucid Group. "Today, with the introduction of the Sapphire line, we take the next logical step of advancement. Lucid Air Sapphire, being the very first Lucid product to bear the Sapphire name, builds upon our technical prowess to take electric high-performance to the next level."

Among other things, this version of the electric four-door will wear an exclusive Sapphire Blue exterior color, in addition to other subtle changes like wider rear wheel arches and a rear spoiler.

On the inside, the sedan will offer 18-way power sport seats trimmed in black leather with black Alcantara microsuede and Sapphire Blue contrast stitching, while the doors and dash will feature Mojave darkwood veneers. The headliner and steering wheel will be trimmed in black Alcantara.

What's more, Lucid is calling Sapphire a brand rather than a nameplate, pointing to an in-house performance division that will offer the quickest and most powerful versions of its future vehicles. Speaking of performance, this version of the Air is expected to pay some penalty in range for producing over 1200 hp, though Lucid hasn't estimated just how much of a penalty there will be on a full charge.

Lucid Air Sapphire Targets Tesla Model S Plaid
The Sapphire will offer an exclusive paint color, of course, in addition to a wheel design unique to this version.
Lucid Motors

Another way of looking at this is that those who've spent lavishly on the Air Dream edition will soon have their cars upstaged by something even more powerful and exclusive.

The price of this exclusivity and performance won't be cheap. Lucid will ask $249,000 for the Air Sapphire, which is no small premium over the price of the already expensive Air Dream edition. And will those who opt for this version be able to tell 1200 hp apart from from 1050 hp?

"Sapphire represents the pinnacle of electric performance, finally achieving the performance that I’ve so long searched for," Rawlinson added. "After painstaking development work, I am able to confirm Lucid Air Sapphire has achieved a satisfactory performance, and I trust the most discerning drivers will agree."

The Sapphire will be a limited-production model and is expected to land in Canada and the US in 2023. However, Lucid didn't say just how limited it will be.

On the production side, Lucid had to revise downward its 2022 forecast for a second time this year and now expects to produce just 6000 to 7000 vehicles through the end of the year, down from an initially planned 20,000 units. The company delivered just 679 sedans in the second quarter of 2022, citing supply-chain constraints.

(Article by Jay Ramey republished from autoweek.com)

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