Lucid Motors has been making quite a lot of daring claims within the lead-up to the September ninth unveiling of its first all-electric sedan, the Lucid Air: longest range, fastest charge, biggest battery. However at this time, the Newark, California-based firm is really laying its playing cards on the desk with its declare to have constructed one of many quickest manufacturing automobiles ever made.
Not simply one of many fastest-accelerating electrical automobiles, thoughts you. One of many fastest-accelerating automobiles, interval.
How briskly? We already know that the Lucid Air can dash from Zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and may have a high pace of 200 mph. However due to Lucid’s 1,080 horsepower, dual-motor configuration, the corporate now claims the Air can run a quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds “on a constant, repeatable foundation.”
“Up to now, it’s the solely electrical sedan in a position to obtain a quarter-mile time beneath 10 seconds,” the corporate mentioned. To make sure, it’s only a fraction beneath 10 seconds. However on the earth of high-performance autos, that fraction makes all of the distinction.
To place that in perspective, the Dodge Challenger, one of the fastest cars on the drag strip, could make the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds — and that’s solely with the assistance of a 6.2-liter V8 engine. The Lucid Air is barely a smidge slower than a few of the quickest (and most costly) hypercars on the earth, just like the Ferrari LaFerrari (9.eight second quarter-mile; $1.four million price ticket), Porsche 918 Spyder (9.eight second quarter-mile; $845,000), and Bugatti Veyron Tremendous Sport (9.7 second quarter-mile; $2.four million). The Lucid Air is anticipated to value someplace between $60,000 and $100,000, relying on the trim stage, which might make it fairly the cut price in the event you’re searching for efficiency.
However after a sure level, these are simply numbers on a display screen, proper? All this pace and horsepower begins to get slightly summary, and that abstraction is usually a little harmful if not dealt with appropriately. Simply ask Richard Hammond, who may be very fortunate to have walked away from the burning wreckage of the hellaciously quick electrical Rimac Concept One (9.1 second quarter-mile) whereas taking pictures his tv present The Grand Tour in 2017.
Lucid has been teasing its eye-popping performance specs for a number of years now. Again in 2017, the corporate claimed to have hit 217 mph on its take a look at observe — a milestone that quickly turned moot after eradicating the car’s speed-limiting software program and taking it for a breezy summer drive at 235 mph.
How does this examine to the Tesla Mannequin S P100D, which has already earned the status because the quickest EV available on the market with a formidable 0–60 mph dash in 2.9 seconds? Exhausting to say, since there doesn’t appear to be a lot data on the market about Tesla’s high pace with out its speed-limiting software program that retains it to 155 mph.
The truth is, most luxurious automakers restrict their high-performing fashions to the identical pace, due to a “gentleman’s agreement” between Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW quite a lot of years in the past to cut back the variety of fatalities on the Autobahn.
Lately, Tesla achieved a brand new report with its Mannequin S efficiency, sprinting a quarter-mile in 10.4 seconds due to the brand new “cheetah stance” replace. That’s mind-meltingly quick, however nonetheless not as fast because the Lucid Air. (Lucid seems to have raced the Air towards a Tesla, in keeping with a fleeting glimpse within the video posted above, however it made no overt point out of the race in its press supplies.)
There’s an obsession amongst electrical automotive producers with horsepower and what number of seconds it takes to run to 60 mph or a quarter-mile. (Jalopnik had a good piece on this a number of years in the past.) It may mirror an insecurity amongst EV makers about whether or not their automobiles can stand as much as the muscle automobiles and Ford F150s which have squatted within the frontal cortex of the American automotive purchaser for many years. They fear whether or not their EVs are too quiet, too sustainable, and too eco-friendly to attraction to those customers. This results in an over-emphasis on efficiency, which could attraction to some patrons regardless of the day-to-day impracticalities of metropolis driving.
Lucid’s advances in efficiency, vary, and charging instances aren’t stunning given its historical past. The corporate was based in 2007 as battery maker Atieva, initially targeted on being extra of a provider within the budding world of electrical autos than a carmaker. Considered one of its battery prospects was Formula E, with Lucid happening to provide the batteries for season 5 and 6 of the electrical racing collection. What higher stress take a look at in your power-delivery system than high-speed efficiency racing?