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Lucid unveils a premium performance electric vehicle that does zero to 60 in under two seconds

Luxury electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors has unveiled the new Lucid Air Sapphire Edition, a premium sedan, which the company says will do zero to 60 mph in less than two seconds, zero to 100 mph in less than four seconds, and the quarter-mile in less than nine seconds.

That’s hugely impressive in a full-size, all-electric luxury sedan and potentially makes the new sapphire blue car the most powerful production sedan on the market, beating the previous record holder, the Tesla Model S Plaid.

Ground power

The new Sapphire Edition, which was unveiled Friday during Monterey Car Week, combines a number of features from Lucid’s lower trim models like the Dream Edition and Grand Touring Performance Edition. First, the new version of the Air gets three motors, two in the rear and one in the front, which Lucid says brings the estimated power up to 1,200 horsepower.

At the time of its release, Lucid offered no torque figures, but as Eric Bach said in an early briefing for reporters, “Lucid redefines what the family sedan can do”, with the release of the new model.

The rear dual-drive unit gets two 500kW inverters based on those in the Dream Performance Edition, along with custom planetary gear reduction units. This rear setup allows torque to be applied to each wheel in opposite directions so the Sapphire Edition gets more stability and control. The system can also apply regenerative braking to individual rear wheels to make the large sedan turn more precise.

Lucid says the dual-rear-drive unit also benefits from new heat exchanger technology and increased coolant flow. Although the company said it has improved the battery system for higher power and better thermoregulation, it did not release specific details at press time.

As you increase the horsepower, you also need to optimize the brakes, suspension setup, and tires. To that end, Lucid switched to carbon-ceramic brakes, changed the spring rates, gave the Sapphire higher damping, added sway bars, and upgraded the power steering and ABS system.

The Sapphire Edition will also receive custom composite wheels and a special set of tires (20” front, 21” rear) made from a compound that provides a combination of low rolling resistance and high grip. , similar to a Cup 2 tire. Lucid will also offer a set of wheel shields that can be attached via the center locks to the wheels to make them more aerodynamic and efficient for longer, quieter rides.

This color though

Along with all the performance bits, the Sapphire Edition also gets a few visual changes – most importantly, the exclusive sapphire blue exterior and a new stealth trim look that smokes the light work, including the side mirrors and the added duckbill spoiler at the rear. The fenders are slightly wider at the rear (about 24mm according to Lucid) and the front widens by 12mm.

At the same time, however, even with the additional engine, the interior space and packaging all fit into the same footprint as the standard Lucid Air. Interior space and luggage space won’t decrease with the Sapphire Edition, and the vehicles will be built on the same line as the rest of the Airs assembled at the company’s Arizona plant.

A taste of what the Grand Touring Performance Edition can do as a preview of what’s to come

In June this year, Lucid took the Grand Touring Performance model to the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​where Ben Collins, aka The Stig, raced the sedan up the famous hill at the event and set a record as fastest production sedan to make the climb.

We did two quick laps around WeatherTech Raceway with Collins in the same vehicle that did the Goodwood Hillclimb early Thursday morning. On a wet, fog-covered track, the Performance Edition is hugely impressive.

Like all EVs, the Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance has massive amounts of torque and power, but what’s so impressive and striking is how quiet everything is, minus the noise of the stock tires. approaching their limit of adhesion. Collins is a master driver and effortlessly maneuvered the sedan around the tight (and blind) corkscrew.

The new Air Sapphire Edition will be even faster, according to the company – and we’ll be able to ride in the left seat with Collins in the new version early Saturday morning, so stay tuned.

Price and delivery?

Lucid says the new Sapphire Edition will start at $249,000, which is $69,000 more than the Grand Touring Performance ($180,000). The company is also facing delivery delays and a delay in production, in part due to the supply shortage caused by the pandemic and logistical problems. The company has also had to raise prices for its vehicles this year as global inflation threatens.

Lucid didn’t say how many Grand Touring Performance vehicles he plans to build, but he did say production will be limited due to new components needed for the vehicle. Reservations opened today for new cars. A company spokesperson confirmed that existing reservation holders will not be displaced or delayed by Sapphire orders and deliveries will begin in the first half of 2023.