California-based Lucid will introduce its first car, an electric sedan named Air, on September 9. Waltzing onto the increasingly crowded EV scene with a sedan in a market dominated by crossovers and SUVs might sound counter-intuitive, but the company told Autoblog it’s the best way to guarantee its long-term success.
Emad Dlala, a technology fellow at Lucid, pointed out the sedan segment remains huge even though it’s not nearly as big as it was a decade ago. “Even if we take a small percentage of that luxury segment, we’re going to be fine. We’re not going to see a shortage of orders,” he told us during an interview. Lucid isn’t chasing volume.
Although an SUV is under development, Dlala added Lucid prioritized the sedan because it wanted to make a splash. Sedans are typically lighter and sleeker than SUVs, so their specifications are often more impressive.
“Another thing is, as a startup, you can go with the best product in terms of how desirable it is, but even if the specs are OK, you are probably not going to succeed as well as with a car with sensational specs, even if demand is not as high. That’s what we think the sedan will lead us to: much better specifications,” he said.
Lucid’s recent announcements prove his point. Built on a 113-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, the Air received a 517-mile range from a third-party testing company, a figure that gives it a comfortable lead in the range race. The pack zaps a pair of electric motors, whose 1,000-horsepower output gives the Air a zero-to-60-mph time of under 2.5 seconds. Dlala confirmed the pack is modular, so different variants of the sedan could appear later in the production run, and it will likely power other models (regardless of segment) in the coming years.
We’ll find out more about the Air when it makes its debut online on September 9. Production will take place in a new factory located in Casa Grande, Arizona, and pricing will start in the vicinity of $100,000. Looking ahead, Lucid plans to build its aforementioned SUV on the same platform as the Air starting in 2023, and it hasn’t ruled out launching a longer vehicle, which will possibly arrive as a pickup, towards the middle of the 2020s.