Sub-10-Second Lucid Air Stomps Tesla Model S in the Quarter-Mile
After riding in the Lucid Air electric vehicle prototype last month, we learned that the upcoming sedan almost certainly beat Tesla in the driving range game. Now Lucid has released details on the Air’s drivetrain, and we have even more reason to be excited about the next EV ahead of the production model’s September 9 debut.
The Lucid Air produces up to 1,080 hp with its two electric motors. That amount of thrust allows the All-Wheel-Drive Air to cover the quarter-mile in as little as 9.9 seconds, according to the automaker. If this is correct, that’s 0.7 seconds faster than the time we recorded for a Tesla Model S Performance with the Raven powertrain and 0.6 seconds faster than a 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S. Learned on our first ride, the Air’s large battery gives it an estimated range of 517 miles on a full charge – 115 miles more than the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus and 314 miles better than the Porsche. Taycan 2020 the most efficient.
The permanent magnet electric motor drive units developed in-house by Air are also lighter and more compact than those of its closest competitor, according to Lucid. Presumably, it’s a hit with the Tesla Model S. The drive units combine an electric motor, inverter, transmission, and differential into an assembly that apparently can fit inside a roller bag.
Each drive unit weighs 163 pounds, 45 percent less than that of its closest competitor, and produces over 650 hp. The high efficiency of the drive unit is made possible by the new motor winding technology, while its small size is provided by a transmission and differential fully integrated into the motor – an industry first, claims Lucid.
Perhaps just as impressive is the electrical architecture of the Lucid Air, which operates at over 900 volts. The Lucid Air uses a built-in charging unit called the Wunderbox, which is designed for optimal charging performance across multiple voltage specifications. The Wunderbox allows the Lucid Air to replenish up to 300 miles of charge in 20 minutes – or up to 20 miles in one minute – when connected to a DC Fast Charger.
It also has vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capability, which means your car’s lithium-ion battery can power your home in an emergency. This battery pack has a capacity of 113 kWh in the form of extended range and comes from Lucid’s technology division, Atieva, which has been supplying batteries for every Formula E racing car since 2018.
We’ll find out more when the Lucid Air is revealed practically next week. That said, these details alone should worry Lucid’s competitors. Namely, Porsche and Tesla.
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