Clearing the Air: Lucid Motors Base Sedan Starts at $52,500, Unless You Still Need 1,000 Horsepower

clearing the air lucid motors base sedan starts at 52 500 unless you still need

Lucid Motors’ production EV turned out to be a much more reasonable entry than anyone expected. The media buzz was that LM’s Air would be a super-sedan offering up to 1,000 horsepower and a 400 mile range — a real Tesla killer. With a 1,000 horses and instantaneous torque, it would actually shame just about everything else on the road, regardless of how it was powered. However, as is so often the case with EV startups, the reality is significantly more nuanced than the hype.

That doesn’t mean Lucid can’t be a massive thorn in Tesla’s side, though. Looking over the freshly released details of the Air reveals a highly competitive base model (on paper) and, since this is the base model, there remains room for that ludicrously powerful and extravagantly priced car we were promised.

In the interim, consumers will just have to be satisfied with a much more affordable unit, but it still outdoes the base model Tesla in terms of power, range, and price.

Until the Model 3 comes to market, Tesla’s cheapest offering is the $68,000 Model S 60, which is essentially a digitally neutered Model S 75. Lucid Motors’ said its Air will begin at $52,500, after accounting for the federal tax credits available to those purchasing battery electric vehicles. For the money, shoppers get rear-wheel drive and 400 electric ponies to the Model S’ 360.

The all-important maximum range is superior, too. While the Model S 60 is theoretically capable of more if you pay the extra money to unlock it, the base BEV is only rated for 210 miles between charges. Lucid claims its car can manage 240 without needing to be juiced again. That’s not earth shattering by today’s standards, but it’s serviceable and another small victory for the electrified newcomer over America’s current BEV golden boy.

However, these aren’t the gargantuan numbers or price tag were were we expected. What exactly happened?

Lucid’s marketing director, Zak Edson, explains the “confusion” as the result of the press car being a better-equipped example.

“The car that we have been showing publicly represents a well-optioned Lucid Air, leading to confusion regarding the price range. Much of the speculation suggests that the starting price of the car will be over $100,000, which is not accurate,” Edson said.

Marketing magic, basically. Lucid Motors’ knew the press would be more interested in a 1,000 hp hyper-sedan, alluded to it heavily, and then didn’t bother to correct anyone. That said, the company didn’t make the press into liars, either. Edson did specify that the Air would come with 315 and 400 mile range battery options, as well as a 1,000 horsepower twin-motor configuration with all-wheel drive. Those options will be available at launch, and the price of that trim will surpass $100,000. By how much it’ll go past that six-figure amount is anyone’s guess.

A lot of that final sum will be dependent upon how the company decides to price the optional extras, some of which are downright extravagant. While the base model will have an impressive level of connectivity and all the hardware necessary for autonomous driving, features like a glass-canopy roof and reclinable executive rear-seating with massage functions will have to be tacked on to the premium trims. However it’s handled, as long as Lucid doesn’t follow in the footsteps of Faraday Future or make a nicely equipped Air prohibitively expensive, it looks like we’ll get that potential “Tesla Killer™” after all.

[Images: Lucid Motors]

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  • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Mar 16, 2017

    The real question in my mind isn't about the drivetrain, but about whether the rest of the car holds up to This Is Actually A Good Car standards. The Model S doesn't. Will the windows rattle when you shut the doors? The Tesla's do. Does the wind whistle and thrum at highway speed? It does in the Tesla. Will the interior look nice but feel hollow, like a movie set? The Tesla's does. Will the ergonomics be horribly compromised in favor of an abstract goal? The Tesla's are. Will the sharp edges of the door handles rub you the wrong way as they flex and wobble? The Tesla's do. Building an electric car isn't a huge issue these days, it seems. But building an actual vehicle that holds up to the not terribly high standards set by any Accord or Sonata or (mostly) Fusion seems to be much more difficult, and until EV makers crack that nut, they're going to find their markets limited to people who buy based on idealism. That's enough for Tesla right now. I doubt it will be enough for all of them in 10 years.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 16, 2017

      Real - or perceived - quality issues aren't the barriers to widespread EV adoption yet. Range anxiety, charging requirements, price, and depreciation are much bigger issues. The quality stuff has affected Tesla, but also Ford and Fiat, for example. The latter makes would see their cars shut off for no reason (software bugs). But those cars were conversions from ICEs, so their experience in building coachwork comes through. My former Leaf had no quality issues - ever, but I'm sure it's because Nissan has a deep bench when it comes to designing and building cars. As for Tesla, I *believe* their early teething problems are fading on both models they sell. Model 3 - who knows.

  • Akatsuki Akatsuki on Mar 16, 2017

    The price is right. But man is the styling crap. The front end looks like a 1990 Celica. Hello, 2000 called and want their beaded LED DRLs back. The back looks like a Buick and some other car that I can't think of off the top of my head.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird Sears and JC Whitney also had similar dune buggy kits. The VW accessories along with the running gear for legal use just bolted on. Hmm Amazon? A Bradley GT or Kelmark kit using an electric “skateboard” platform would also be cool.
  • Inside Looking Out Cadillac now associates with rap music. In the past it was all about rock'n'roll. Rap is environmentally friendlier than rock'n'roll.
  • EBFlex This is nothing compared to what Ford is doing. The fake lightning is seeing massive price increases for 2023. Remember how they self pleasured themselves about the fake lightning starting under $40k? In 2023, the price jumps by a very Tesla like $7,000. And that’s not the biggest price jump. And much less talked about, the government fleet discounts are going away. So for a basic 3.3L Explorer, the price is jumping $8,500. S basic F150 is also now $8,500 more. Im sure the same people that complained about the oil companies making “obscene profits” will say the same thing about Ford.
  • Bobbysirhan Sometimes it seems like GM has accepted that the customers they still have are never going to come to their senses and that there aren't any new dupes on the horizon, so they might as well milk their existing cows harder.
  • Buickman how about LowIQ?