Lucid Taunts Tesla With Air Sapphire; Claims 0-60 in Beneath 2 Seconds

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The Lucid Air Sapphire laps the race course at Laguna Seca. We see it from a front quarter angle.There’s a second very actual automotive placing up comedian e book efficiency numbers, and the corporate behind it’s taking public pictures on the first, establishing an inevitable showdown all of us get to win.

In a single nook would be the outdated contender, the Tesla Model S Plaid. It provides 1,020 horsepower, 390 miles of vary, and claims a 0-60 mph time of below 2 seconds. It prices $140,490 (plus $1,200 to ship). And, if you happen to place an order right now, it may be yours pretty shortly – Tesla says deliveries are taking place subsequent month.

Within the different would be the challenger, the Lucid Air Sapphire. It boasts over 1,200 horsepower, greater than 400 miles of vary, and claims a 0-60 time of below 2 seconds. It prices $249,000, and Lucid says manufacturing will begin in “the primary half of 2023.”

What Is the Lucid Air?

By now, you’re most likely conversant in Tesla. Fewer individuals know California-based Lucid Motors.

It’s one other electric-car startup with an identical enterprise mannequin, providing high-end battery-powered luxurious sedans within the hope that promoting within the most-expensive courses first will finance its progress into extra inexpensive segments of the auto business.

Its first product is the Air – a large, low-slung sedan that the EPA charges because the longest-range electrical automotive constructed right now. Some variations of the Air are rated for as much as 520 miles of driving on a single cost.

What Is the Air Sapphire?

Most luxurious automakers finally launch a high-performance division aimed toward constructing sooner, extra nimble variations of already-exceptional automobiles. Like BMW’s M Division or the Lexus F lineup, these in-house tuner outlets promote ultra-high-performance variations of an automaker’s autos at a big premium.

Tesla has one thing related, although the corporate doesn’t market its high-performance trims as a whole sub-brand. It simply calls them Plaid editions. If the identify appears complicated, watch the 1987 sci-fi comedy Spaceballs and keep in mind that Tesla CEO Elon Musk leans into his nerd credentials in advertising his merchandise.

As we speak, you should buy Tesla’s top-of-the-line Mannequin S sedan and Mannequin X SUV in plaid editions. We’ve heard nothing about plans for Plaid variations of the cheaper Mannequin 3 sedan or Mannequin Y SUV.

The Lucid Air Sapphire laps the race course at Laguna Seca. We see it from the rear.

Lucid, likewise, has constructed an ultra-fast model of its first sedan. At greater than 1,200 horsepower (Lucid hasn’t revealed the precise determine), it’s arguably probably the most highly effective 4-door automotive ever constructed for sequence manufacturing. Lucid claims a prime pace of over 200 mph, placing it in a uncommon class of autos.

Many of the automobiles able to that type of pace seat two individuals at greatest. However the Air is a full-size sedan able to comfortably carrying 4 adults.

The Air Sapphire makes use of three electrical motors – one on the entrance axle and one for every rear wheel. It additionally makes use of “stiffer entrance and rear springs, distinctive damper settings, stiffer bushings, and a novel tuning for ABS, traction, stability management, and digital energy steering,” the corporate says.

It’s the First Product From a Sub-Model

Lucid plans to take the high-performance idea additional than Tesla. The corporate will construct a whole sub-brand of high-performance automobiles referred to as Sapphire. That’s an formidable transfer for a corporation that solely has one product. However Lucid’s second is on the best way – the Gravity SUV – and there’s a great argument to be made that constructing an inner efficiency model helps unfold buzz about new automobiles.

And few issues unfold buzz like a slap.

What Is This Beef About?

In its advertising supplies for the Air Sapphire, Lucid claims that the automotive achieves all its breathtaking efficiency numbers “with no extra-cost gear upgrades or protracted preconditioning routines.”

These are fightin’ phrases aimed squarely at Tesla.

Musk spent months in 2021 speaking up the corporate’s deliberate Mannequin S Plaid Plus version – one designed for the report books to be probably the most highly effective sedan in historical past. He then abruptly canceled it, saying the lower-trim Plaid version was “simply too good.” It, Musk stated, would publish a 0-60 mph time below 2 seconds. So Tesla didn’t want an improve on the Plaid.

However the Plaid, arguably, hasn’t cashed each examine Musk wrote together with his guarantees. For one factor, the corporate says the Plaid can obtain the claimed numbers solely with the help of a tire improve – which is theoretically coming later.

For an additional, journalists haven’t been capable of reproduce the sub-2-second dash Tesla claims. When Motor Development tried to duplicate it, Tesla insisted they may solely Take a look at the Plaid on a monitor ready forward of time with a particular cheesy floor adhesive generally used at drag races.

No publication has but managed to publish a sub-2-second time in a Plaid with out the sticky stuff.

Lucid claims it is going to again up its personal phrases with “instrumented demonstrations of the unbelievable efficiency capabilities of the automobile” at a later date.

We’ll let you already know in the event that they present up with proof and in that case, whether or not Tesla has a solution.

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