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When it comes to premium electric saloons, Tesla has pretty much had its own way for the best part of a decade.

But that’s set to change with a new wave of four-door EVs on the way, including models like the BMW i4, and also this – the new Lucid Air EV.

Unveiled yesterday as the California-based firm’s first production car, the ‘Air’ is a luxury EV that will offer a range of up to 517 miles, noticeably more than the 402 miles the Tesla Model S can achieve (in the US at least, tighter testing in Europe reduces it to 379 miles).

Along with its impressive range, it’s also set to offer superb performance – Lucid claiming it will produce up to 1,065bhp, which will allow it to hit 60mph in just 2.5 seconds and complete a quarter mile drag race in less than 10 seconds, which is quicker than the Tesla Model S.

Elsewhere, Lucid is promising that the Air will be the world’s fastest-charging EV, with its 113kWh battery able to be charged at a rate of 20 miles per minute – meaning 300 miles of charge could be added in 20 minutes. That said, no public electric car chargers offer that capability in the UK yet.

Other features on the Air include a huge 34-inch digital display that curves around the dashboard, though some standard toggle switches remain to control the volume and climate settings – a move that feels like a jab at Tesla, given that’s what its cars are often criticised for lacking.

Level 2 and 3 driver assistance technology is also promised to offer self-driving capabilities in certain scenarios, while the firm has partnered with Amazon to integrate its Alexa voice control system.

Lucid is promising a generous amount of interior space thanks to its ‘clean-sheet’ approach to the design and engineering, with the firm claiming to offer class-leading interior space and the biggest front boot in its class.

Various trims have been announced, including the standard Air, Air Touring, Air Grand Touring (the one with the 517-mile range) and the Air Dream Edition, which features the monstrous performance figures.

Pricing for North America has only been announced so far, with prices starting from $80,000 (£61,500) and rising to $169,000 (£130,000) for the Dream Edition.

However, Lucid has previously confirmed its intentions to bring the car to Europe, as well as plans to make it right-hand-drive for the UK. This is unlikely to happen until the end of 2021 at the earliest, though.

Ted Welford

By

September 10, 2020

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