Lucid gives the Air a sporty makeover, launches new Sapphire sub-brand

On Friday at Monterey Automobile Week, the electrical car startup Lucid added a brand new variant to its portfolio: the Lucid Air Sapphire. It is the primary of a brand new sub-brand for Lucid, including much more efficiency to automobiles that were hardly underpowered to begin with. With an additional motor within the combine, the corporate’s new automobile ought to hit 60 mph (98 km/h) in lower than two seconds and 100 mph (160 km/h) in lower than 4 seconds whereas maintaining a prime velocity in extra of 200 mph (321 km/h). Such efficiency is not low cost, nonetheless; when the automobile goes into restricted manufacturing subsequent yr, it’ll accomplish that with a $249,000 price ticket.

The inspiration for each automobile’s color and its identity got here from the American racing historical past.

“Sapphire is the embodiment of what ultra-high-performance luxurious means to Lucid. [It] is among the many most valued gemstones, prized for his or her brilliance, color, and hardness,” mentioned Derek Jenkins, SVP of brand name and design at Lucid. “Imperial Blue has long been the de facto nationwide color for American motorsports groups engaged in worldwide competitions. As Lucid’s devoted ultra-high-performance model, Sapphire references this historical past while setting new requirements for innovation and know-how.”

The new seats look more supportive.
Enlarge / The brand new seats look extra supportive.


Along with the blue paint, the Air Sapphire has a sportier inside than its siblings. Meaning black leather-based and Alcantara, with closely bolstered seats to maintain you in place whereas experiencing lateral Gs. And there is a fairly large spoiler on the rear that forestalls the automobile from producing raise at velocity.

The engineering adjustments that make an Air a Sapphire are much less seen. Most clearly, there’s the addition of a 3rd motor; the entrance axle retains a single motor drive unit, however the rear drive unit comprises a motor for every rear wheel.

This new twin-motor drive unit may even torque-vector, making use of constructive torque to 1 wheel and adverse torque to the opposite. In gradual corners, the powertrain can apply energy to the surface rear wheel in a nook whereas regeneratively braking the within the rear wheel, serving to the automobile pivot extra quickly. Nevertheless, Lucid hasn’t offered precise energy or torque output for the brand new model.

A cutaway of the Lucid Air Sapphire rear drive unit.
Enlarge / A cutaway of the Lucid Air Sapphire rear drive unit.


Our briefing on the Air Sapphire would possibly even be the primary time I’ve heard an EV firm speak concerning the thermal effectivity of its friction brakes. The large carbon ceramic discs are specced to haul the automobile again to a cease from almost 3 times the authorized restrict, assuming you could have a runway or occur to be in Germany to check that. It additionally rides on larger, stickier tires and on stiffer, retuned suspension.

“Our purpose with this, our first Monterey Automobile Week Sapphire mannequin, is to enrich the distinctive powertrain with sharper, extra responsive driving dynamics and elevated physique management. At a similar time, it was essential to retain the distinctive trip high quality for which Lucid Air has come to be identified,” mentioned David Lickfold, Lucid’s director of chassis and car dynamics.


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