Automobile

Lucid Air First Ride | Our close look at an electric car worth $139,000, 517 miles

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After eight years of arduous trekking and frustrating delays, Lucid Motors (finally) has everything to make electric car claims in the United States: cars, factories in Arizona, 2,000 employees, and a growing “studio” Showroom network. Now, all of Lucid’s needs are customers, including New Yorkers, who have been peeking out curious heads in the newly opened studio of the automaker in Manhattan’s fashionable Meatpacking District.

It doesn’t hurt to park Lucid Air in front, the gallery’s white paint accentuates the fresh lines, the eye-catching glass canopy and the obvious electric method. I tested a shotgun in one of the approximately 110 pre-production models that rolled off the assembly line in Casa Grande, Arizona. This electric car will have a top-of-the-line fantasy version of 1,080 horsepower. It looks “so close” to production. The car is currently undergoing final verification of software, craftsmanship and road testing. Lucid executives are determined to get rid of the delays of the pandemic and produce less than 1,000 cars by the end of the year-including the first 500 Dream Edition. The company claims that it has more than 10,000 fully refundable bookings.

“We would have liked to let customers own cars earlier this year,” said Derek Jenkins, The former Mazda Designer and Lucid’s senior vice president of design and branding. “But the most important thing is to handle it correctly, not to release the problematic car. We have a chance to make a good first impression.”

Next year will be the real test. Lucid’s goal is to produce 20,000 cars and $2.2 billion in restorative revenue. The goal of 20,000 units is an ambitious number for any high-end market Luxury car, Don’t talk about electric newcomers: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Usually the best-selling model in the United States, with a transaction value of more than 100,000 US dollars, and has not sold 20,000 units in the United States in a year since 2015. Mercedes Found about 12,500 S class Buyers in 2019, and there are only 6,600 people in 2020, which is the pandemic.

To achieve this goal, Lucid is leveraging the luxury, performance, spaciousness and EV efficiency of Air, including the $139,000 Grand Touring model I will ride today, which has 800 horsepower and a range of 517 miles.in case Environmental Protection Agency Agree, this will be the longest range of any electric car in history. Air Pure and Air Touring models (US$77,400 and US$95,000 respectively) will follow closely, and their financial status will be similar to Teslaof ModelWhen the more affordable models will arrive is a very interesting topic, and Lucid now says they will arrive in the showroom sometime in 2022.

The Pure and Touring versions (with 480 or 620 horsepower) use a single-motor rear drive system and have an estimated cruising range of 406 miles, while the dual-motor, AWD Grand Touring and Dream Edition use this approach. Lucid has not yet determined destination fees, but except for state or local awards, every airline is eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500.

Jenkins said: “We are trying to transform people,” from fossil fuel models that still occupy 97% of the market. “It’s elegant and obviously electric, but not so futuristic or harsh that you will alienate the traditional Mercedes-Benz or BMW buyer. We want them to see a beautiful car and say,’I would love to use it instead of my gasoline car. ‘”

To help complete the transaction, Lucid’s Manhattan studio showcased Air’s electric skateboard platform. Side-by-side car seats are equipped with HTC virtual reality headsets for sales prospects. Putting on the headset with Lucid Senior Director of Retail Operations Zak Edson, I configured a virtual Air with a very beautiful background and parked on the land near the Golden Gate Bridge. I see the virtual car “pilot The “panel” console screen retracts and unfolds from the dashboard; and admire the 34-inch high-resolution 5K curved display called Glass Cockpit. (It’s actually three independent panels, including two touch-sensing units for Installed on the driver’s display).

Lucid strategically locates its studios in busy areas, including some shopping malls. The New York studio is Lucid’s eighth studio. The Chicago, Boston and Phoenix studios are scheduled to open before the end of the year, and a total of 25 will be opened by the end of 2022.

“This covers approximately 90% of the major electric vehicle market and demographic data in the United States,” Jenkins said.

Lucid plans to open a service and delivery center to support each showroom, including a showroom opened by New Jersey for owners in the New York area. Since Lucid was founded in 2013, the popularity of sedans has dropped sharply, and the company plans to add a mid-size electric SUV to its lineup in 2023. It will be based on “Project gravity“The concept it intends to show next year has an external footprint similar to BMW X5 or Audi Q8.

Leaving the virtual world, it’s time to experience real life, driving Lucid technology. Even if the “80,000 USD car” is more than the “160,000 USD car” in the cabin, Air still gives the impression of legitimate luxury. Air prefers the familiar, clean-line EV aesthetics, but with high-quality materials and manufacturing quality, you can find it in Tesla’s simple dormitory. These include the optional “Santa Monica” interior, which uses rich wood, real metal and pleasant textile trims, and an upholstery blend of alpaca wool and recycled plastic fibers. Nappa leather is still available. This early-built car was not connected to a radio or navigation system, but as part of the Lucid UX interface, the huge screen display was ready for close-ups. Screen controls replace some traditional analog switches, including seats and glove boxes; although there is an oversized volume knob and hard switches for temperature and fan speed, they are all welcome.

As Advertising, The rear seat provides a lot of headroom and legroom, although the seat cushion is located closer to the floor than most seats Luxury car, And there is no foot room under the front seats.Executives said that the single-motor model is smaller, about 90 kWh battery The package (and the AWD model is 113 kWh) will open up a deeper “foot garage” at the back. The foldable rear seats provide enough space for a 6-foot surfboard, which can be accessed through the eye-catching flip hatch. The huge 10-cubic-foot frunk is the largest in the industry.

A short shotgun trip is not a substitute for a test drive, but it is enough to make us eager for the upcoming test. Is the Dream Edition really at a speed of 2.5 seconds to 60 mph? How about the claimed quarter mile of 9.9 seconds, enough to reach 144 mph in the space of five New York blocks? Again, it’s hard to tell. But it seemed that my thoughts were expected, and the driver of Lucid showed several impressive and impressive electric acceleration bursts on the West End highway.

On Manhattan’s dilapidated sidewalks, the Air ride feels very solid; the ostentatious air suspension has now been shelved and replaced by traditional springs and semi-active shock absorbers. But the power system is cemetery-like quiet and very powerful.This company is headquartered in Newark, California and is led by a Welsh-born CEO Petrolinson (As we all know, the former Tesla Model S Chief Engineer), regards internal technology development as the main competitive advantage. This includes a compact electric drive unit powder bucket-motor, transmission, inverter and differential-weighing only 165 pounds and can be packed in a carry-on bag.Or, as Edson said, it’s lighter than the 289 cubic inch V8 engine in 68. Mustang He owns. Rawlinson claims that a single unit can ultimately provide more than 670 horsepower and 4,400 pound-feet of torque. The AWD model has two units. You do math.

Lucid’s industry-leading 900 volt electrical architecture-and at 800 volts Porsche TaikangAnd 400 Tesla—allows ultra-fast DC charging, recovering up to 300 miles of range in 20 minutes, or up to 20 miles per minute. The “Wunderbox” charging device is designed for two-way charging, allowing Lucid to power homes, store home energy (through residential units that are now on the market) or return juice to the grid to balance peaks during power outages. The company is also developing its own energy storage system (ESS) for commercial and domestic use.

We did not have the opportunity to test Lucid’s driving assistance functions, and I suspect that these functions are not fully put into use. But the company touted 32 onboard sensors for Level, including the industry’s first true lidar unit and a driver monitoring camera. 2 Even level 3 semi-autonomous.

Under the eager eyes of Lucid’s industry, media and Wall Street, the company has won time and a financial lifeline through its cooperation with Lucid. Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) is called Churchill Capital IV. This “blank check” shell company has become a popular way for electric car companies, including electric car companies, to attract capital and go public. Nicholas, Fisk and Lordstown Motor CompanyLucid now expects to complete the merger in the third quarter, bringing in $4.5 billion in new funds, including $2.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which will own approximately 85% of the company’s shares. This strategy gave Lucid a preliminary “simulated” valuation of $24 billion. This dwarfs the valuations of Nikola, Fisker and Lordstown, all of which are less than $4 billion. In other words, investors trust Lucid more than the other three startups combined.

Just like Tesla before it, Lucid-politely called “no revenue” in financial jargon-is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars before it becomes anything like profit. But Lucid’s optimism includes the projected annual revenue growth of nearly 200%, starting from $2.2 billion next year, and reaching nearly $24 billion in revenue by 2026. Lucid expects to sell nearly 50,000 cars by 2023 and as many as 500,000 cars per year by 2030, which of course requires more factories.

For some, the key detail of the merger is Lucid’s Nasdaq ticker, which switched from “CCIV” to “LCID.”versus Elon MuskTesla’s valuation is crazy, and the listing reminds us that trading has become as important as tire kicks: if people are impressed with Air after visiting the studio and choose to snap up stocks instead of cars, Lucid might not mind a bit. .

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