the response to the Tesla Model S Plaid is brutal

The Lucid Air Sapphire Edition is the latest special-edition sedan from the American automaker. His goal: to do better than the Tesla Model S Plaid.

Lucid Air –  Frandroid –  IMG_0712
Lucid Performance Grand Touring // Source: Lucid

The Lucid Air sedan features in our selection of America’s most anticipated electric cars. It’s certainly the toughest challenger to the Tesla Model S, especially the Performance Grand Touring, with over 1,000 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 2.6 seconds. To do better than Tesla, Lucid is doing everything possible with a brand new model named Lucid Air Sapphire. The latter made its debut at Monterey Car Week.


1200 horsepower with three motors

This Lucid Air Sapphire model has three motors, with 1,200 total horsepower. With an additional engine at the rear, it is supposed to reach 100 km/h in less than two seconds and 160 km/h in less than four seconds with a top speed of 321 km/h. Such performance is not cheap, however, this model will go into limited production next year, it will do so with a price tag of $249,000. That’s $69,000 more than the Grand Touring Performance ($180,000).

Lucid Air –  Frandroid –  IMG_0708
Lucid Performance Grand Touring // Source: Lucid

In addition to a blue paint job, the Air Sapphire has a sportier interior and exterior than other Air models. That means black leather and Alcantara. Then there is a fairly large spoiler at the rear which prevents the car from generating lift at high speeds. It also comes standard with large carbon-ceramic brakes.

Lucid Air –  Frandroid –  IMG_0709
Lucid Performance Grand Touring // Source: Lucid

This model can also apply what is called torque vectoring, applying positive torque to one wheel and negative torque to the other. In small turns, the powertrain can apply power to the outside rear wheel while regeneratively braking the inside rear wheel.

It is a safety technology, more effective than anti-lock brakes (ABS), which also reduces premature brake wear. With torque vectoring, power is selectively distributed to the wheels with the most grip.

Lucid Air –  Frandroid –  IMG_0710
Lucid Performance Grand Touring // Source: Lucid

Lucid is also quick to point out in its press release that, unlike some competitors, this Sapphire version won’t need any sort of paid upgrades or pre-packaging to complete launches in under two seconds. This is obviously a poke at Tesla, the Tesla Model S Plaid requires a “Plaid” preconditioning to achieve its best performance.

Remember here that Lucid Motors has recruited an engineer who knows Tesla perfectly… Peter Rawlinson, the latter worked on the Model S and the Lucid Air. In short, we do not know if this model will be released in Europe, or how many copies will be produced.

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