Tesla re-set the bar for high-performance cars when it launched the Model S in 2012. Almost as soon as customers got their hands on them, videos of the big electric vehicles taking the high-end exotic ICE cars to school started popping up on YouTube. – and that instant torque and off-the-fly acceleration have since become a big part of the electric car’s identity. So when Lucid unveiled its 1,111 HP Lucid Air Dream Performance a while ago, Tesla responded with an even more powerful Model S Plaid.
Now it’s Lucid’s turn again – and they’ve come up with a 1,200 HP tri-motor version of the Dream they’re calling “Sapphire”.
Tesla Corsa Country
If there were any doubts about Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson’s intentions with Sapphire, they were blown out of the water by the company’s choice of location for the official photo shoot: Laguna Seca.
The Tesla Model S Plaid prototype famously set some sedan records in testing there, while the modified production car – built by my friends at Unplugged Performance and driven by chaser Randy Pobst – set even more records, beating the best time set by a Porsche GT2 RS in the process. In other words, the track has become hallowed ground for the Tesla faithful, and Lucid’s marketing team just drew a line in the sand. A line they support with their own boots, in the form of the ‘original’ Top Gear Stig, Mr Ben Collins. (!)
You can catch some early video of Ben whipping the Sapphire around Laguna Seca below. He won’t tell us the time set by the car, but by my count it seems pretty close to 1:28 – what do you think? Check out the video, read the official press release (below), then let us know what you think of the new Lucid in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Lucid Air Sapphire | Prototype on the track
Introducing Sapphire: The pinnacle of electric performance
Introducing Lucid’s Sapphire brand with the Lucid Air Sapphire, the world’s first luxury electric super sports sedan
- The Lucid Air Sapphire features three motors, carbon-ceramic brakes, an aerodynamic package, new sports seats and track-tuned suspension for an amazing driver-focused sports experience.
- Less than two seconds 0-60 mph, less than four seconds 0-100 mph, less than nine seconds quarter mile and a top speed in excess of 200 mph
- Production will begin in the first half of 2023
NEWARK, California. – Lucid Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LCID), setting new standards with the longest-range and fastest-charging EV on the market with the award-winning Lucid Air, today introduced Sapphire, Lucid’s new ultra-high-performance brand, spearheaded by the new Lucid Air Sapphire – the first all-electric luxury super sports sedan on the world.
“Last year, Lucid rocked the world with the launch of Lucid Air, a fusion of unrivaled range, efficiency, superior driving dynamics and interior space, uniquely enabled by our in-house technology,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Group. “Today, with the introduction of the Sapphire range, we are taking another logical step forward. Lucid Air Sapphire, the first ever Lucid product to bear the Sapphire name, builds on our engineering prowess and takes high electric performance to the next level. Sapphire represents the pinnacle of electrical performance; finally achieved the performance I’ve been looking for for so long. After careful development work, I can confirm that the Lucid Air Sapphire has achieved satisfactory performance and I believe even the most demanding drivers will agree.
“Sapphire is the epitome of what luxury with ultra-high performance means to Lucid,” said Derek Jenkins, SVP of Brand and Design, Lucid Group. “Sapphire is among the most valuable gemstones, prized for its brilliance, color and hardness. Imperial Blue has long been the de facto national color of American motorsports teams competing internationally. As Lucid’s dedicated ultra-high performance brand, Sapphire references this history while setting new standards for innovation and technology.
Lucid Air Sapphire: The world’s first luxury electric super sedan
At the heart of the Lucid Air Sapphire is a triple-motor drivetrain – a first for Lucid – with a new dual-motor rear drive unit and a single-motor front drive unit.
“With three state-of-the-art electric motors – all developed and manufactured in-house at Lucid – the Lucid Air Sapphire reaches a whole new level of performance,” said Eric Bach, SVP of Product and Principal Engineer, Lucid Group. “And because the three-engine Lucid Air has always been part of the development program, it retains all the strengths of the Lucid Air variants already on the market – including limo-like rear legroom, a voluminous trunk and trunk, and impressive efficiency.”
These technically innovative electric motors feature Lucid stator microjet cooling and wave winding. The dual rear drive unit also introduces new heat exchanger technology and increased coolant flow. The battery system is also improved for higher performance and more accurate thermal logic.
As expected, the Lucid Air Sapphire’s three-motor powertrain delivers even more horsepower than the car’s twin-motor siblings, including the 1,050-hp Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance. With over 1,200 hp, the Lucid Air Sapphire isn’t just the world’s most powerful electric sedan, it’s the most powerful sedan in the world.
With this massive power and the improved delivery provided by the dual rear-drive unit, the Lucid Air Sapphire accelerates from rest to 60 mph in less than two seconds, zero to 100 mph in less than four seconds, and the quarter mile from rest in less than 9 seconds . These values are achievable without additional costly equipment upgrades or lengthy preparation procedures. In addition, massive carbon-ceramic disc brakes are standard, giving the Air Sapphire stopping power to match its amazing performance.
Final performance ratings will be announced at a later date, along with instrument demonstrations of the vehicle’s incredible performance capabilities.
Performance in perfect harmony: handling and braking as standard
As with other Lucid Air variants, Lucid engineers took a holistic approach when developing the first Sapphire model. In practice, this meant paying exacting attention to every aspect of performance.
“Our goal with this, our first Sapphire model, is to complement the exceptional powertrain with sharper, more responsive driving dynamics and better body control,” said David Lickfold, director of chassis and vehicle dynamics, Lucid Group. “At the same time, it was important to maintain the exceptional ride quality that Lucid Air is known for.”
The Lucid Air Sapphire features stiffer front and rear springs, unique shock setup, stiffer bushings and unique tuning of ABS, traction, stability control and electronic power steering. The standard carbon-ceramic brakes provide exceptional stopping power and contribute to the endurance of the Lucid Air Sapphire during high-performance riding. This advanced chassis setup is designed to maximize the benefits of the torque vectoring capability of the tri-motor powertrain, as well as wider, more aggressive wheels and tires. The car rides on extremely high-performance Aero Sapphire staggered wheels with specially developed Michelin PS4S tires measuring 265/35R20 at the front and 295/30R21 at the rear. These unique wheels also feature removable carbon fiber aero disc covers to further optimize the car’s aerodynamic efficiency.
In addition to delivering amazing rear-end performance, the dual rear drive unit enables torque vectoring that extends the car’s capabilities beyond what is achievable with a passive all-wheel drive system.
For example, a dual rear-drive unit can effectively turn the rear of the vehicle and provide torque to the rear wheels in opposite directions to promote cornering or straight-ahead stability – similar to a brake-and-rear-wheel-based setup. wheel steering system, but faster, quieter and smoother. In sharp turns, the system is able to apply regenerative braking to the inside wheel while powering the outside wheel, which significantly improves the vehicle’s cornering and is much more responsive than rear wheel steering systems.
The benefits to the driver are wide-ranging, with improvements in cornering, cornering balance at all speeds, cornering and high-speed stability and noise suppression. The driving experience is different in different driving modes to get more character in conjunction with steering, suspension, drivetrain and brake settings.
A new shade of speed: sapphire design, inside and out
The Lucid Air Sapphire is designed to be as functional as it is beautiful.
Special attention was paid to improving the aerodynamic character of the Lucid Air Sapphire body. The result of this effort is a balance between added downforce, which improves vehicle stability at higher speeds, and reduced drag, which affects both performance and efficiency.
The introduction of Lucid’s Sapphire branding also marks the introduction of a new Sapphire Blue exterior paint, a vibrant color that will be exclusive to Sapphire cars. Initially, all Lucid Air Sapphires will be finished exclusively in the new Sapphire Blue color to mark the launch of the brand.
The Lucid Air Sapphire comes standard with the recently announced Stealth Look, which brings a more sinister sporty character to the car’s exterior.
The Lucid Air Sapphire cabin extends the purposeful beauty of the exterior with a new interior theme called Sapphire Mojave. This includes new highly bolstered 18-way power sport seats upholstered in black leather trimmed in black Alcantara and contrasting Sapphire Blue stitching. Although the seats are designed for spirited driving, they still provide decadent comfort with heating, cooling and massaging functions. The headrest is embossed with the Lucid bear logo, one of the icons of Lucid’s brand identity, reflecting the brand’s California origins. Dark Mojave wood veneers adorn the dashboard and doors, while the steering wheel and upper roof structure of the standard Glass Canopy roof are trimmed in black Alcantara.
The Lucid Air Sapphire also features a unique Sapphire-themed on-screen display with specially configured ride modes and performance settings.
The future is faster
The Lucid Air Sapphire makes its public debut at Quail Lodge during Monterey Car Week. The Lucid Air Sapphire will be offered as a limited-production model, with deliveries planned for the US and Canada next year. Price is $249,000 and $325,0001. Reservations will be posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at 9:00 AM PT.
Availability information for markets outside of North America will be communicated in the future.
What’s more, the Lucid Air Sapphire is just the beginning, introducing a brand new performance-focused brand within Lucid. Additional Sapphire models will be available for all Lucid models, continuing to set new standards for luxury look and feel.
Source | images: Lucid Motors.
Do you appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and reporting? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, technician or ambassador – or a patron on Patreon.
Don’t want to miss a story about clean technologies? Sign up for daily updates from CleanTechnica by email. Or follow us on Google News!
Got a CleanTechnica tip, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.