Lucid Launches New EV Performance Brand With 3-Motor Sedan - TechCrunch

Lucid Group, the publicly traded electric car maker, is launching a new high-performance luxury brand called Sapphire that pushes the boundaries of performance and price.

As part of the public debut that took place Friday morning at the Quail Lodge during Monterey Car Week, the company gave its first EV – Lucid Air sedan — sapphire treatment.

That means more than a new paint color, an interior theme with heavily bolstered 18-way power sport seats upholstered in black leather, and a Sapphire-themed head-up display — though they’re all in the new Lucid Air Sapphire, which is priced at $249,000 ( excluding taxes and destination charges).

Lucid Sapphire Air EV

Image Credits: Lucid Group

The big notable improvement is a tri-motor drivetrain with a new dual-motor rear drive and single-motor front drive that improves overall performance. The dual rear-drive unit features new heat exchanger technology and increased coolant flow. The company said it has also revamped the battery system for higher power and more precise thermal logic.

The end result (or one of them) is a vehicle that can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than two seconds, zero to 100 mph in less than four seconds, and the quarter mile standing still in more than just under 9 seconds, according to Lucid.

Lucid doesn’t have the final horsepower figures yet — those will be announced later, along with instrumented performance demonstrations of the car. The company confirmed that the Lucid Air Sapphire tri-motor drive system has more than 1,200 hp. Lucid did not share the range of this high-performance EV. Its other Air variants have a range of between 406 and 520 miles on a single charge.

Lucid Sapphire AIR EV

A view of the lower Sapphire Air skateboard showing the rear drive unit and inverters. Image Credits: Lucid Group

The drive allows for a more dynamic experience than a four-wheel drive system. In the Lucid Sapphire Air, the dual rear drive unit can turn the rear of the car and provide torque to the rear wheels in opposite directions.

For drivers, this should result in better cornering balance when entering and exiting corners, quick response times and stability.

Other new elements that set the Lucid Air Sapphire apart from other Air variants include stiffer front and rear springs, unique damper settings, stiffer bushings, specific tuning for ABS, traction, stability control and electronic power steering, according to the company.

The Sapphire Air also comes standard with carbon-ceramic brakes and Aero Sapphire wheels, with specially developed Michelin PS4S tires, measuring 265/35R20 at the front and 295/30R21 at the rear. These wheels come with removable carbon fiber aero disc wheel covers that are included to further increase the car’s aerodynamic efficiency.

Lucid Sapphire AIR EV

The image shows the Sapphire Air with aero disc wheel covers. Image Credits: Lucid Group

Although Lucid executives have talked about introducing lower-priced models, now is not the time. The Sapphire brand is stepping up market from its already luxury priced Lucid Air.

The company said it will make a limited number of Lucid Air Sapphire EV sedans priced at $249,000. Deliveries are planned for the US and Canada next year. Lucid said it will begin accepting reservations at 9 a.m. on August 23.

This new performance marque comes just a few months since Lucid announced it would begin production of a high-performance companion to its long-awaited Lucid Air luxury sedan: Grand Tourer with 1050 horsepower with a range of 446 miles priced at $179,000.

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