Lucid Motor (formerly known as Atieva) revealed their first electric car – the Air sedan, last year after extensive testing, spanning over two years. The California-based carmaker continues to test the Tesla-rival as they took the Lucid Air Alpha prototype to the Transportation Research Center (TRC) facility in Ohio, where the car hit a top speed of 235mph (378kmph) at the track’s high-speed oval.
First tested in April, the Air Alpha prototypes managed a humble 217mph (350kmph) when the car was equipped with a roll cage, additional aerodynamic aids and a parachute. However, this time around, the software restriction was pulled out for the run and the 986bhp all-electric sedan breached all existing records to gain an astonishing top speed of 378kmph, hitherto unheard in the realms of electric vehicles.
Compared to earlier tests, the modifications done to the vehicle included a software update to the air suspension in order to improve responsiveness when heavily loaded on the track. The front motor was provided with better coolant flow and ventilation, and a pair of aerodynamically efficient wheels were fitted.
Interestingly, the 378kmph speed that the prototype recorded at this stage of development is still not the final production top speed according to Lucid. The carmaker will gun for another attempt soon, perhaps to explore the full potential of the electric sedan before it hits the road as a production spec.
Currently available for booking in limited markets, this car is priced at $52,500 for the base variant. It will get a 400bhp powertrain in the production spec from a single motor with a range of 240miles (386km), but a 400-mile (643km) version is available as an option. The 1000bhp version will come with a twin motor set up and four-wheel drive system. The Air will be outfitted with an autonomous system when the regulations allow for it, asserts the carmaker. The reclining executive seats at the rear is the highlight for the Air, thus promising the space of a large luxury saloon inside a spacious midsize sedan.
Production of the Air will start next year at the carmaker’s Arizona facility with the first batch of deliveries commencing shortly afterwards.