Lucid Group, the publicly traded electric vehicle maker, has launched a new high-performance luxury brand called Sapphire that pushes the boundaries of performance and price.
As part of the public debut, which took place Friday morning at the Quail Lodge during Monterey Car Week, the company gave its first electric vehicle – the Lucid Air sedan – the Sapphire treatment.
That means more than a new paint color, an interior theme with heavily bolstered 18-way electric sports seats covered in black leather and a sapphire-themed on-screen display – although these are all in the new Lucid Air Sapphire which is priced at $249,000 (excluding taxes and destination charges).
The big, noticeable improvement is a three-motor powertrain with a new dual-motor rear drive unit and a single-motor front drive unit that improves overall performance. The dual-rear-drive unit features new heat exchanger technology and increased coolant flow. The company said it also upgraded the battery system for higher power and more accurate thermal logic.
The end result (or one of them) is a vehicle that can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in under two seconds, from zero to 100 mph in under four seconds and the standing quarter mile in under 9 seconds, according to Lucid.
Lucid does not yet have final horsepower figures – those will be announced later, along with instrumented demonstrations of the vehicle’s performance capabilities. The company has confirmed that the three-motor Lucid Air Sapphire powertrain has over 1,200 hp. Lucid didn’t share the range of this performance EV. Its other Air variants have ranges of between 406 and 520 miles on a single charge.
The powertrain allows for a more dynamic experience than an all-wheel-drive system. In the Lucid Sapphire Air, dual rear-wheel drive can rotate the rear of the vehicle and deliver torque to the rear wheels in opposite directions.
For drivers, this should translate to 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 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 tyres, sized 265/35R20 front and 295/30R21 rear. These wheels come with removable carbon fiber aero disc hubcaps, which are included to further improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the car.
While Lucid execs have talked about introducing low-cost models, now is not the time. The Sapphire brand is up 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 United States and Canada next year. Lucid said he would start taking reservations at 9 a.m. on August 23.
This new performance brand comes just months after Lucid announced it would begin producing a high-performance companion to its long-awaited Lucid Air luxury sedan: a 1,050-hp grand tourer with a 446-mile range at a price of $179,000.