The Lucid Air Sapphire debuts as the brand's new performance pinnacle at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, during Monterey Car Week. With three electric motors making over 1,200 horsepower (895 kilowatts), the model has the Tesla Model S Plaid directly in its sights.
The Air Sapphire has an electric motor powering each rear wheel, in addition to a third motor turning the front axle. For now, the company only says the output is over 1,200 hp. The final number comes later along along with instrumented demonstrations of the car's performance abilities.
Gallery: Lucid Air Sapphire
Lucid projects that the Air Sapphire can hit 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in less than 2.0 seconds. The sprint to 100 mph (161 kph) should take less than 4.0 seconds. The company estimates the quarter-mile sprint to require less than 9.0 seconds. The automaker notes that no "protracted preconditioning routines" are necessary to achieve this performance.
The two motors at the rear offer advantages beyond just straight-line acceleration. They can send torque in different directions to each wheel, which allows for sharper turn-in when cornering. If a turn is especially tight, then the drivetrain controller brakes the inside wheel while directing power to the outside.
To keep this tech running, the rear motors use new heat exchangers and a higher coolant flow rate. Lucid says the battery system has higher power and more precise thermal logic, but the company's announcement doesn't offer any specifics about the tweaks.
The Sapphire has stiffer springs and suspension bushings, in addition to revised damper settings, in comparison to other variants of the Air. The settings for the anti-lock brakes, traction, stability control, and electronic power steering are also different. The vehicle comes standard with carbon-ceramic brake discs.
The Sapphire rides on wheels with five pairs of spokes with a U-shaped design. A carbon-fiber aero disc attaches to the outside of them. The Michelin PS4S tires measure 20 inches in front and 21 inches at the back.
At launch, the sedan comes exclusively in the new color Sapphire Blue and has the Stealth Look package as standard. The interior has heavily bolstered sport seats, but they still have 18-way power adjustment, heating, ventilation, and massage functions.
Lucid Air Sapphire begins production in the first half of 2023, and the company begins taking reservations for them on August 23. Prices in the United States start at $249,000 before an undisclosed destination price.