Lucid Motors is finally ready to unveil the production-ready version of its 1,000-horsepower electric car that boasts an impressive 400 miles of range. The Lucid Air was first seen in 2016 in preproduction guise, but the company has dragged its feet on getting the car ready for sale. The version customers will actually get to buy is scheduled to be unveiled in New York this April, Lucid said in a blog post.
The post did not give a specific date for the unveiling, but press days for the 2020 New York Auto Show are April 8-9, so Lucid may stage the unveiling around that time to take advantage of the convergence of automotive media on the Big Apple for the show.
The Lucid Air was unveiled in 2016, and the company quickly announced plans for a new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, to build the electric car. But Lucid Motors seemed to run out of juice after that. The company confirmed a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in 2018, but little apparent progress was made on the factory or development of the Air. Lucid only recently broke ground on the Arizona factory, and said it is building 80 “beta prototypes” that are 95 percent identical to the promised production models. In the meantime, a planned 2019 launch slipped by; Lucid now hopes to start production in late 2020.
The Air is a rival to the Tesla Model S, promising long range and serious performance in a luxury sedan package. Lucid previously said high-end models would have 1,000 hp, with a maximum range of 400 miles and a price in the six-figure range. A prototype hit 235 mph on an Ohio test track in 2017. Lucid also previously discussed an entry-level model, with 400 hp, 240 miles of range, and a starting price of $60,000. In 2017, an executive told Digital Trends that Lucid planned to add autonomous driving capability to its cars in the future, although it’s unclear if that is still the plan.
If that sounds good to you, Lucid is currently taking $2,500 refundable deposits for the Air. As it finally shepherds the Air closer to production, Lucid faces significant competition from other upstart automakers, as well as more established brands, which are finally launching electric cars almost eight years after the arrival of the Tesla Model S.