A Game of Inches: 2021 Lucid Air EV Sedan

Lucid Motors showed the world their cards today, and they didn’t come to lose. The 2021 Lucid Air 5-seat electric sedan will be the world’s fastest production electric vehicle (EV) when it’s expected to hit U.S. roadways in the Spring of 2021. Not only can the car dispense of the quarter-mile in 9.92 seconds, but is also estimated to have a 517-mile range, the longest of any production EV yet. Remember, this is a luxury 4-door sedan!

The Lucid Air will even charge faster than the competition. With just 20-minutes of charge, it can deliver 300 miles of range. Lucid Motor’s debut offering is nothing short of audacious in its claims. There is little doubt Lucid is aiming to be the champions of electric luxury automobiles.

Lucid Motors Air

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Lucid’s Winning Strategy of Compromise

“When we embarked on this journey at Lucid Motors and the development of our first vehicle, the Lucid Air, we refused to compromise. We decided early on that we were going to pursue every facet of performance, innovation, and luxury,” said Derek Jenkins, VP of Design, Lucid Motors.

If there is one truth in automotive engineering, it is that everything is a compromise. The massive 113 kWh of battery in the Air’s proprietary skateboard chassis comes at a weight penalty. Luxury materials increase the MSRP. Lucid’s “next-level” Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), with 32 different sensors and LIDAR, adds technological complexity. Every feature comes with a cost and as a result, engineering quickly seems like a zero-sum game (this is why all your engineer friends are curmudgeons) . electric vehicle, sports cars, super cars, tesla, driving, transportation,electric vehicle, sports cars, super cars, tesla, driving, transportation,electric vehicle, sports cars, super cars, tesla, driving, transportation,electric vehicle, sports cars, super cars, tesla, driving, transportation,electric vehicle, sports cars, super cars, tesla, driving, transportation, electric vehicle, sports cars, super cars, tesla, driving, transportation,

Lucid Motors Air

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The Lucid launch feels eerily similar to the 2012 launch of the Fiskar Karma. The Karma was a spectacular vehicle – a sporty hybrid luxury sedan with premium materials and equally audacious specs for the time. My engineering friends at Fiskar were especially dispirited – the Karma they said suffered from design-by-committee and scope-creep. Every play they wanted to make required a full team time-out and resulted in delays and blown formations. As a result, the final production car was bloated and complex. Karmas were heavy, unprofitable, and failure-prone – fewer than 1,800 made it to market.

The way Lucid aims to win in automotive design is “one inch at a time.”  Automotive inches are gained through little wins in efficiency that by themselves appear marginal but in aggregate can transform an EV into a lean, elegant design that is simple to execute, saves costs, and delivers the best value to customers. Value to customers is essential in the crowded lux-sport-sedan market, and if you believe Lucid’s press release – they have the right playbook to execute on this.

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