The Lucid Air Sapphire debuted as the brand’s new performance pinnacle at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, during Monterey Car Week. With three electric motors producing over 1,200 horsepower (895 kilowatts), this model has the Tesla Model S Plaid right in sight.
The Air Sapphire has an electric motor that drives each rear wheel, in addition to a third motor that rotates the front axle. For now, the company only says output is over 1,200 hp. The final number comes later along with a demonstration of the car’s performance capabilities.
Lucid projects that Air Sapphire can reach 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 take less than 9.0 seconds. The automaker notes that no “protracted conditioning routine” is required to achieve this performance.
The two motors at the rear offer advantages over straight-line acceleration. They can send torque in different directions to each wheel, which allows for sharper turns during cornering. If the turn is very tight, the drivetrain controller brakes the inner wheels while directing power outward.
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To keep this technology going, the rear motor uses a new heat exchanger 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 tweak.
The Sapphire has stiffer springs and suspension bushings, in addition to a revised damper arrangement, compared to other Air variants. Settings for anti-lock brakes, traction, stability control and electronic power steering are also different. The vehicle comes standard with carbon-ceramic disc brakes.
The Sapphire rides on wheels with five pairs of spokes in a U-shaped design. Carbon fiber aero discs are attached to the outside. Michelin PS4S tires measure 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear.
At launch, the sedan comes exclusively in the new Sapphire Blue color and has a Stealth Look package as standard. The interior has sports seats that are heavily supported, but still have 18-way power adjustment, heating, ventilation and massage functions.
The Lucid Air Sapphire began production in the first half of 2023, and the company began making reservations for them on August 23. Prices in the United States start at $249,000 before undisclosed destination prices.