Lucid Group has unveiled its most powerful model to date, which also happens to be the world's most powerful production sedan, period. Making its public debut at the Quail Lodge during Monterey Car Week, the Lucid Air Sapphire is described by the automaker as the world's first luxury electric super-sports sedan.
With three electric motors making more than 1,200 horsepower, carbon-ceramic brakes, an aerodynamic body kit and track-tuned suspension, this is probably going to give the Tesla Model S Plaid a good run for its money.
Here are just a few key performance specs: 0-60 mph in under 2 seconds, 0-100 mph in under 4 seconds, the quarter-mile in under 9 seconds and a top speed exceeding 200 mph (322 km/h). Mind you, these figures can be achieved with no extra-cost equipment upgrades or protracted preconditioning routines.
Mountains of power, clever torque vectoring applications
The driving force behind these phenomenal numbers is Lucid's first three-motor powertrain featuring a new twin motor rear-drive unit and a single motor front-drive unit.
Developed and manufactured in-house by Lucid, the motors incorporate the company's microjet stator cooling and wave winding. The twin rear-drive unit also introduces new heat exchanger technology and heightened coolant flow rate. The battery system is also upgraded for higher power and more precise thermal logic.
As a result, the Lucid Air Sapphire delivers even more horsepower than the brand's most powerful dual-motor models, the 1,111-hp Air Dream Edition Performance and 1,050-hp Air Grand Touring Performance.
Gallery: 2024 Lucid Air Sapphire
With over 1,200 horsepower (the final power, torque and range ratings will be announced later), the Lucid Air Sapphire is not only the most powerful electric sedan in the world—it packs 180+ horsepower more than the Tesla Model S Plaid—it is the most powerful production sedan in the world, of any fuel type.
Besides delivering mountains of torque to the rear axle, the twin rear-drive unit also enables torque vectoring, which has several interesting applications. Torque vectoring enables the rear motors to effectively pivot the rear of the vehicle by providing torque to the rear wheels in opposite directions to promote either turn-in or straight-line stability.
While a brake-based setup and a rear-wheel steering system can also accomplish that, Lucid says its system is faster, quieter, and more seamless. For example, in tight corners, regenerative braking is applied on the inside wheel while powering the outside wheel, enhancing vehicle turn-in rotation with much quicker response times than RWS systems.
Carbon ceramic brakes, upgraded suspension and staggered wheels
To give the Air Sapphire a stopping power matching its sensational performance, Lucid fitted massive carbon ceramic brakes as standard—a $20,000 option on the Model S Plaid. The automaker says these brakes provide "exceptional stopping power and contribute to Lucid Air Sapphire's endurance in high-performance driving."
Furthermore, the vehicle gets stiffer front and rear springs, unique damper settings, stiffer bushings, and a unique tuning for ABS, traction, stability control, and electronic power steering.
"Our aim with this, our first Sapphire model, is to complement the exceptional powertrain with sharper, more responsive driving dynamics and increased body control. At the same time, it was important to retain the exceptional ride quality for which Lucid Air has come to be known."
David Lickfold, Director of Chassis and Vehicle Dynamics, Lucid Group
The Lucid Air Sapphire rides on wider Aero Sapphire staggered wheels and specially developed Michelin PS4S tires sized 265/35R20 at front and 295/30R21 in the rear. The unique wheels feature removable carbon-fiber aero disk wheel covers, which are said to further optimize the aerodynamic efficiency of the car.
Subtle yet effective styling tweaks inside and out
From a styling perspective, you'll recognize the Lucid Air Sapphire thanks to its beefier yet subtle aero kit consisting of a front splitter, extended lip spoiler, generous rear diffuser, and 21-inch wheels, as well as the exclusive Sapphire Blue paint complemented by the standard Stealth Look package.
Inside, the Air Sapphire introduces a new interior theme called Sapphire Mojave which includes new highly bolstered 18-way power sport seats, upholstered in black leather trimmed with black Alcantara and Sapphire Blue contrast stitching. While designed for dynamic driving, the seats are said to still provide "decadent" comfort, featuring heating, cooling and massage functionality.
The headrests sport a debossed Lucid bear logo (a hint at the brand's Californian origins), the dash and doors are decorated with Mojave dark wood veneers, while the steering wheel and upper roof structure for the standard Glass Canopy roof are trimmed in black Alcantara. Finally, the on-screen display features a unique Sapphire theme with specially configured drive modes and performance settings.
Lucid will offer the Air Sapphire as a limited-production model, with production scheduled to begin in the first half of 2023 and deliveries shortly after. The starting MSRP is $249,900 in the US ($325,000 CAD in Canada) and reservations will go live on August 23, 2022 at 9 am Pacific time.
The Air Sapphire represents the launch of an entirely new performance-focused brand within Lucid, with additional Sapphire variants to be available for all future models going forward.