For electric vehicle start-up Lucid Motors, the future looks exceedingly bright.
First, it’s rare for a new manufacturer to release its very first vehicle and have it become a resounding success. That’s what happened when the Lucid Air debuted just over two years ago. It’s also rare for an EV manufacturer to have its own proprietary powertrain and to develop most of its components in-house—most rely on off-the-shelf technology from partner companies. But not Lucid.
The Air with the longest range, the Grand Touring, can travel an astounding 830 kilometres on a single charge. The fastest Air, the Sapphire, has a whoppping 1,234 horsepower and can streak to 100 kilometres per hour in a reported 1.89 seconds. The fastest-charging Air models can soak up 320 kilometres of range in just 12 minutes. No matter which other EV you may choose as a comparison tool, those are same incredible numbers.
At the 2023 Los Angeles International Auto Show, the second Lucid Motors model hit the stage—the forthcoming Gravity.
Built on a brand new platform and armed with the latest version of the manufacturer’s compact and mighty powertrain, this SUV is set to appear in production form later this year. Although the various trim levels and powertrain differences have yet to be announced, the manufacturer vows the Gravity will have significant levels of performance and versatility.
The sprint from 0-100 kilometres per hour will take, at most, some 3.5 seconds. At the same time, this SUV will be able to transport either five or seven passengers in supreme and quiet comfort, and is expected to have a towing capacity of at least 2,721 kilograms (6,000 pounds).
When the production Gravity sees the light of day, the top-of-the-range model will feature an estimated 708 kilometres of all-electric driving range. While this is significantly less than the range for the Lucid Air Grand Touring, it’s still spectacular. In addition, the SUV will share the same 900-volt architecture as the Air, which means lightning-quick charge times.
When hooked up to a suitably powerful fast-charger, the Gravity is expected to match the Air in terms of recharging prowess—up to 320 kilometres of range added in just 15 minutes at the proverbial pump. (That’s barely enough time to grab a nitro cold brew and catch a handful of reels.)
In terms of design, the Gravity’s sleek silhouette shares elements with the Air, including the soft edges and imposing stance. Inside, there are similarities as well. The first SUV from Lucid features the same massive digital instrument panel and tablet-style centre console, but the odd-shaped steering wheel is different, more squarish in look compared to the Air. Of course, the other big difference is significantly more interior space than the sedan.
“Our customers are driven to design and driven to understated technology,” says Derek Jenkins, Lucid Motors senior vice-president of design and brand. “The Air is a striking vehicle but still understated compared to its performance.”
He goes on to refer to the Air as “a foundational vehicle to prove our capability” but acknowledges that the Gravity is the vehicle tasked with making the name Lucid Motors top of mind with luxury buyers. In addition to different battery pack sizes and potential drive configurations for the SUV, there will be clear visual differences amoung the different models and various packages available.
“Designing off-the-shelf is not in our DNA,” Jenkins contends. “We aim to establish ourselves as real leaders in the EV space—our target is excellence.”