The Lucid Air Sapphire — 1st Journey

Lucid has dropped the official specs for its peak efficiency Air Sapphire they usually invited CleanTechnica out to an unique drive occasion within the foothills overlooking Los Angeles, California. We sat down with Lucid’s Senior Vice President of Design and Model, Derek Jenkins, and Lucid’s Director of Car Dynamics, David Lickfold, to speak concerning the DNA of the Air Sapphire.

Proper out of the gate, the Lucid Air Sapphire utterly redefines the idea of a luxurious efficiency sedan. The Mercedes S-Class has set the bar on this class for many years and has been the go-to car for consumers in search of luxurious whereas being pushed round within the rear seat and efficiency whenever you need it from the huge combustion engines underneath the hood. Lucid has now stepped into the motive force’s seat.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

The Lucid Air Sapphire takes this idea and explodes it right into a thousand tiny items. The efficiency supplied on the Lucid Air Sapphire with its 1,234 horsepower and 1,430 foot-pounds of torque push it firmly previous supercar territory, straight into the rarified air of the hypercar elite. Its competing with 2-seat, purpose-built Italian stallions and it’s doing in order a four-door sedan which you can comfortably haul a household round in to soccer video games. On the identical time, it might probably additionally deal with college pickups, picnics, and weekend hikes within the mountains with the household.

Refined Efficiency

Sapphire pushes every little thing Lucid is doing to the intense. It’s the halo model inside Lucid and reveals the world what its know-how can do when all limits are eliminated. It’s what you may think would come out the opposite finish if Lucid despatched just a few dozen engineers into the desert with among the highest efficiency motors, batteries, energy electronics, and software program with a limiteless funds. They’ve come again down from the mountain and it’s lovely.

Lucid’s Senior Vice President of Design and Model Derek Jenkins took us across the car, highlighting the outside enhancements made to optimize the Sapphire. The general exterior bundle of the Air Sapphire is similar as the opposite flavors of the Air, with refined refinements that ship elevated aerodynamic efficiency. It boasts an unique ultra-dark Sapphire blue paint that pops wildly within the daylight. Muted carbon fiber mirror caps and playful California bear logos intensify the brand new colour, serving as refined indicators of its Sapphire standing.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Up entrance, Jenkins talked about how Lucid added a pronounced new chin spoiler to offer a little bit of further downforce on the car. The higher the downforce on the car, the extra energy Lucid’s engineers can push by means of the tires with out breaking traction. Out again, a extra pronounced carbon fiber spoiler helps hold the rear of the car planted. Lucid even tuned the underbody shielding with new aero channels to optimize airflow across the car.

Downforce all the time comes with the expense of aerodynamic effectivity, however on this case, Lucid knew it wanted to offer the tires as a lot of a preventing probability as attainable to keep up traction when the 1,234 horsepower and 1,430 foot-pounds of torque had been summoned. The brand new staggered wheel set on the Air Sapphire was enabled by a set of refined fender flares that guarantee the additional rubber would nonetheless be in compliance.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

These new open rims present how Lucid is consistently balancing efficiency and luxurious and on this case opted for a much less aerodynamically environment friendly rim in favor of upper efficiency within the type of brake cooling. For the Sapphire particularly, Lucid added new ducting and put a further deal with including airflow being delivered to the outsized calipers and rotors to make sure they by no means warmth up over the course of a single circuit on the observe or perhaps a lengthy day on the observe in one of many three customizable observe modes out there.


With the Air Sapphire, Lucid has constructed what feels far more like a transformer, leveraging the facility of insane software-driven engineering to morph the automobile from an opulent cruiser to a observe slayer, relying on what you’re in search of. The totally different driving experiences are packed up right into a collection of 4 totally different driving modes that utterly change the persona of the car to match your temper.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

For the trip residence from work, the Easy driving mode offers the sensation of a luxurious saloon. It smooths off the acceleration curve, delivering a muted 750 horsepower which is paired with a extra damped suspension that delivers predictable dealing with appropriate for on a regular basis driving. That’s to not say that it’s boring or dry. Even in its most vanilla mode, the Air Sapphire nonetheless packs extra energy than most automobiles on the street. And it’s greater than wanting to summon that energy as wanted.

In Easy driving mode, the automobile has utilized its immense intelligence and logic to the powertrain and suspension to make your life as straightforward and as comfy as attainable. The driving traits and luxury suspension in Easy mode really feel like an extended wheelbase S-Class Mercedes. It’s comfy and predictable and does every little thing you want it to do.

Along with the usual driving modes, the Lucid Air Sapphire additionally boasts a observe mode. Inside observe mode, three customizable modes let you maximize efficiency relying on what you’re doing for the day. This consists of optimizing efficiency for a single scorching lap, for a fast hit of the Air Sapphire’s 1.89 second 0-60 mph functionality on a drag strip, or for a full day on the observe in Endurance mode. Whereas not each purchaser shall be monitoring the car, it’s cool that Lucid unlocks the potential for these seeking to discover the total functionality of their car in a safer surroundings.


A delicate contact of the finger on the middle management pad of the car transforms the car quietly and invisibly into Sapphire mode. The immense energy, torque vectoring, elite suspension tuning, and millisecond-level calculations unlock an absolute beast of a car that’s equally comfy shredding tires on the observe, ripping by means of the mountains on the weekend or blasting zero to no matter your coronary heart can deal with on a drag strip.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

It sheds the facade of a household automobile, morphing right into a 2-seat curve slayer. Time warps as software program morphs the driving traits of the car, leveraging energetic torque vectoring bolstered by an equally succesful processor that optimizes traction and energy each millisecond. Ripping round Southern California’s well-known foothills simply off Mulholland Drive, we slammed the pedal to the ground round a 90 diploma left-hand flip. In a automobile with 1,234 horsepower. It’s about essentially the most counterintuitive factor possible.

The Air Sapphire opened up its gullet as the brand new dual-motor rear axle fired up its proverbial electrical afterburners with on the spot torque slamming into the automobile like Thor’s hammer. The automobile concurrently tried to separate me from my consciousness and strip my arms from the steering wheel because it blasted by means of the nook.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

The Air Sapphire is tuned to maximise each single piece of the car to the boundaries of the potential of its battery system and the traction out there from its customized tires. The Air Sapphire sports activities a set of customized staggered Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires that boast rubber optimized for day by day driving on the middle, with a grippier compound on the corners. Because the tires heat up, the grippier compound softens, enabling much more traction with out sacrificing consolation.

All 4 tires had been referred to as into motion, tuning and adapting in realtime to the immense forces being utilized by the motors. Traction was by no means in query. The tires didn’t object, as energy was seamlessly, silently utilized to whichever nook might deal with even an oz. extra. The Sapphire’s tri-motor bundle permits not solely entrance to again torque vectoring management, but additionally optimization aspect to aspect on the rear axle with the dual-motor stack.

Lucid’s rear-axle, dual-motor stack. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

It’s extra probably that the Air Sapphire will assist you to discover your individual limits than its personal. 1,234 horsepower and 1,430 ft-lb of immediately out there torque ensures that is the case. It weakens psychological colleges and blurs eyesight as your thoughts struggles to maintain up with what the automobile is definitely doing. This was my day by day driver only a minute in the past. What within the absolute hell simply occurred?

Energy & Management

The insane half is that the automobile will do that identical dance by means of curves on a observe and it has the braking energy to really management the beast when the subsequent curve comes into view. A pair of six piston calipers retains the rear axle in examine with a set of 390 mm carbon ceramic discs. These can be spectacular on nearly some other automobile, however whenever you look to the entrance of the Lucid Air Sapphire, they simply look cute.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

For the entrance wheels, Lucid slapped a set of 450 mm carbon ceramic rotors with a staggering 10 piston caliper that clamps down with brake pads that seem like they’re constructed for some kind of industrial semi truck. They’re completely huge they usually actually turned the star of the present once we let certainly one of Lucid’s specialists get behind the wheel to indicate us what the automobile might do on a fast rip by means of the mountains.

Underneath his skilled management, the total may of the Lucid’s energy in Sapphire mode was summoned at what appeared like essentially the most awkward of instances. Hitting the apex of a flip, he slammed the pedal to the ground pulling a lot g-force that consciousness was in danger. The Lucid Air Sapphire’s fast cycle programming ensured all 4 tires maintained traction with the bottom and all of that energy was utilized, even by means of tight corners.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Forward of the subsequent flip, the Sapphire’s brakes had been cranked to the max, and once more, the car merely wouldn’t lose traction. They scrubbed our pace, clutching onto the huge rotors with the fortunately outsized calipers.

So What

However so what, proper? I don’t suppose anyone would put a $250,000, 1,234-horsepower electrical car on the high of their listing for world altering concepts. Electrical automobiles are a key weapon in curbing emissions within the battle towards local weather change. Simply the identical, the Air Sapphire is essential extra so than it appears on the floor.

The Lucid Air Sapphire screams out to the world that electrical automobiles can ship the posh that Mercedes S-Class consumers are in search of. It may be a Maybach in order for you it to and has the prolonged wheelbase with further foot room within the rear seats that anyone being pushed round by a chauffeur would need.

It’s not going to hit any gross sales quantity data, however as a substitute, it tells the rich elite of the world that the bar has been reset. Fuel automobiles now not dominate the day. Electrical automobiles can do every little thing they used to do and do it higher. You need luxurious? Certain. Efficiency? You may’t deal with the efficiency.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

The Air Sapphire pushes the envelope. Its means to alter the driving traits and energy output of the car with a contact of a button actually transforms the car’s driving traits from a big luxurious boat to a sprightly, observe tuned sports activities automobile. Certain, there are nonetheless a handful of automobiles that may compete with it on the planet, however the truth that a moderately massive four-door household sedan can really compete on the Nurburgring or Buttonwillow on any given weekend is staggering to consider.

The Lucid workforce rolled out the facility of the Air Sapphire in a method that’s refined and but it tells a narrative. It’s refined and polished, however it would nonetheless make you squeal if the place to look and what buttons to poke.

It makes you surprise why anybody would purchase a Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Bugatti when an equal quantity of efficiency could be had in a extra reasonably priced, versatile car. Certain, you may want the braggardly seems that include a Lamborghini or the audacious colours you may get a Ferrarri wrapped in, however for somebody in search of pure efficiency, the Lucid Air Sapphire makes a powerful case.


The Lucid Air Sapphire will pull consumers into the Lucid ecosystem and never only for the peak-performance, high-price-tag Sapphire. It demonstrates Lucid’s capabilities to construct automobiles at any efficiency stage and to do unimaginable issues with them that almost all different electrical automobiles aren’t doing and no different inner combustion engine automobiles can do.

Trying past Lucid’s admittedly low manufacturing in gross sales volumes, the Lucid Air Sapphire reveals the world that electrical automobiles are usually not simply an evolution of the car. They characterize a wholly new paradigm of efficiency that may solely be had when the most effective electrical motor engineers are introduced collectively underneath one roof with world-class battery methods, and most significantly, the software program that performs conductor, maintaining everybody enjoying off the identical sheet of music.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

It’s a wholly new playground for the world’s greatest engineers to leverage, not simply {hardware} however software program to deliver their goals to actuality. {Hardware} to unlock new potentialities in automotive efficiency. And software program to unlock new capabilities to actually remodel the car you’re driving out of your Monday-through-Friday commuter throughout the week to an absolute hell-raising demon of a observe automobile on the weekends. And who is aware of, perhaps you gained’t get in as a lot bother out of your important different whenever you exit and drop 1 / 4 of 1,000,000 {dollars} on a automobile as a result of this one can really take the place of three of the automobiles in your storage as a substitute of merely being one other boring addition to the secure.

Lucid’s mastery of electrical powertrains is understood throughout the business, and even from its rivals. Aston Martin’s just lately signed a contract to make use of Lucid’s high-performance powertrains in its next-generation electrical supercar. In reality, Lucid representatives advised us that the tri-motor powertrain within the Lucid Air Sapphire we drove is similar to what we’ll probably see within the inevitable Aston Martin electrical car sporting the Lucid powertrain.

Head over to the digital residence of the Lucid Air Sapphire for extra data or to order one for your self. Manufacturing of the Lucid Air Sapphire begins in September of this 12 months, with deliveries anticipated shortly thereafter.


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