Luxury sedans often have a sub-brand for performance. Mercedes-Benz has the AMG performance brand, and BMW has the M brand (stylized as ///M). Now, luxury EV manufacturer Lucid has its EV answer to this: Sapphire.
Lucid says it has set new standards with the longest-range, fastest-charging electric car on the market with the award-winning Lucid Air, and now Sapphire, Lucid’s new ultra-high-performance brand, led by the new Lucid Air Sapphire, is supposed to take the company to new levels of performance and luxury.
“Last year, Lucid rocked the world with the launch of Lucid Air, a fusion of unsurpassed range, efficiency, superior driving dynamics, and interior space, uniquely enabled by our in-house technology,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Group. “Today, with the introduction of the Sapphire line, we take the next logical step of advancement. Lucid Air Sapphire, being the very first Lucid product to bear the Sapphire name, builds upon our technical prowess to take electric high-performance on to next level. Sapphire represents the pinnacle of electric performance; finally achieving the performance that I’ve so long searched for. After painstaking development work, I am able to confirm Lucid Air Sapphire has achieved a satisfactory performance, and I trust the most discerning drivers will agree.”
Lucid Air Sapphire Battery & Drivetrain
Lucid Air Sapphire contains a 3-motor powertrain at its core, which is the first of its kind from Lucid. This new powertrain features a twin motor rear-drive unit and a single motor front-drive unit.
“With three state-of-the-art electric motors — all developed and manufactured in-house by Lucid — Lucid Air Sapphire reaches an entirely new level of performance,” said Eric Bach, SVP of Product and Chief Engineer, Lucid Group. “And because a three-motor Lucid Air was always part of the development program, it retains all the strengths of Lucid Air variants already on the market – including limo-like rear legroom, a voluminous trunk and frunk, and impressive efficiency.”
These technically innovative electric motors, according to Lucid, include microjet stator cooling and wave winding. The twin rear-drive unit also uses new heat exchanger methods and increased coolant flow rates. For greater power and more precise thermal logic, the battery system is also improved.
As expected, Lucid Air Sapphire’s 3-motor powertrain delivers significantly more horsepower than the car’s dual-motor siblings, including the 1,050 hp Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance. With an output of over 1,200 hp, Lucid Air Sapphire is not only the most powerful electric sedan in existence — it is currently the world’s most powerful sedan overall.
The company claims that the Lucid Air Sapphire will go from 0 to 60 mph in under 2 seconds, 0 to 100 mph in under 4 seconds, and the quarter mile in 9 seconds with its vast power and twin rear-drive unit — and that’s without any extra-cost equipment upgrades or lengthy preconditioning routines! Also, it comes standard with massive carbon ceramic disc brakes for immense stopping power.
Later, the vehicle’s horsepower ratings will be revealed, as well as instrumented demonstrations of its tremendous performance capabilities.
Having all of that power on tap is cool, but people don’t buy high-end luxury sedans to go drag racing. People expect performance when the car gets to the end of the straightaway.
“Our aim with this, our first Sapphire model, is to complement the exceptional powertrain with sharper, more responsive driving dynamics and increased body control,” said David Lickfold, Director of Chassis and Vehicle Dynamics, Lucid Group. “At the same time, it was important to retain the exceptional ride quality for which Lucid Air has come to be known.”
Lucid Air Sapphire not only features stiffer front and rear springs, but also unique damper settings, bushings, and a tuning for ABS, traction control, stability control, and electronic power steering. Plus standard carbon ceramic brakes provide the exceptional stopping power needed for high-performance driving. In other words: Lucid Air Sapphire was designed with endurance in mind.
This car is designed to make the most of the vehicle’s torque-vectoring 3-motor powertrain and wider, more aggressive wheels and tires. It rides on ultra-high performance staggered Aero Sapphire wheels with specially developed Michelin PS4S tires in sizes 265/35R20 at front and 295/30R21 at rear. These unique wheels also have removable carbon-fiber aero disk wheel covers for even better aerodynamic efficiency.
Lucid says the twin rear-drive unit can pivot the back of the car effectively, giving torque to both rear wheels in opposing directions for turn-in or straight-line stability. It’s similar to a brake-based system and a rear-wheel steering mechanism, but more rapid and quieter, as well as more seamless. The system is able to use regenerative braking on the inside wheel while powering the outside in tight corners, greatly increasing vehicle turn-in rotation and with much quicker response times than rear-wheel steering systems.
The advantages touch on nearly every aspect of driving, from how smoothly you turn corners to your speed and stability while cornering. Across different drive modes, the car’s character changes to match the settings for steering, suspension, powertrain, and brakes.
While driving a Lucid Air is already going to turn heads, they knew that people would want to have some unique features only for the Sapphire. Lucid delivers there as well.
The introduction of the Sapphire brand from Lucid also signals the debut of a new Sapphire Blue paint for outside vehicles, which will be available exclusively to Sapphire cars. To commemorate the launch of the Sapphire name, all Lucid Air Sapphires will initially be finished exclusively in the new Sapphire Blue color. Lucid Air Sapphire is augmented with the recently announced Stealth Look as standard, bringing a more sinister, sporting character to the exterior of the vehicle.
Lucid Air Sapphire features a new interior cabin design theme called “Sapphire Mojave.” Not only does this include new, highly bolstered 18-way power sport seats upholstered in black leather trimmed with black Alcantara, but it also contains Sapphire Blue contrast stitching. The seats are designed to provide both comfort and functionality while still allowing for spirited driving. They come complete with heating and cooling functions as well as massage capabilities.
The headrest features a debossed Lucid bear logomark, which is one of the California-based brand’s icons. The dash and doors have Mojave darkwood veneers, while the steering wheel and upper roof structure for the standard Glass Canopy roof are trimmed in black Alcantara.
To State The Obvious
It would be foolish to share information about the Lucid Air Sapphire without mentioning the car that this is an obvious answer to: the Tesla Model S Plaid. With the long ranges the Lucid Air already had, it’s obvious that it was already going after Tesla’s slice of the market. So it has to answer the Plaid.
But, unlike the Plaid, they’re not making a reference to Spaceballs or doing anything else nerdy or goofy. Lucid is clearly aiming to look more serious with the Sapphire brand, something that evokes luxury and expense and not goofy fun. But, showing the car off at Bonneville Salt Flats shows that it is not making a frou-frou car. It’s meant to seriously perform with the best of them.
Featured image provided by Lucid.
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.