Lucid Group, the publicly traded EV manufacturer, has launched a new high-performance luxury brand called Sapphire that pushes the boundaries of performance and price.
As part of its public debut, which took place Friday morning at the Quail Lodge during Monterey Car Week, the company gave its first EV – the Lucid Air sedan – the Sapphire treatment.
That means more than just a new paint job, an interior theme with heavily reinforced 18-way sports seats upholstered in black leather, and a sapphire-themed screen—although those are all in the new Lucid Air Sapphire that costs $249,000. (excluding taxes and destination charges).
The major notable improvement is a three-engine powertrain with a new twin-engine rear and single-engine front drive unit that improves overall performance. The dual rear drive unit incorporates new heat exchanger technology and increased refrigerant flow. The company said it has also upgraded the battery system for more power and more accurate thermal logic.
The end result (or one of them) is a vehicle that can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under two seconds, from 0 to 100 mph in under four seconds, and the standing quarter mile in under 9 seconds, according to Lucid.
Lucid doesn’t have final horsepower numbers yet – those will be announced later, along with instrumented demonstrations of the vehicle’s performance capabilities. The company did confirm that the Lucid Air Sapphire three-motor powertrain has more than 1,200 horsepower. Lucid did not share the range of this performance EV. The other Air variants have a range between 406 and 520 miles on a single charge.
The drivetrain provides a more dynamic experience than a four-wheel drive. In the Lucid Sapphire Air, the dual rear drive unit can rotate the rear of the vehicle and deliver torque to the rear wheels in opposite directions.
For drivers, this should translate into better cornering balance when entering and exiting corners, quick response times and stability.
Other new items that set the Lucid Air Sapphire apart from other Air variants include stiffer front and rear springs, unique damper settings, stiffer bushings, specific tuning for ABS, traction, stability control and electronic power steering, the company said.
The Sapphire Air also comes standard with carbon ceramic brakes and Aero Sapphire wheels, with specially developed Michelin PS4S tires size 265/35R20 at the front and 295/30R21 at the rear. These wheels come with removable carbon fiber aero disc hubcaps, which are included to further increase the car’s aerodynamic efficiency.
While Lucid’s executives have talked about introducing cheaper models, now is not the time. The Sapphire brand is more expensive than the already luxury priced Lucid Air.
The company said it will make a limited number of Lucid Air Sapphire EV sedans for $249,000. Deliveries are scheduled for the US and Canada next year. Lucid said it will begin taking reservations at 9 a.m. August 23.
This new performance brand comes just a few months since Lucid announced it would start producing a high-performance companion for its highly anticipated luxury sedan Lucid Air: a 1,050-horsepower, 446-mile-range Grand Tourer priced at $179,000.