To draw the obvious comparison, Lucid will be going head-to-head with the Tesla Model S Plaid with the Sapphire. Like with the other versions of the Air, however, Lucid has taken a look at what Tesla has done and added a few per cent more to its car. What’s more, Lucid is labelling the Sapphire ‘the world’s first luxury electric super-sports sedan’.
Claims of being a world-first in an obscure niche aside, the Lucid Air Sapphire has some substance behind it thanks to technology derived from its very compelling standard model range. What’s more, buyers don’t have too long to wait before they’ll be able to drive off in theirs.
Trumping the 1050hp that the Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance offers has meant upping the power to ludicrous levels. Utilising a tri-motor setup, with two motors at the rear and one up front, Lucid has worked on cooling and thermal efficiency to enable the Sapphire to generate and sustain ‘over 1200hp’, making it the most powerful saloon – EV or ICE – in the world. The final power figure will be revealed in due course.
As you’d imagine, performance is brisk. Lucid is stating 0-60mph in ‘less than two seconds’, so our European 0-62mph should be around two seconds dead. One hundred mph comes up in less than four seconds and it’ll do a standing quarter in less than nine seconds. Lucid highlights the fact that all production cars will achieve these figures with no fuss, additional keys, fiddling with settings or protracted routines. At the top-end, more than 200mph is possible.
To slow things down, massive carbon brakes are standard. These double up as handling aids, with individual wheels being braked – via the discs or through regeneration – or having torque sent to them as part of the torque vectoring system. Rear-wheel steering, stiffer springs, unique damper settings, stiffer bushings and revised stability control should enhance the Sapphire’s handling. We’re doubtful that they have an eye on the ’Ring record that Porsche and Tesla have been squabbling over, however.
For the most part, the Lucid Air Sapphire simply looks like a more purposeful version of the Lucid Air. And that’s no bad thing; the Air is a fine looking car. What the company has done is added some aero refinements – including wheels which have removable aero covers. Oher changes include a new rear boot spoiler and a lower ride height. Lucid has tried to balance aero efficiency to maintain the Air’s prodigious range with downforce to enhance performance. A unique sapphire paint job tops off the outside.
Inside is a new theme called Sapphire Mojave. This includes new 18-way adjustable sports seats with Sapphire blue stitching alongside black leather and Alcantara. Other interior surfaces get Mojave dark wood veneers, whilst the seat headrests get a debossed bear logo – a nod to the car’s Californian origin. The panoramic glass roof and infotainment remains, albeit the displays are now Sapphire themed.
US buyers will be able to pick up a Lucid Air Sapphire for $249,000 (£210,000) at the time of writing. It’ll be a limited production model with the first cars being delivered in mid-2023. Lucid will be announcing other markets beyond the USA and Canada in due course.
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