Lucid gives the Air a sporty makeover, launches new sub-brand Sapphire

Lucid gives the Air a sporty makeover, launches new sub-brand Sapphire

Lucid Air Sapphire at Laguna Seca
enlarge / The Lucid Air Sapphire is designed to work on a track.


On Friday during Monterey Car Week, electric vehicle start-up Lucid added a new variant to its portfolio: the Lucid Air Sapphire. It’s the first of a new sub-brand for Lucid, adding even more performance to cars that were barely subpar to begin with. With an additional engine in the mix, the company’s new car should hit 60 mph (98 km/h) in less than two seconds and 100 mph (160 km/h) in less than four seconds, while reaching a top speed above the 200 lies. mph (321 kph). However, such performance does not come cheap; when the car goes into limited production next year, it will do so with a $249,000 price tag.

The inspiration for both the color and the name of the car came from American racing history.

“Sapphire is the epitome of what ultra-high-performance luxury means to Lucid. [It] is one of the most prized gems, valued for their brilliance, color and hardness,” said Derek Jenkins, SVP of Brand and Design at Lucid. “Imperial Blue has long been the de facto national color for U.S. motorsport teams competing in international competitions. . As Lucid’s dedicated ultra-high-performance brand, Sapphire references this history as it sets new standards for innovation and technology.”

The new seats look more supportive.
enlarge / The new seats look more supportive.


In addition to the blue paint, the Air Sapphire has a sportier interior than its brothers and sisters. That means black leather and Alcantara, with heavily padded seats to keep you in place while experiencing side G’s. And there’s a pretty big spoiler at the back that prevents the car from generating lift at high speed.

The technical changes that make an Air a Sapphire are less visible. Most obvious is the addition of a third engine; the front axle contains a single motor drive unit, but the rear drive unit contains a motor for each rear wheel.

This new twin-motor drive unit is even capable of torque vectors, with positive torque applied to one wheel and negative torque to the other. In slow corners, the drivetrain can deliver power to the outer rear wheel in a bend, while regenerative braking is applied to the inner rear wheel, making the car turn faster. However, Lucid has not yet provided an exact power or torque for the new version.

A cutout of the Lucid Air Sapphire rear drive unit.
enlarge / A cutout of the Lucid Air Sapphire rear drive unit.


Our briefing on the Air Sapphire might be the first time I’ve heard an EV company talk about the thermal efficiency of its friction brakes. The solid carbon ceramic discs are meant to bring the car to a stop from almost three times the legal limit, assuming you have a runway or happen to be in Germany to test that. It also rides on bigger, stickier tires and stiffer, re-tuned suspension.

“Our goal with this, our first Sapphire model, is to complement the exceptional powertrain with sharper, more responsive driving dynamics and greater body control. At the same time, it was important to maintain the exceptional ride quality that Lucid Air has come to deliver. known,” said David Lickfold, Lucid’s director of chassis and vehicle dynamics.

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