Lucid Motors, a luxury electric car startup based out of Silicon Valley, California, recently announced an independently-confirmed .21 drag coefficient (Cd) for its flagship sedan, the Air, making it the most aerodynamic electric vehicle in line for mass-market sale if true. Now, CEO Peter Rawlinson has also confirmed that future customers will, in fact, be able to directly purchase a vehicle from the company which achieves these top-tier numbers.
“To the best of our knowledge, and we could be wrong, it’s the lowest Cd of a luxury production-intent vehicle,” CEO Peter Rawlinson told Car and Driver in recently published comments. He also affirmed that a Lucid Air with a .21 Cd would be for sale at some point to customers, according to the same article relaying the discussion.
The final production version of the Air will not be revealed until September this year, though, and once available for purchase, only a variant with a higher Cd will be initially offered – the Dream Edition. When the best aerodynamics Lucid has to offer are up for grabs, it should be noted that the wheels and tires will greatly factor into this possibility. For now, that means whatever body style was used in their latest tunnel test plus specially designed 19-inch wheels and 245/45R-19 Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus tires.
In the meantime, the nascent carmaker will have to rely on a “just wait and see” approach to validating their Cd claims of late.
“We can’t afford our own tunnel, so you better believe our results, because they’re from Windshear, and it’s validated,” Rawlinson clarified to Car and Driver. “I want to emphasize this… Lucid is not making this claim, Lucid is telling the world that this is the result that Windshear recorded.” Windshear is a well-regarded, independent rolling road wind tunnel facility which tests vehicle aerodynamics at wind speeds up to 180 mph.
Considering that Lucid’s market pitch since its inception has been laser-focused on aero efficiency, it’s not surprising that so much effort has been put into achieving the types of numbers the company is now touting. Rawlinson previously worked as the chief engineer for the Tesla Model S, which has a Cd of 0.23, in a way pitting the CEO against himself in the race for best vehicle aerodynamics.
Once on the market, Lucid plans an EPA range of more than 400 miles, a 0-60 time of 2.5 seconds, and a 1,000+ horsepower setup with 235 mph as its top speed. The lower Cd will contribute to achieving that range, of course. “The most important thing here is efficiency, and we’re chasing down four miles per kilowatt-hour for our car,” Rawlinson previously told Jonathan Gitlin of Ars Technica.
Lucid revealed a fleet of prototypes earlier this year which are undergoing testing to improve the company’s edge in all areas, not just aerodynamics. Final details on pricing, product specifications, and available configurations will be available once production officially begins. Order fulfillment is planned for the second half of 2021.