Just days after Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk released the first photos of his company’s mass-market vehicle, the Model 3, via Twitter, a rival electric car maker has released new footage of its latest creation – an automobile that is garnering attention for a much different reason.
While the Model 3 has been highly anticipated by consumers because of its affordable $35,000 price tag, Lucid Motors on Monday released a video showing its first production model, the Air, achieving a top speed of 235 mph earlier this month while at the company’s test track in Ohio.
According to The Verge, the Air previously topped the 200 mph mark with a 217 mph effort at Lucid’s test track back in April, but for the more recent test, the company decided to remove the vehicle’s speed-limiting software, allowing it to hit a GPS-confirmed speed of 235.44 mph.
Oddly enough, the company said in a statement that the timed lap almost didn’t happen due to rainy weather conditions, but fortunately, the precipitation stopped, the track dried up and Lucid was able to allow their test driver to stretch the Air prototype’s muscles during a “flying lap.”
The car “performed beautifully,” the company said. However, they added, while 235.44 mph was “the top speed achievable on that day, with those conditions, and at this stage of development… it is not the final production top speed for the Lucid Air.” They appear confident that the car and its 1,000-horsepower engine has more to offer on the test track.
Lucid praised the car’s performance but provided few details
As The Verge explained, Lucid isn’t the only game in town when it comes to performance EVs (electric vehicles). The Tesla Model S P100D can do a reported 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, the website explained. However, the car is limited to 155 mph, and Musk’s company has apparently not attempted – or at least not publically released – the vehicle’s unlimited top speed.
The Air will eventually be released to the public, but don’t expect to be able to do 200-plus mph runs with it. As Jalopnik explained, the production model will feature considerable more modest 400 horsepower engine and will sell for $60,000. The 1,000 horsepower engine will be available in a $100,000 high-end version, but its top speed will, of course, be limited by software.
For now, the company is being tight-lipped about exactly how the Air managed its high-velocity feat, as Lucid spokesman David Salguero declined to provide details about the car’s transmission and other technical information when asked by Jalopnik. Those details, Salguero said, would be released somewhere “down the road.”
In addition to setting a new personal speed record, the Air “was perfectly stable in corners and on the straight, which is illustrated by the driver’s slow and steady inputs that can be seen in the accompanying video,” Lucid explained. “The software update to the air suspension performed as expected and responded appropriately during cornering. The thermal levels of the powertrain, including the front motor, stayed within specification throughout the run.”
Image Credit: Lucid Motors Air Alpha Speed Car