The Lucid Air Sapphire is a 1,200+ horsepower beast disguised as a four-door electric vehicle.
A 200-mile-per-hour tilt at the Tesla Model S Plaid? Yes, go ahead…
You’re looking at a few different things here…
A large four-door electric vehicle. The introduction of a completely new performance sub-brand by a manufacturer that is still establishing its main one. And a 1,200+ horsepower beast capable of rocketing from a standstill to 60mph in less than two seconds, 100mph in less than four, and the other end of a quarter-mile dragstrip in less than nine. That’s a lot to cram in there. But it also took a long time to get there.
It’s all too easy these days to become accustomed to EVs with herculean power figures – and, for that matter, teeny acceleration times – without considering how much effort goes into producing headline numbers like that. And after frying our brains trying to understand electric motor wave winding and thermal logic, we’re confident that we can completely avoid such things and paint in much broader strokes.
Such as the three motors in place of the standard Air’s two, resulting in more than 1,200bhp, according to Lucid. We believe that a car with 1,111bhp and two motors will easily exceed 1,200bhp, but we also consider the implications of a 2.5-tonne vehicle with that much power.
Lucid, thankfully, has thought along the same lines, installing massive carbon-ceramic brakes, stiffer suspension, and a custom set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. This necessitates some TG-approved arch extensions to widen the front and rear track and gives just enough of a hint as to what the Air Sapphire is all about.
It’s probably up to the individual whether it hints at proper two-motor torque vectoring on the rear axle, but we imagine that having your rear right wheel working at full regen braking while sending full forward power to the rear left would be less of a hint and more of a hearty slap across the jowls.
We expect the Air Sapphire to be a hearty slap for many Tesla fans. After all, the Air already pipped the Model S Plaid to the title of most powerful sedan by 91bhp at launch; increasing that to 1,200bhp means the Sapphire could have a 200bhp advantage. Even in such massive numbers, that is more than enough to make a noticeable difference.
It’s also enough for Lucid to develop its own performance sub-brand for the finished product, Sapphire. Because we were all thinking that cars with 1,100bhp needed a go-faster division.
The name is said to be a combination of the Imperial Blue racing colour and the Benitoite, the state gem of California. But, because ol’ Benny is rare, valuable, and frequently misidentified as a Sapphire, that suffices. However, we believe Lucid missed a trick. Not with the name’s origin, which obviously has personal significance, nor with the bear logo used to represent it (Lancia HF elephant for life). But surely someone at the table suggested that the fastest Lucid Air be dubbed the Hurricane, right? Anyone?
Aside from our unrecognised genius, we’re thinking about a few things. That the Air Sapphire is quite impressive. It’s also entirely unnecessary. And we’d like one.