This sleek EV is capable of putting out over 1,200hp

by Craig Jamieson | Aug 27, 2022
Lucid Air Sapphire front quarter
PHOTO: TopGear.com

You’re looking at a few things here...

A large four-door EV. The launch of a whole new performance sub-brand from a manufacturer that’s still establishing its main one. And a 1,200+ horsepower monster that can fling its not-insignificant mass from a standstill to 60mph (97kph) in less than two seconds, to 100mph (161kph) in less than four and to the other end of a quarter-mile dragstrip in less than nine. Quite a bit to pack in there, then. But then it took quite a bit to get there as well.

It’s a little too easy these days to become accustomed to EVs with herculean power figures—and teeny acceleration times, for that matter—and not consider just how much effort goes into producing headline numbers like that. And after frying our brains trying to grasp electric motor wave winding and thermal logic, we’re confident that we can swerve such things entirely and paint in far broader strokes.

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Such as the three motors here in place of the standard Air’s two, which Lucid says results in more than 1,200hp. We’re thinking that a car that manages 1,111hp with two motors will comfortably exceed 1,200hp, but also thinking about the ramifications of 2.5 tons of automobile with that much power.

Helpfully, Lucid’s thought along the same lines, fitting massive carbon-ceramic brakes, stiffer suspension, and a bespoke set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. This necessitates widening the front and rear track with some TG-approved arch extensions and gives just enough of a hint as to what the Air Sapphire is all about.

Whether it hints at proper two-motor torque vectoring on the rear axle is probably up to the individual, 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.

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The kind of hearty slap, we expect, that the Air Sapphire is to many a Tesla fan. After all, the launch edition of the Air already pipped the Model S Plaid to the post of most powerful sedan by 91hp; extending that beyond 1,200hp means the Sapphire could be playing with a 200hp advantage. Even in numbers as mind-bendingly massive as these, that’s more than enough to make a noticeable difference.

It’s also enough for Lucid to create its own performance sub-brand for the finished product, which goes by the name Sapphire. Because what we were all thinking was that 1,100hp cars needed a go-faster division.

As for the name, it apparently reflects the USA’s Imperial Blue racing color and California’s state gem... which is the Benitoite. But as ol’ Benny is rare, valuable, and often confused for a Sapphire, that works well enough. But we still think Lucid missed a trick. Not with the origin of name, which obviously has personal meaning, and not with the bear logo to represent it (Lancia HF elephant for life), either. But surely there was someone at the table who suggested that the fastest Lucid Air should be called the Hurricane, right? Anyone?

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Our unrecognized genius aside, we’re thinking a few things here: That the Air Sapphire is all kinds of impressive; that it’s also completely unnecessary; and that we want one.

Photos of the Lucid Air Sapphire 2023

Lucid Air Sapphire rear quarter

Lucid Air Sapphire rear quarter

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Lucid Air Sapphire side

Lucid Air Sapphire rear quarter

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Lucid Air Sapphire interior

Lucid Air Sapphire motor

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Lucid Air Sapphire chassis

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: TopGear.com
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