Silicon Valley-based electric car startup Atieva has changed its name to Lucid Motors and released some teasers of an electric sedan that will rival the Tesla [NSDQ:TSLA] Model S. However, unlike Tesla, Lucid sees itself as a luxury brand, meaning it’s more of a direct rival to fellow electric car startups Fisker and Karma, as well as Germany’s three main luxury brands, which are all working on electric cars of their own.
Lucid was established as Atieva in 2007 and initially developed software systems for electric car batteries. It’s been linked with Chinese automaker BAIC but plans to open a factory in the United States.
Its first product will be a high-performance sedan whose lines have been penned by Derek Jenkins, a former Mazda designer whose CV includes the latest MX-5 Miata. The sedan is expected to be similar in size to a BMW 5-Series, though thanks to clever packaging afforded by having a flat battery the sedan should have interior space closer to that of a 7-Series.
Lucid’s electric drive system will consist of two electric motors, two sets of power electronics, two gearboxes, and one battery. The battery, a lithium-ion unit, will have a capacity of 87 kilowatt-hours and should see the sedan’s range hit 300 miles or more. Battery upgrades are planned, meaning Lucid will likely have models with ranges approaching 400 mi.
Peak output of Lucid’s electric drive system will be around 900 horsepower, which would make the company’s first product the most powerful production sedan in the world. Lucid is using Mercedes-Benz vans as test mules but should start testing its own prototypes soon. The test mules are able to hit 60 mph in 2.94 seconds and pass the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds at 117 mph. Lucid’s sedan should be even quicker as the car is expected to weigh around 1,000 pounds less and be more aerodynamic than the Mercedes van test mules.
Unfortunately, there’s no word on when we might see Lucid’s sedan on sale. And the wait might be a long one as Lucid is still in the process of raising funds for its factory.