Customer deliveries of the Lucid Air electric sedan are scheduled to start in the second half of this year, and it looks like the company is making progress toward that goal.
Lucid on Thursday tweeted a video of CEO Peter Rawlinson test driving a “release candidate” Air on roads near the automaker’s Bay Area headquarters. This is the final pre-production version before Lucid switches to building customer cars, according to the video.
With the Air so close to production, Rawlinson was primarily concerned with details on what was his first drive of this nearly-finalized model. The only potential change he mentioned was a software tweak to remove a “judder” from the hill-hold feature.
Rawlinson seemed thoroughly pleased with the car’s handling, though. He said a development goal was a “vault-like” feel of solidity, and based on his positive comments about the body rigidity and suspension tuning, the Air seems to be meeting his expectations.
Perfecting the product. CEO Peter Rawlinson takes an Arizona-built #LucidAir release candidate vehicle for a test drive through California’s Bay Area – the perfect proving ground for experiencing vehicle dynamics. Hear his candid reactions. pic.twitter.com/NYy91TRo9g
— Lucid Motors (@LucidMotors) March 11, 2021
Customers will have to wait a little bit longer to get behind the wheel, however. Lucid recently confirmed that deliveries will be delayed from spring to the second quarter of this year.
That’s nothing compared to the Air’s long gestation period, though. It was unveiled in 2016, when it was already under development, but funding issues meant development virtually halted for years. Once new funding was obtained from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Lucid also took the opportunity to redesign much of the car, Rawlinson has said.
Lucid Motors AMP-1 factory, Casa Grande, Arizona
Lucid has built a brand new factory from the ground up in Casa Grande, Arizona, with a modular layout allowing for expansion in the coming years. The factory is currently set up to build 30,000 Air sedans a year, and will expand in phase to produce up to 400,000 cars annually by the middle of the decade, according to Lucid. That expansion will be funded in part by a special-purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) “reverse merger,” which will allow it to go public more quickly than a traditional initial public offering (IPO).
Rawlinson is the former engineering director overseeing the development of the original Tesla Model S, and there are definitely some indications Elon Musk takes this challenge a little more seriously. Just after the Air was unveiled, he announced a price cut for the Model S, undercutting the Air’s base price.