Slippery Sedan: Lucid Air To Become World’s Most Aero-Efficient Luxury Car

Achieves industry-best 0.21 coefficient of drag.

Lucid Motors today announced the upcoming Air luxury electric sedan has a verified drag coefficient of 0.21. That’s good enough to make the Lucid Air the world’s most aero-efficient production car, once it enters production, of course. 

Lucid’s quest to be the most efficient car in the world has driven their engineering teams to focus on every aspect of increasing powertrain efficiencies and pushing the limits to reduce drag as much as possible. To achieve that goal, Lucid tells us they assembled an aerodynamics team that includes leading technologists and analysts from the worlds of automotive and motorsport that have played a role in four Formula One World Championships.

With a drag coefficient of .21, the Lucid Air takes the aero-crown from the Mercedes A-Class Sedan and the BMW 5-Series EfficientDynamics Edition, both boasting the industry-low .22 Cd. 

Lucid credits the Air’s aerodynamic efficiency as a major contribution to its prototypes achieving “comfortably” over 400 miles of range on public roads at highway speeds. In fact, some speculated that Lucid would be the first production electric vehicle to have an EPA rated range of 400 miles, but Tesla recently beat them to that milestone. 

“Range and performance are usually perceived as mutually exclusive, but a focus upon key efficiency determinants such as aerodynamics can truly benefit both. A further factor is that Lucid Air’s frontal area, or ‘A,’ is also particularly low as a consequence of the Air’s innovative ‘Space Concept’ design package layout. The resultant combination of a low coefficient of drag with a low frontal area creates a beneficial multiplier effect upon total drag force on the car, and it’s this multiple that influences range.” – Lucid CEO & CTO, Peter Rawlinson  

Lucid continues to include top speed runs in its track, testing process to ensure high-speed stability and to validate the functionality of aerodynamic systems. Additionally, Lucid claims that an Air Alpha prototype achieved a GPS-confirmed top speed of 235 mph.

Gallery: Lucid Air Achieves 0.21 Coefficient of Drag

5 Photos

Lucid tells us they achieved the world-leading low coefficient of drag by incorporating functional surfaces and details into the design that work together to guide air efficiently through, over and
around the vehicle. In particular, the side air intakes in the front fascia smooth airflow around the
usually turbulent wheel wells. Additionally, Lucid’s aerodynamically optimized wheel designs and vents in the hood channel air smoothly around the body of the vehicle.

Lucid also explains that the Air features a “proprietary and patented vortex-generating air intake system behind the front bumper.” This intake system optimizes cooling by uniformly distributing air on the heat exchange surfaces and also allows Lucid to minimize the size of the air intake aperture, which in turn further increases the aerodynamic efficiency.

“When we debut the production version of the Lucid Air in September, the world will see a beautiful design that sets a new benchmark for electric vehicles and a landmark for cars in general.” – Peter Rawlinson

The production version of the Lucid Air will make its official debut in an online reveal on September 9, 2020. Lucid had originally planned to introduce the production Air at the New York Auto Show in April, but that, along with almost every other large gathering, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. Lucid promises that in addition to the vehicle’s final designs, new details on production specifications, available configurations, and pricing information will also be shared during the reveal.

We’re looking forward to the day we can test drive the Air and report our thoughts first-hand to the InsideEVs community. While Lucid has had its share of setbacks, they have managed to push on and with the recent funding, they are taking reservations and appear to be on track for customer deliveries in 2021.

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