The large luxury electric SUV space is booming, and American startup is entering the fray with the Lucid Gravity.

    Reservations open to North America buyers in early 2023 ahead of customer deliveries in 2024, with Lucid confirming European and Middle Eastern deliveries will follow.

    There’s no word yet on an Australian launch for the brand, but a report earlier in the year suggested right-hand drive production was on the cards.

    The Gravity will be produced alongside the Air at Lucid’s Casa Grande factory in Arizona, which is being expanded to accommodate the new vehicle.

    The company has released teasers of the Gravity but hasn’t released any specifications. However, it’s already hinting at what the Gravity will offer.

    Referring to it as an “ultra high-performance luxury SUV”, Lucid says it will release early testing updates “that will no doubt provide performance numbers unheard of in the world of SUVs”.

    It will offer a “compliant, sports-tuned air suspension”, a new feature for Lucid. The Air sedan, ironically, doesn’t offer air suspension, although Lucid reportedly did consider offering it.

    Lucid also says it will offer better aerodynamics than any SUV in the world. For that it would have to beat the drag coefficient of 0.25 claimed by both the Tesla Model X and Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV.

    The company promises the Gravity’s range will exceed anything else on the market, except for the company’s own Air.

    Under the stricter US EPA test cycle, the Air will offer between 660km and 830km of range depending on the variant.

    The Model X, for context, offers a range of 536km (Plaid) or 560km (standard) on both the EPA and WLTP test cycles.

    The Air is available in four dual-motor all-wheel drive configurations, with a tri-motor Sapphire model joining the range in 2023 with over 895kW of power and a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of 1.89 seconds.

    Even the base Air Pure offers 358kW and a 3.8-second 0-60mph time, with other dual-motor variants producing between 462kW and 783kW.

    The Air is also offered with batteries ranging from 88kWh to 118kWh.

    Expect the Air’s 900V electrical architecture to carry over to the Gravity, which supports DC fast-charging at up to 300kW.

    The Gravity will be available in either two- or three-row configurations, with “flexible” seating configurations for five, six or seven adults.

    The teasers show a Gravity with reclining second-row captain’s chairs and a three-seat bench behind them.

    Lucid says the Gravity has been designed with room for “up to seven adults and their cargo”, suggesting boot space – accessible via a “clamshell” rear opening – won’t be as compromised as in some three-row SUVs.

    More storage will be found in the “frunk” — or front trunk — while Lucid also promises bi-directional charging and available towing capability.

    The Gravity will also debut the next generation of Lucid’s Glass Cockpit high-resolution displays, which use the Lucid UX interface.

    The Gravity follows the Air sedan, and Lucid’s names are ripe for wordplay: the Gravity has “space that pulls you in”, Lucid says, while adding, “Nothing pulls like Gravity”.

    In addition to battling the Tesla Model X, the Gravity will face a bevy of electric luxury SUVs such as the new Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, which also offers a third row of seating, plus the two-row BMW iX, Audi Q8 e-tron, Polestar 3 and Volvo EX90.

    The most affordable Air undercuts the cheapest Mercedes-Benz EQS in the US by around US$15,000 (A$22,000). It’s possible the Gravity could also undercut the EQS SUV, which has an almost identical opening price to its lower-riding sibling.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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