US electric vehicle (EV) startup Lucid Motors has teased a new variant of its Tesla Model S-rivalling Air luxury sedan that’s expected to have three electric motors.

    This new Lucid Air variant is set to be revealed at The Quail on August 19 as part of the Monterey Car Week in California.

    A high-performance, tri-motor version of the Lucid Air has been in the works for years, and once it launches will bring the fight to the tri-motor Tesla Model S Plaid.

    Previous overseas reports have suggested the tri-motor Air’s powertrain will debut a new rear axle featuring dual electric motors making upwards of 1000kW of power combined.

    Combined with the existing front-mounted electric motor, the tri-motor Air could produce upwards of 1200kW. That could see it pull past the Tesla Model S Plaid on the drag strip.

    Tesla claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of 2.1 seconds for the Plaid, albeit with rollout subtracted.

    Lucid has now uploaded a series of teasers for this upcoming Air variant with not very subtle messaging that centres around the number three.

    The most recent teaser is a short looping video that shows three cylindrical objects that appear to be part of an electric motor orbiting each other.

    The video is captioned “Three is a magic number”, and builds on a previous image showing staff at Lucid’s Arizona factory holding up three fingers.

    Currently, the Lucid Air line-up consists of the single-motor rear-wheel drive Pure and dual-motor all-wheel drive Touring, Grand Touring and Grand Touring Performance.

    The Grand Touring Performance has a total system output of 783kW, with a claimed 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of 2.6 seconds and an electric range of 718km according to EPA testing.

    The Grand Touring produces 611kW and offers up to 830km of EPA range depending on the wheels specified, while still doing the 0-60mph dash in 3.0 seconds.

    The Touring has 462kW and the Pure 358kW, with both offering a claimed range of 653km.

    Customer deliveries of the Touring and Pure are set to begin in the second half of this year, with Lucid having launched the Air late last year with the Dream Edition.

    This launch edition offered between 696kW and 828kW of power, depending on the specification.

    Batteries range from 88kWh to 112kWh, and Grand Touring models support DC fast charging at up to 300kW. All models feature a 900V electrical architecture.

    Lucid recently announced it’s opening reservations for the Air in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Monaco, the Netherland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

    The most tantalising aspect of this announcement is the confirmation of right-hand drive production, with Autocar previously reporting production could start this year, ahead of deliveries to the UK in 2023.

    It’s unclear at this stage whether this locks in an Australian launch, but the Mercedes-AMG EQS has already launched locally and the BMW i7 is set to arrive in the fourth quarter of this year.

    Lucid only sells the Air sedan for now, but has revealed a three-row electric SUV called the Gravity.

    A version of this SUV will be shown off at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 21 ahead of customer deliveries in 2024.

    The Lucid Gravity will reportedly offer a variation of the high-performance Air’s tri-motor electric powertrain.

    MORE: Lucid Air exports begin this year, right-hand drive planned
    MORE: Lucid Air: 805kW electric sedan detailed
    MORE: 2022 Lucid Air: Tesla Model S rival to offer 836km of range
    MORE: 2022 Lucid Air production starts

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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