Electric vehicle (EV) startup Lucid Motors will reveal its first SUV on November 16 at the Los Angeles motor show, which the company claims will “reimagine what an SUV can offer”.
First previewed almost a year ago, reservations have been open to North American buyers since early 2023 ahead of customer deliveries in 2024. Confirmation of 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 sedan at Lucid’s Casa Grande factory in Arizona, which is being expanded to accommodate the new vehicle.
No vehicle specifications have been revealed, however the company has made some bold claims about the SUV.
Lucid has said the Gravity will have “the driving dynamics of a sports car” and previously confirmed it’ll have brand-first air suspension along with greater electric range than any SUV on the market today.
The brand 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 offers 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.
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.
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.
Lucid will be hoping the Gravity can improve its financial situation.
Bloomberg estimates Lucid is losing roughly US$338,000 (A$535,000) on every Air it sells. For context, the Air is priced from US$77,400-$249,000 (A$122,000-$394,000), depending on the variant.
That’s worse even than similarly young EV startup Rivian, which Bloomberg estimates is losing $US110,000 ($AU174,500) on each vehicle it produces.
Its share price is down from a peak of US$55.21 (A$87.60) on November 19, 2021 to just under US$5 (A$7.93).
It also posted a US$2.6 billion (A$4.12bn) loss last year and cut 18 per cent of its workforce – or around 1300 workers – back in March.
On the bright side, Lucid has partnered with Aston Martin, and will supply the British marque with “future powertrain and battery technology”.
As part of the new partnership, Aston Martin will issue around 28 million new shares to Lucid, giving the American firm a stake of about 3.7 per cent in the British firm.
Aston Martin has also agreed to pay Lucid “in excess” of US$450 million ($673 million). These payments will be made in phases, and the total figure includes a lump sum, as well as cash for drivetrain components, batteries, electronics, and consulting and technical services.
The two automakers say the new partnership was born out of a “competitive process”, but it should be noted Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) owns stakes in both Aston Martin and Lucid.