Earlier this month, Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson told Green Car Reports, "I can confirm that we're doing an SUV off the Air platform," and that the nascent automaker has already finished a road-worthy prototype. Deliveries of the Air sedan start in Q2 of 2021. Rawlinson said of the SUV, "I'm going to put that into production in early '23." It's possible we've gotten a preview of what's coming in 18 months thanks to Twitter user Coast Redwoods, who — while driving a Tesla Model Y — spotted an Air sedan and what looks like a prototype Lucid SUV parked on the side of a back road. The captions to the photos explained that the California Highway Patrol had blocked the road in Pescadaro, about 50 miles west of San Jose near the coast. Coast Redwoods didn't say so, but the setup looks like one used for a promo shoot. The Air is slated to be revealed on September 9, it's possible Lucid plans to show off the new SUV at the event. Whatever was going on needed at least one Tesla on-site as well.
My iPhone 10 zoom isn’t clear enough to show how beautiful these Lucid cars are. I’d buy one now! pic.twitter.com/bJkB6Q9a4Z
— Coast Redwoods (@mvahead) August 15, 2020
Assuming we're looking at Lucid's family hauler, there seems to be no middle ground to the online reaction — it's great or god-awful. The family relation to the Air is unmistakable thanks to the greenhouse design elements and the sculpted lower door area. Keeping in mind we don't know how this vehicle's look will change before production, my vote is in the "great" camp. That's not only for the design specifically, but the the vibe of this being another big, unapologetic box meant to haul lots of gear, like the Rivian R1S. As with the Rivian, there's a slab front and tiny overhang, and long, flat hood. The windshield rake on the Lucid, however, is extreme; the proportions in these photos make it look like the top of the instrument panel has space to hold dinner for six.
With the SUV built on the Air's platform, that means we can expect the Air's 900-volt architecture and 350-kW charging capability. Lucid recently said the Air can restore 300 miles of range in 20 minutes when hooked up to a 350-kW CCS fast-charger, a restore rate faster than anything on the market right now. Plugged into a Level 2 charger, the Air can replenish 80 miles of range per hour. The people-hauler's range might not match the preliminary 517-mile feat recently touted for the Air, but it sounds like there's a good shot to match or exceed the 410-mile range Rivian said the R1S would get.
By the way, the 517-mile figure comes using the EPA's percentage correction to the unadjusted range. As Forbes explained, "The unadjusted range values came out to 745 miles city and 730 miles highway with a combined 738 miles. The EPA applies a correction factor that is typically 70% to account for other factors that impact real world driving. These include air conditioning, heating and for auto stop start for internal combustion engines that have that feature. With the correction factor, the Air is projected to get a range of 517 miles, more than 25% better than the current champ, the long range Tesla Model S."
Check out Coast Redwood's Twitter for the rest of the photos. It's clear some of the iPhone 10 shots are horizontally distorted, so we know where we'll be tuning in September 9.