Lucid Air Hits 217 MPH On Ohio Test Track

A special prototype of the Lucid Air set up for high-speed testing topped out at 217 mph.

On top of a claimed 1,000 horsepower and 400-mile maximum range, the Lucid Air can now add supercar-rivalling speed to its resume. A prototype was clocked at 217 mph on the TRC Ohio test track, the company says.

This "Alpha Speed Car" prototype was pulled from Lucid Motors's current fleet of development mules, and modified specifically for high-speed testing on TRC Ohio's 7.5-mile oval. It features a roll cage and a large rear spoiler, not to mention some flashy graphics.

Lucid claims the Air prototype was actually limited to 217 mph by software. If that's true, and if production versions can match that top speed, the Air will be one of the fastest electric cars around. Faraday Future also claims 1,000 hp for its FF 91, but its less-aerodynamic SUV body may impact top speed. Tesla focuses more on acceleration than top speed with its cars; the Model S P100D is limited to 155 mph. The Croatian Rimac Concept One has a claimed 221 mph top speed, but it's a much more exotic supercar, not a four-door sedan with a large back seat.

Of course, buyers will likely have to get a top-of-the-line Air to achieve that top speed. The 1,000-hp, 400-mile version will cost six figures, Lucid has said. The company also plans to offer a 315-mile version with the same 1,000-hp output. A base model costing $60,000 will have a 240-mile range and 400 hp. Base models will be rear-wheel drive; higher-end versions will have all-wheel drive.

Lucid plans to begin sales in 2019, but first the startup needs to build a factory to make the car. It chose a site in Casa Grande, Arizona, last year, and is in the process of raising $700 million to fund construction. Lucid hopes to build around 10,000 cars in the first year, ramping up to 50,000 per year after that. But launching an all-new car is hard enough without having to build a factory from scratch first. Lucid has a lot of work ahead of it...but it seems to be on the right track.