The Lucid Gravity project is running as per schedule, Derek Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Design, Lucid Motors, suggested last year. Answering a question about future programs in an Instagram chat with Rosemary Square – West Palm in April 2021, Jenkins said, “that development is moving along really well.” He talked about the design of the upcoming model, which we have covered in the first section of the story.
I’m excited, very excited about the project. I think that even though the sedan segment is still a very popular segment, the SUV/CUV segments, especially in luxury, are continuing to grow at a much higher pace. So, we’re super-excited to bring that vehicle on the road.Derek Jenkins, SVP of Design, Lucid Motors, in April 2021
Here’s the down-low on the Lucid Gravity, which will rival the Tesla Model X:
On the Lucid Gravity’s design
The Gravity is arguably the finest nexus between an upright, boxy SUV that appeals to purists and an elegant crossover. It’s essentially a different top hat on a sedan (Lucid Air), one that is fully reimagined, which can’t be said of the Tesla Model X. Here’s Jenkins providing details of the first Lucid SUV on April 19, 2021, in a chat with Rosemary Square – West Palm’s Instagram channel:
I can promise you a few things, that it will have the Lucid design DNA, so it should be instantly recognizable as a Lucid product and sit comfortably next to the Lucid Air. And we’ll put a big priority on the same values that Air has, and that’s in the areas of space, interior space, overall vehicle efficiency and range, and of course, incredible performance.Derek Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Design, Lucid Motors, on the Project Gravity
Lucid Motors, founded as Atieva in 2016, didn’t provide a complete look at the Lucid Gravity or Project Gravity during the announcement in September 2020. Thanks to patent images, which have surfaced from EUIPO, we can view the Gravity from all angles.
The Lucid Gravity teased in September 2020 was a near-production concept. Since Lucid Motors hasn’t given its SUV a proper reveal, it’s hard to say if the patents are of the road-ready version. However, as was the Air’s case, the Lucid Gravity heading to dealer showrooms next year should look nearly identical to the initial model.
The patent images show the Gravity featuring sleek headlamps similar to those of the Lucid Air, a visibly short hood (with air vents), and a huge windscreen. On the sides, the electric luxury SUV has a horizontal beltline, sleek yet wide windows, and quarter glass panels, a really flat roof, and squarish wheel arches. The fast A-pillar angle pushes the windscreen quite forward for a very sporty look. The slim and sharp tail lamps are connected via a light strip on the top at the rear. Up top, almost the entire portion is covered by the sunroof.
While concepts tend to be more appealing than their road-ready versions, it will be the opposite case for the Lucid Project Gravity. That’s what Peter Rawlinson, CEO & CTO, Lucid Motors, indicated while speaking at the BofA Securities 2021 Automotive Summit held in March 2021.
These (teasers in this story) are our sneak-peak preview shots. We’ve actually changed the design a bit since then and it’s much cooler, even cooler again. And we’re really going to reimagine what an SUV can be, using this Space Concept, bigger on the inside, more compact on the outside, to make a three-row super, super sporting, all-electric SUV with great range and great characteristics.Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors (at BofA Securities 2021 Automotive Summit)
The Lucid Gravity may have a distinguishing top hat for its SUV look, but a significant amount of the interior layout and design should be common with the Lucid Air. Expect the same “Lucid Space Concept” that leverages the company’s miniaturized EV drivetrain and compact battery pack to give plenty of space.
We expect a similarly designed dashboard that discretely stows a retractable central portrait touchscreen called ‘Pilot Panel,’ with a 34-inch 5K curved instrument cluster, the ‘Lucid Glass Cockpit,’ floating above. The occupants in the second row may get individual screens in front of them for entertainment on the go. The bank of high-resolution displays may feature the Lucid UX and have interconnection through the ‘Lucid Ethernet ring,’ an ethernet connection that allows the car’s internal systems to communicate with each other at gigabit speeds.
On the Lucid Gravity platform
The Gravity will be based on the Lucid Electric Advanced Platform (LEAP), announced in September 2020. Combined with the Lucid Space Concept, which minimizes the in-house developed EV drivetrain to optimize cabin space, the second Lucid car is expected with class-leading interior space and comfort.
The Lucid Gravity would incorporate the posh design language set by the Lucid Air, but with typical SUV traits like upright front and rear fascias, straight body lines, squarish fenders, large greenhouse, etc. Jenkins told hotcars.com that the Lucid Air’s design DNA is suitable for a utility product like the Lucid Gravity. He also said that the company is working on “a range of products” with the same design philosophy.
It gets race-proven, compact battery pack & largest ‘frunk’
Lucid Motors says it has developed a 113 kWh battery pack through electric racing with 20 million miles of real-world testing promising ‘world class’ energy density. The company is using this battery pack in the Lucid Air. The large-capacity battery pack takes up limited space to liberate more interior space, the manufacturer said.
The 113 kWh battery pack’s size has also led to the Air featuring the largest frunk (trunk space at the front due to the absence of an engine) of any electric car to date. With the larger dimensions of the Lucid Gravity SUV, we expect the frunk to be much larger than that of the Air (280+ liters or 9.9 cu.ft.), and beat the F-150 Lightning’s 400 liters.
In the Lucid Air, the 113 kWh battery pack can deliver a range of up to 520 miles (EPA est.). The Lucid Gravity could deliver an EPA est. range of over 450 miles with the same battery pack. That number is definitely going to be a number over 400 miles, Jenkins has indicated.
In an interview with Automotive News in April 2021, Jenkins was asked about customer expectations from a luxury electric SUV. SUVs are used for many daily tasks and even adventure trips and getaways, so a long range is what customers want out of their SUVs, even here in the luxury segment.
The three-row SUV would be considered as a family hauler and inter-city traveler by American car buyers. So, the travel range really matters, and that’s on top of the mind of the team designing and developing it.
That range topic, I always put that at the very, very top of the list. To me that means 400- miles plus. You know, it has to have that at a minimum because people are going to use this thing. It’s going to be a family workhorse in a lot of cases.Derek Jenkins, SVP of Design, Lucid Motors
World’s fastest charging Electric SUV?
The Lucid Gravity will be among the fastest-charging EVs, likely offering a peak charging rate of over 300 kW. The GMC Hummer EV SUV and the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo already offer 350 kW ultra-fast charging or rapid charging. That’s the number Lucid Motors could target.
The Lucid Air can add up to 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes. The same charging speed would trickle down to the Gravity to make it one of the world’s fastest charging electric SUVs.
The world’s most powerful electric SUV?
With the Lucid Air getting bragging rights as the world’s most powerful electric sedan, it is only reasonable to expect the Lucid Gravity to be the world’s most powerful electric SUV. Expect nearly 1,080 hp from two motors, powering the front wheels and rear wheels.
The Air can achieve consistent quarter-mile times of 9.9 seconds, and we expect the Gravity SUV to keep it tidy under the 12-second mark, despite its SUV body shape and relatively higher drag.
Not a rock-crawler
It’s clearly visible from the design of the concept version that the Lucid Gravity won’t be an SUV made for extreme off-road thrills. It will look tougher and noticeably more rugged than its soft European competitors, like the Mercedes EQS SUV, for instance, but that won’t equate to GMC Hummer EV SUV levels of go-anywhere capabilities. “We’re not making a rock-crawler here (in Casa Grande, Arizona),” Jenkins said, Automotive News reported on October 4, 2021.
Special Pirelli tires
Like the Air, the Lucid Gravity should feature the new Pirelli P Zero HL tires. Pirelli says that the new series of its tires, debuting on the first Lucid model, are dedicated to EVs and hybrids. The company has developed tires to support the higher weight of vehicles with large batteries. They feature an HL marking on the sidewall to indicate their capability to handle high loads.
The Lucid Air’s Pirelli P Zero HL can support 20% more weight than a standard tire and 6-9% more weight compared to an extra load XL tire of the same size. The bespoke P Zero tires benefit from Pirelli Elect and PNCS technologies. Pirelli has jointly developed them with Lucid Motors, and it marks them ‘LM1’ on the sidewalls.
Pirelli Elect offers low rolling resistance for increased range and reduced rolling noise for more comfort. Moreover, it offers a compound grip to go with the torquey nature of electric powertrains and a structure that can handle the battery pack’s weight. PNCS consists of a sound-absorbing material within the tire, and it helps deaden air vibrations.
Level 3 autonomous capability
The Lucid Gravity is sure to inherit the Air’s advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS), dubbed Lucid DreamDrive, which the carmaker says features a Driver Monitoring System (DMS) with 32 sensors, covering vision, radar, and ultrasonics, plus the world’s first standard high-resolution LIDAR in an EV. With geo-fenced HD mapping, the Lucid electric car will provide Level 2 and Level 3 driver assistance technologies.
The Lucid Gravity will likely feature Highway Assist that clubs Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering Control and keeps the vehicle at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and in the center of the lane. Traffic Jam Assist could further assist the driver in keeping the vehicle centered between 0 and 40 mph.
Highway Assist would need the driver to remain aware of the surroundings at all times. An infrared camera would keep track of the driver’s head position, eye gaze, and blinking. The steering wheel would have a sensor to see to it that the driver doesn’t take hands off it. Another ADAS feature called Auto Park would provide automated parallel and perpendicular parking, managing all aspects – selecting gears, steering, driving forward, and reversing.
Micro Lens lighting system
Lucid has developed a new Micro Lens lighting system, which is the brightest lighting system ever made. The user can also digitally steer the light in different directions to light up dark spots on the road. The system is already available on the Air sedan.
On the Lucid Gravity price
Prices for the Lucid Air start at USD 77,400 and extend up to USD 169,000. The Lucid Gravity may command a premium of USD 8,000-12,000 over its sedan sibling, putting the entry variants in the Tesla Model X’s ballpark.
On the Lucid Gravity release date
The Lucid Gravity will enter production and go on sale during the second half of next year. Claimed to “redefine” sport and luxury for SUVs, the seven-seater will arrive as an MY2023 model. It will roll out of the same American factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, as the Lucid Air, the deliveries of which began in October 2021.
The company is choosing to accelerate plant capacity expansions and to build a dedicated Lucid Gravity general assembly line, which is expected to lead to higher Lucid Air sales volumes in 2023 while remaining within the second half 2023 Lucid Gravity launch window.Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Group, in June 2021
Called AMP-1, Lucid Motors’ Casa Grande facility is North America’s first greenfield, dedicated EV factory. Currently, this production site can roll out only 34,000 cars a year. The company plans to expand its annual production capacity to 90,000 cars in phase two, Peter Hochholdinger, its VP of Global Manufacturing, said in his keynote address on the day of the Air’s SOP. This will allow it to increase the production of the Air and start the production of Gravity.
Lucid Group can expand its first manufacturing facility, currently spread across 1 million square feet, up to 5.1 million square feet. It can increase annual production capacity to 365,000 cars by fully utilizing this pace. During Lucid Group’s Q3 2021 earnings conference call, Rawlinson said that the company is progressing well on its project of adding 2.85 million square feet of manufacturing space to its Arizona factory.
Lucid Motors had said it would accelerate approximately $350 million of the planned Capex investment to expand its manufacturing facility, and some part of the funds would go towards the development of the Gravity. Lucid Motors could bring more part production in-house to lower costs and improve quality. Currently, the company has outsourced components such as body panel stampings and battery enclosures.
Proposed Lucid Motors factory in the Middle East
At Future Minerals Summit 2022 (January 11-13, 2022), Chairman Andrew Liveris told Bloomberg Television’s Yousef Gamal El-Din that Lucid intends to open an EV factory in the country in 2025-2026. If the plan attains fruition, the company could manufacture the Lucid Gravity for the Middle East at this facility, as this region loves its large SUVs.
The Ministry of Industry, it’s been in cooperation with The Ministry of Investment, has been negotiating with us. We’ve announced our intent. We are working very hard on you know what percentage will be owned directly by us versus partners, but look (forward to) 2025-2026. So, that type of time frame.Andrew Liveris, Chairman, Lucid Motors (Future Minerals Summit 2022 via YouTube)
In addition to the GMC Hummer EV SUV and the Tesla Model X, the Mercedes EQS SUV due this year, the Range Rover EV, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer EV, and the Cadillac Escalade EV will compete with the Lucid Gravity.
Lucid Gravity FAQs
What is the Lucid Gravity release date?
Expect the Lucid Gravity in showrooms in the second half of 2023.
What will be the Lucid Gravity price?
The base Lucid Gravity could cost anywhere between USD 90,000 and 100,000.
Which EVs will be Lucid Gravity rivals?
The Lucid Gravity will compete with the likes of the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Escalade EV & Mercedes EQS SUV.
Image Source: EUIPO