Update: ‘Performance’ sub-section of ‘Top-notch specifications’ and ‘Release date’ section updated.
Lucid Motors, founded as ‘Atieva’ in 2016, wants to build a new kind of car that makes no compromises. Here’s everything you need to know about the Lucid Gravity, which is aimed at raising the bar for electric SUVs.
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. Lucid Motors claims it is the world’s most aerodynamic SUV.
Derek Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Design, Lucid Motors, says electric cars shouldn’t look like gasoline cars and that they can be bolder, The Globe And Mail reported on March 17, 2023. For example, like a jet, they can have a clean and fast front. Lucid Motors has made the Air as efficient as possible with a drag coefficient of 0.197, making it the car with the lowest drag coefficient in the world. The Gravity also appears to be a very aerodynamic model for an SUV, which should result in more range per kilowatt-hour than most SUVs.
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 didn’t provide a complete look at the 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 patent images show the Gravity featuring sleek headlamps similar to the Lucid Air, a visibly short hood (with air vents), and a huge windscreen. Lucid Motors has developed a new Micro Lens lighting system. The user can also digitally steer the light in different directions to light up dark spots on the road. This is the brightest lighting system ever made, and the Gravity should carry it. The system is already available on the Air sedan.
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. Our favorite part is 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.
On November 15, 2022, Lucid Motors released a teaser that appeared to show a unique placement for the model inscription on the sides. While most automakers choose the lower area of the front door panels for branding, Lucid Motors has carved a space at the top of the D-pillar. The upper edge of this area seems to be on the same horizontal axis as the lower edge of the roof spoiler at the rear.
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 of the brown example 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 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. In our experience, we’ve seen occupants in the second row of luxury SUVs being treated to high-quality individual screens for entertainment on the go, and the Gravity should be no different in this respect. The bank of high-resolution displays will feature the next-gen Lucid UX and may have interconnection through the ‘Lucid Ethernet ring,’ an ethernet connection that allows the car’s internal systems to communicate at gigabit speeds.
Speaking to YouTube channel MotoManTV’s George Notaras in March 2023, Jenkins suggested the Lucid Gravity will have better packaging, meaning more efficient utilization of space, than most of its rivals. In addition to practicality, Lucid Motors will lay extra emphasis on comfort. The Gravity’s wheelbase will be longer than that of the Air, but its body won’t be significantly longer.
The top-end Gravity will feature executive rear seats in the second row that can be reclined way back like in a jet. Second-row passengers will be able to lie down almost flat and gaze at the sky through the SUV’s huge panoramic glass roof. The headrests of the seats feature an embossed logo of a polar bear to signify the model’s eco-friendly nature.
In the teaser Lucid Motors showed on November 15, 2022, it seemed the Gravity has a split glass roof above the front seats as well. The company has since confirmed it will offer the large electric SUV in 5-, 6-, and 7-seat versions. Lucid Motors will offer a bench-type second-row seat as well, in basic configurations in which customers want a higher seating capacity of seven passengers and don’t mind compromising on comfort.
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.
We’re going to have a transformative SUV, which is going to embody the core Lucid DNA, product DNA, the Space Concept. And what’s compact on the outside, more space, more practicality, more luxury on the inside. And we’re going to have an ultra-high efficiency SUV which nobody has ever done before.Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors (during the Q4 2021 Results call on Feb 28, 2022)
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.
During the Q4 2021 results call on Feb 28, 2022, Rawlinson said that he personally oversees the engineering development of Gravity, and believes in the product’s disruptive potential.
Lucid Motors says the Gravity’s range will be second to none, with the sole exception being the company’s own Air electric sedan. No surprise there, given that the company claims it to be the world’s most aerodynamic SUV.
Lucid Motors offers the Air with a 118 kWh battery pack and a 112 kWh battery pack. It may offer the same two battery packs or just the 118 kWh battery pack in the Gravity. When Notaras asked if the company will use an even bigger-size battery pack, Jenkins said “that’s not the intent.” Instead of shoving in a gigantic battery pack, the company will strongly focus on reducing energy consumption to offer a long range. Maximum miles per kilowatt hour is the goal, not how much higher the energy storage capacity of the battery pack can be, Jenkins added.
In Air, the optimum size of the battery pack has also led to the largest frunk 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.
The Gravity should deliver an impressive EPA-est. range of up to 400+ miles. If you ask us, the three-row SUV would be considered a family hauler and inter-city traveler by American car buyers. So, the travel range matters, and that’s on top of the team’s mind designing and developing it.
In a Lucid Gravity announcement on November 15, 2022, Lucid Motors said that its range will be more than any other EV (except for those from Lucid). If we exclude the Lucid Air, the 2023 Tesla Model S is the longest-range EV available in the U.S., being capable of delivering an EPA-est. range of 405 miles.
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 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 fastest charging electric SUVs.
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, in an Instagram chat with Rosemary Square – West Palm in April 2021
With the Lucid Air getting bragging rights as the world’s most powerful electric sedan, it is 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 and rear wheels.
Lucid Motors has the technology to even go a notch higher in this aspect, having launched the Air Sapphire with a triple-motor powertrain that generates 1,234 hp and 1,430 lb.-ft. of torque, a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 1.89 seconds, and an impressive top speed of 205 mph. However, that kind of street performance would be excessive for a large SUV that’s built primarily for family commutes and leisure pursuits.
We’re inclined to speculate that they could allocate resources for a more off-road-capable Gravity variant in the future. A rugged version that enables customers to embark on extreme adventures would also attract more business.
The Air can achieve consistent quarter-mile times of 9.9 seconds, and we expect the Gravity to keep it tidy under the 12-second mark, despite its SUV body shape and relatively higher drag.
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.
Not a rock crawler
It’s 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 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. Towing capability will be available, but optionally.
During the conversation with Notaras, Jenkins confirmed Lucid Motors is planning to offer an air suspension on the Gravity. The air suspension would enhance aerodynamic efficiency and comfort, and maybe even improve off-road capability a little, with an option to raise the ground clearance. “It’s not going to be a rock crawler,” Jenkins said.
Advanced 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.
DreamDrive Pro ADAS
What’s more, Lucid Motors announced on March 22, 2022, that its DreamDrive Pro ADAS system would be integrated with Nvidia’s newest Drive Hyperion platform. The new platform would permit Lucid to customize ADAS features and enhance existing autonomous driving capabilities with improved computing power.
Nvidia says that Hyperion delivers high computing performance, accelerated algorithm development, and efficient data processing. In layman’s terms, the chips are designed to provide a more accurate self-driving experience for future electric cars. The technology could play a crucial role in building public trust and confidence in the capabilities of autonomous cars.
The Lucid Gravity will debut in November 2023, Rawlinson announced during Lucid Motors’ Q2 2023 earnings conference call on August 7, 2023. During the same conference call, CFO Sherry House revealed that production will start late in 2024, and we expect customer deliveries to commence during the same period.
Road-testing of the Gravity on U.S. public roads is already underway. Lucid Motors claims this EV has a new level of a great combination of performance, spaciousness, and driving range. On August 22, at the 2023 Monterey Car Week, Rawlinson told Yahoo Finance that the company is testing over 30 alpha prototypes of the Gravity. It’s going to be a state-of-the-art 7-seat SUV, he added.
Price & Competitors
With respect to the Lucid SUV’s price, Rawlinson mentioned during Lucid Motors’ Q2 2023 earnings conference call that the company has indicated for sometime now to anticipate a price structure similar to that of the Air, and that he hopes to be in a position to disclose the same in November 2023.
The Lucid Gravity could start around USD 85,000, and reach approximately USD 150,000. While the top-of-the-line Air (Sapphire) is all about performance, the range-topping Gravity could be centered around a VIP experience, offering a more comfortable and richer interior.
Lucid Air owners to get priority in bookings
Lucid Motors has stated on its official website that Lucid Air owners would be given priority when the Project Gravity reservations start. This would strengthen loyalty among the current set of Lucid Air customers, and they would be the first ones flaunting the Gravity EV SUV on North American streets. Those interested can join the waitlist on the brand’s website to stay updated regarding vehicle details and reservation availability.
Made in Arizona
The Gravity will roll out of the same American factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, as the Lucid Air, the deliveries of which began in October 2021. In June 2021, the company announced plans to build a dedicated Lucid Gravity general assembly line at this site.
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.
According to an anonymous source familiar with the matter, Lucid plans to sell imported cars in China, and is also exploring the possibility of local production in the country, as per a Reuters report filed on June 8, 2023. A large SUV like the Gravity would be a good fit for Chinese families, though plans are yet to be unraveled.
In our opinion, the Lucid Gravity is unquestionably fit for the future with its cutting-edge design and impressive capabilities. From what we know so far, its sleek and modernist design, astounding performance, stunning range, and in-car comforts make it the complete SUV. We’re confident it’ll put many luxury SUVs to shame from not only well-established luxury brands but even new and tech-centered companies like Tesla and Nio.
Lucid Gravity FAQs
What is the Lucid Gravity release date?
The Lucid Gravity will debut in November 2023 and likely go on sale in late 2024.
What will be the Lucid Gravity price?
The base Lucid Gravity could cost around USD 85,000.
Which EVs will be Lucid Gravity rivals?
The Lucid Gravity will compete with the likes of the GMC Hummer EV & Mercedes EQS SUV.
Image Source: EUIPO