Lucid electric SUV prototype spotted testing California

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Shortly after Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson confirmed plans for an electric SUV to follow the automaker’s Air sedan, a prototype appears to have been spotted by an eagle-eyed Twitter user.

Photos of an SUV, accompanied by a Lucid Air, on California public roads were posted by Twitter user Coast Redwoods on Friday and Saturday.

The SUV’s appearance closely follows what Lucid CEO Rawlinson told Green Car Reports last week—that Lucid has a drivable SUV prototype that’s based on Air and about the same length.

The photos show a very steep windshield pillar, indicating the SUV could follow the Lucid Air sedan’s aerodynamic leadership. The Air’s drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.21 is better than the 0.23 of the Tesla Model S. SUVs are inherently less aerodynamic than sedans, however, due to their taller, boxier bodywork—adding frontal area, even if it has a slick coefficient. 

Lucid’s SUV might also arrive as a family-luxury counterpoint to the rugged, more outdoor-lifestyle-oriented Rivian R1S. Rivian has said the seven-seat R1S will have up to 410 miles of range and genuine off-road capability. Based on the same “skateboard” platform as the Rivian R1T pickup truck, it’s scheduled to start production in summer 2021.

CEO Rawlinson said Lucid has no current plans for a pickup, but it’s an idea the company is considering. A pickup would likely need to be built on a different platform than the SUV and Air.

Tesla’s closest rival in this area is the Model X, and while this model doesn’t have the widespread appeal of the smaller, less expensive, Model Y, Tesla has continued to update it with more range and features and lower pricing.

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