Coming Soon: Fast Luxury Electric Vehicles

EVELYN KANTER
Motor Matters

They are fast and sporty to drive, gorgeous to look at, and don’t use a drop of gas. These new luxury electric vehicles just may change your mind about EVs, especially those from boutique manufacturers not named Tesla.

Lucid Motors, based in California, is introducing a new sedan called Air, packed with 1,000 horsepower from batteries similar to the ones it supplies to Formula E race cars. It reportedly has a driving range of more than 400 miles, a top speed of around 235 mph, and can launch 0-to-60 in a track-worthy 2.5 seconds.

With a starting price of around $60,000, you get a comfortable, well-appointed interior (of course), and a high-tech infotainment system that remembers your preferred temperature and other settings. A large glass canopy roof makes the interior feel more airy.

Lucid is expected to offer warranty and maintenance coverage similar to the Tesla S it is competing against. The company is taking deposits on the Air, for delivery in 2021. The vehicle is being produced in Lucid’s new factory in Arizona.

Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc., claims its new four-wheel-drive SUV, called Ocean, is the world’s most sustainable vehicle, thanks in part to use of fully-recycled and vegan materials for the interior.

The carpeting is made from regenerated nylon acquired from abandoned fishing net waste that’s been pulled from the oceans. Ocean uses an eco-suede material formulated from recycled bottles and plastics.

A full-length solar roof boosts the car’s electric power source and improves efficiency while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Fisker introduced the solar roof in his first EV sedan, the Fisker Karma, around a decade ago. A special “California Mode” slides open nine glass windows and panels for a completely open, convertible-like feel.

Ocean has a range of up to 300 miles, and features a CCS Type 2 Combo plug, so you can re-charge at any type of station. Another convenience that will help reduce “range anxiety” is that vehicles automatically recognize Electrify America stations for automatic payments, so you don’t even have to log in with your account info.

Purchase price starts at $37,499. The $7,500 federal tax credit brings the price down to $29,999, around the same as a Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius EV. Production is planned to start late in 2021, with deliveries in 2022.

Although far from a boutique manufacturer, BMW is expanding its EV lineup with a Gran Coupe. Although the i4 is being called a concept, BMW has announced production will begin next year at its main assembly plant in Munich, where company headquarters are located. BMW is investing around $250 million to adapt the facility for i4 production.

The i4 has a 530-hp. electric motor, a range of more than 372 miles between charges, a top speed of 124 mph, and a 0-to-60 time in 4 seconds flat. It boasts a dramatic long nose with an enlarged version of BMW’s iconic kidney grille for increased airflow to help keep the batteries cool.

A new central control panel replaces the traditional gear lever with a toggle-type shifter. And a new visual system BMW calls widgets changes as you switch between the main, sport, and efficient driving modes. For example, the lap timer widget appears only in sport mode.

No price has been announced officially yet, but is expected to be in the range of BMW’s best-selling 3 Series and EV rivals Tesla Model 3 and Audi e-tron GT. That would be around $50,000.

BMW is expanding its EV lineup with a Gran Coupe. The i4 has a 530-hp. electric motor, a range of more than 372 miles between charges, a top speed of 124 mph, and a 0-to-60 time in 4 seconds flat. Lucid Motors is introducing a new sedan called Air, packed with 1,000 horsepower from batteries similar to the ones it supplies to Formula E race cars. The Fisker Ocean has a range of up to 300 miles.