Lucid is a relatively new player in the electric car scene. It was just April of this year that the startup automaker revealed its Air EV. At the time of the vehicle’s debut, Lucid claimed an Air prototype had reached a top speed of 217 mph on the Transportation Research Center’s test track in Ohio. This month, Lucid returned to the banked oval circuit to aim even higher.
Using the same Alpha Speed Car, Lucid has announced that the Air achieved a top speed of 235 mph. To put that figure into perspective, the first top speed, recorded in April, matched that of a million-dollar supercar – the Ferrari LaFerrari.
So how did the automaker improve by 18 miles per hour? Lucid says its first test saddled the prototype with software that limited the top end to 217 mph. The initial test more than exceeded the company’s expectations, but Lucid knew the car could go further with some improvements.
“For example, the self-leveling air suspension was not able to adjust quickly enough when running near 200 mph on a high-banked track, with heavy downforce pushing the car laterally against the track.” Lucid explains in a recent blog post. “We also found the front motor was running at temperatures higher than had been predicted in computer simulations.”
The front motor received coolant flow and ventilation upgrades. New, aerodynamically efficient wheels were fitted. Finally, the speed limiter was removed. Like the first test, the July prototype was equipped with a roll cage and a parachute for emergencies.
During the first test in April, the Air prototype was doing 200 mph coming off the banked curves. This time, it was doing 215 mph. By the end of the straight, it clocked 235.44 mph in a silent rush.
Lucid is quick to point out that because this is a prototype, specifically setup for top speed runs, the production car may not match this top speed. However, with the consumer model boasting 1,000hp and 400 miles of range in its highest trim, there should be no question that the pure EV is lightning fast.