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'An executive jet experience for the road'

The designers behind the Lucid Air (lucidmotors.com) are clear about the inspiration for their electric luxury sedan.

"We wanted to create an executive-jet experience for the road," said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid Motors' chief technology officer, in December. Moments earlier, in a warehouse in Fremont, Calif., he had pulled a black silk cover off the Air, the company's debut automobile.

"We're using cutting-edge technology to minimise space taken up by components and maximise the space for passengers," he said.

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The Air's speed and cabin design certainly do evoke an executive jet. The car is powered by two electric motors — one each in front and back — that together generate 745 Kw and enable a zero-to-100km/h time of 2.5 seconds.

Though this is a mid-size sedan, the rear passenger area is spacious enough for optional seats that can recline 55 degrees. The cabin is also equipped with a 29-speaker audio system and a noise-cancellation feature.

"It's a bit like what you get with a Maybach, but without the bulk of that car," said Rawlinson, who was the vice president of vehicle engineering for Tesla and the chief engineer of the Model S.

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The Air's battery provides a 485-kilometre range that can be upgraded to 645 kilometres. Lucid Motors, which is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, has announced plans to build a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, and begin delivering cars by the end of 2018.

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