Watch the Lucid Air EV get sideways in winter testing

Even when large automakers produce
concept cars that preview a production model, those cars don’t seem very real (especially when the production version ends up looking nothing like the concept). Now, with startups getting into the business of making cars, their high-tech gadgetmobiles end up feeling a lot like vaporware. Call it an act of good faith, then, when a newcomer like
Lucid Motors provides
details about the cold weather testing of its 1,000-horsepower luxury EV. Even better, the company has given us this really satisfying video of the
Lucid Air getting sideways in the Minnesota snow.

Lucid took its powerful prototype to the frigid north to see how a variety of its systems work when the temperature dips to -18F. Lucid’s steering and chassis engineering manager, David Lickfold, writes that such conditions give his team an opportunity to build upon simulations and climate chamber testing with real-world experience.

While the extreme cold certainly provides valuable data about things like
battery performance, getting the car out onto actual winter terrain is especially important to fine tune driving dynamics. Driving on packed snow, polished ice, and in the kinds of situations where individual tires are encountering different levels of grip, this all helps to dial in things like traction and stability control,
braking, and driver feedback. There’s a lot to coordinate in order to make the most of the two electric motors, which can adjust power to the front or rear wheels, and a torque vectoring system that uses braking to aid in cornering. Those systems have to work in harmony with the active suspension, which allows the tires keep a good contact patch with the road, icy or not.

It’s important to get this stuff right when your company is arming customers with 1,000 sparky ponies at a cost of over $100,000. That’s why they do the hard work of cold weather testing. Surely, there’s no fun to be had in drifting a mega-torquey EV through corner after icy corner trailing a mile-long plume of snow.

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