Lucid Motors held a limited-invite media event in New York City the past two days and we were on hand to capture what we believe to be the first published pictures of the Lucid Air in Zenith Red.
In addition to the new Zenith Red, the Lucid Air will also offer the color choices of Stellar White, Infinite Black, Cosmos Silver, and Quantum Grey on the Air. The special limited run of the “Dream Edition” will also offer Eurika Gold as an option, but that color goes away once the Dream Edition allotment is sold out.
The stunning Zenith Red color has a silver roofline accent that stretches from the A-pillar to the C-pillar. This particular vehicle was fitted with the Air’s Grand Touring package, which will be the top-of-the-line model once the Dream Edition is no longer available.
Lucid also had a Stellar White Dream Edition on-site and while it looked good, it was clearly outshined by the rich, deep color of the Zenith Red. My bet is on Zenith red being the most selected color on the Air; it really looked gorgeous in person.
Unfortunately, the Lucid Air Dream edition isn’t available in Zenith Red ($169K doesn’t get you anything these days), as it’s only available in Stellar White, Infinite Black, and the Dream Edition exclusive Eureka Gold. Lucid is accepting reservations for all trims, including the lowest trim level simply called the Air, which is available for $77,400 before any incentives. However, Lucid tells us that version won’t be available until sometime in early 2022.
Air Grand Touring
Air Dream Edition
At the event, we had a chance to speak with Lucid Motors Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Eric Bach as well as Vice President of Design, Derek Jenkins. Well soon be posting what we learned, as well as more pictures and videos from the event, so stay tuned.
Fisker Inc. said Thursday it completed a deal to go public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company, with the proceeds funding operations and development of its first electric vehicle through the start of production in late 2022.
Shares of the combined company are expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange starting Friday under the ticker symbol FSR.
The transaction with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. is expected to give Fisker more than $1 billion of cash on the balance sheet and no funded debt, the company said. Spartan is a SPAC, or a shell company, that raises money through an initial public offering to buy an operating entity, typically within two years. SPACs have emerged as a quick route to the stock market for companies, particularly auto technology startups.
Fisker this month cemented an agreement with Canadian supplier Magna International Inc., which will supply the vehicle platform and build the electric carmaker’s Ocean SUV at a plant in Graz, Austria.
As part of the deal, Magna will receive warrants to purchase a stake of up to 6 percent in Fisker.
“All the external pieces are now in place to execute our unique, asset-light business strategy, with today’s funding and the strategic cooperation announced with Magna on Oct. 15,” CEO Henrik Fisker said in a statement. “We can now fully turn our attention to developing and launching the revolutionary, all-electric Fisker Ocean into the heart of the midsize SUV market, expected to commence in Q4 2022.”
Pricing on the Ocean is expected to start at $37,499.
The new Cadillac Escalade has a lot going for it and, shortly after we had the opportunity to test it out in ESV Premium Luxury Platinum guise, Throttle House has tested out the massive SUV in ESV Sport trim.
In the United States, prices for the new Escalade ESV Sport start at $85,595. It is based on the Premium Luxury trim level and adds a gloss black front fascia, roof rack, window trim, running boards, bodyside molding, liftgate trim, and exhaust bezel. Moreover, the Sport has an electronic limited-slip differential, Magnetic Ride Control, and the Trailering Integration Package as standard. It is also available with a Driver Assist Tech Package, AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker sound system, Super Cruise, Night Vision and Power Assist Steps.
The interior is where the new Escalade feels noticeably more premium than the previous generation. Taking pride of place in the cabin is a curved OLED display that consists of a 7.2-inch driver information center, a 14.2-inch digital instrument cluster and a 16.9 infotainment system. These screens are superb, and the reviewers in this video say that it is the best infotainment and display system of any current luxury vehicle.
Powering the new Escalade is a 6.2-liter V8 that pumps out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft (624 Nm) of torque. This engine is coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission and an optional four-wheel drive system. As we found during our review, it works well in the new Escalade, and the reviewers seem to agree.
Sometimes the best combinations happen when the old meets the new.
Chevrolet on Thursday unveiled a 1977 K5 Blazer with an electric crate motor that will be available to customers in the second half of 2021.
Built for the 2020 SEMA show (which is being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic), the SUV, dubbed Blazer-E, shows off Chevy’s Electric Connect and Cruise package. It’s a plug-and-play (no pun intended) setup for an electric powertrain, including a motor, 60-kwh battery pack, a DC-to-AC inverter to run the motor, a DC-to-DC converter for low-voltage electronics, wiring harnesses, controllers, and water pumps for battery heating and cooling.
The package makes use of many components from the Chevy Bolt EV, including the motor, battery pack, controllers, wiring harnesses, and heating/cooling hardware. This preserves functions like battery-overcharge protection and regenerative braking, Chevy said. All told, about 90% of the parts installed as part of the electric-conversion package are factory Bolt EV components, according to Chevy.
To build the Blazer-E, Chevy mixed these components with some aftermarket items, including an electric power steering kit, an electric pump to provide vacuum for the stock brakes, and an electronic controller that allows the powertrain to interface with the stock Blazer gauges. The original fuel gauge now displays the battery’s state of charge.
1977 Chevrolet K5 Blazer-E
The powertrain swap brought a boost in power. This Blazer left the factory with a 400-cubic-inch V-8 that made 175 horsepower, but the Bolt EV motor provides 200 hp, plus 266 pound-feet of torque. The stock 3-speed automatic transmission was also replaced with a 4-speed automatic from Chevrolet Performance.
Chevy has been teasing an electric crate-motor package for a few years. An earlier version of Electric Connect and Cruise was used for the Chevy E-10 show truck, a 1962 C-10 pickup that debuted at the 2019 SEMA show. In 2018, Chevy unveiled the eCOPO Camaro drag racer.
The automaker expects to begin selling the Electric Connect and Cruise package in 2021, and plans to certify dealerships and aftermarket companies as installers. To get the certification, participants will need training and tools to work with high-voltage electronics.
Electric conversions for older cars are becoming more popular, with Volkswagen commissioning some builds and a smattering of aftermarket companies specializing in electric powertrain swaps.
Oscar Mayer briefly sidelined its 300-hp frankfurters in the spring, but the company “decided that being a source of frivolity during trying times is part of its DNA,” The New York Times reported last week. So all six Wienermobiles, most of which ride on a Chevrolet chassis with a 6-liter Vortec V-8 under the bun, are back on the road. Now they have masks, plenty of hand sanitizer and less harried schedules.
Hotdoggers, as the drivers are called, have begun spending about two weeks at each destination to reduce the likelihood of spreading the coronavirus along their route. They allow fewer fans to ride in the cab, but they still hand out wiener whistles and other promotional swag.
“As you can imagine, how can you not smile when you see a giant hot dog on wheels rolling down the road, even if it’s just playing music and waving out the window? That brightens people’s day,” Ed Roland, senior experiential marketing manager at Oscar Mayer, told the Times. “We know people think it’s odd, that it’s just a giant hot dog on wheels, but you’d be surprised at the connection that it has with people.”