Ian Callum is one of the world’s great automotive designers, responsible for Aston Martin’s bacon-saving DB7 and Vanquish, and countless gems during a 20-year tenure as design director at Jaguar. Fans of the man have been pining for more and here it is: the Callum Skye, a fabulous looking high performance multi-terrain electric vehicle, powered by a 42 kWh battery pack, with an e-motor on each axle. Callum is aiming for a range of around 170 miles for the Skye, while a chassis that mixes steel and carbon fibre keeps the weight down to around 1100kg. That equates to an extremely useful power-to-weight ratio, a far more relevant metric than horsepower alone. As mainstream electric cars become effectively big smartphones on wheels and car-makers get ever deeper into software, the niche in the market for hedonistic but sustainable recreational cars like the Skye is set to blossom. This is a light, agile answer to the question you didn’t know you were about to ask.
Lucid’s Air sedan is arguably the best-looking EV of them all, an imperious slab of modernism with the performance to match Tesla – with a more mindful brand emphasis than the one engendered by its controversy-magnet rival. Yet California-based Lucid has been battered by headwinds. It suffered a $779.5m loss in the first three months of 2023, forcing its biggest shareholder, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, to dig deep. A new factory north of Jeddah opens soon, the aim being to capitalise on the country’s dramatic state-mandated pivot away from fossil fuels. By 2030, 30 per cent of new cars sold in the kingdom will by law be electric, most of them made by Lucid. Meanwhile, here comes the second model, the Gravity. “Gravity will take our customers farther with less batteries and therefore using less precious energy,” claims CEO (and former Tesla man) Peter Rawlinson. “Its smaller, lighter and higher technology battery pack means fewer precious metals and minerals, less energy to charge, less electricity consumed, less pressure upon the grid, and a lighter weight and more dynamic vehicle.”
All of this would be even more laudable if the Gravity wasn’t a hefty SUV, but if Lucid swerved that market it really would be signing its own death warrant. Less futuristic than the Air, the Gravity is nonetheless an impressive, impassive looking machine, with a more svelte silhouette than any of its rivals. Lucid is targetting a drag coefficient of just 0.24, a figure that vehicles with this sort of brickhouse aesthetic usually don’t get near. That aero slipperiness is important for efficiency, particularly in terms of range. And here Lucid is claiming in excess of 440 miles on a single charge, augmented by the presence of 900V charging hardware. This means that its 120kWh battery pack can add around 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes. You’ll slam through that in no time if you lean on its performance – 0-62mph takes just 3.5 seconds – or use its three-tonne towing potential, but it demonstrates the trajectory EVs are on. “This is an environmentally friendly, versatile electric vehicle with the spirit of a supercars,” according to chief engineer, Eric Bach. The cockpit uses a 34in curved OLED display, with Lucid’s so-called Pilot Panel for primary functions. As for that mindfulness thing, the Gravity also features a ‘Detox’ mode that shuts down two of the three screens to show only the most important information.