Not sure what Lucid Motors is? You’re not alone. Until a few weeks ago, it was called Atieva. Although the full details about who owns it are murky, it appears its principal investor is Jia Yueting, the mercurial Chinese billionaire who is also deeply involved in Faraday Future and China’s LeEco. After years of secrecy, Lucid/Atieva brought a prototype of what it says will be its first car to the Los Angeles auto show last week. The car is a luxury four door sedan aimed squarely at the Tesla Model S.
That is no coincidence. Lucid’s chief technology officer is Peter Rawlinson. In a prior life, Rawlinson was an integral part of the team involved in designing and building the Model S. He left Tesla Motors abruptly just before the Model S went into production. In a recent interview with Fortune’s Katie Fehrenbacher, he refused to discuss his departure from Tesla but it seems clear the Lucid sedan — which may be called Atvus — will be Rawlinson’s revenge on Elon Musk.
Previously, Atieva released videos of a Mercedes work van named Edna stomping on a Ferrari and a Model S in drag races. Edna is said to be fitted with the electric drivetrain that will power Lucid vehicles. According to reports, the car will have an 87 kWh battery, 900 horsepower, 0-60 times under 3.0 seconds, and a range of 300 miles. Rawlinson says the car will resemble what an “executive jet would feel like on four wheels.” Oh, goody. The world desperately needs another electric road rocket for the well heeled.
Fortune got a look at the prototype car inside Lucid’s research and development garage, which is conveniently located in Fremont, California within shouting distance of the Tesla factory. Fortune reports the car, which is scheduled to go on sale in 2018, “has an ultra-spacious backseat cabin, unusual new headlight technology inspired by insect eyes, a sweeping glass windshield and roof, and a futuristic front face.”