Jump in your time machine children, because it’s time to head all the back to the year 2017. A specially modified version of the Dodge Challenger Hellcat—called the Demon—ran the quarter-mile in 9.7 seconds. Yes, it had pizza-cutter front wheels, was missing three seats, drank 100-octane race gas, ran on a prepped drag surface, and took advantage of a weather phenomenon called “mineshaft air” (where the barometer drops to the pressure you’d see 650 feet below sea level). Dodge achieved this result exactly once (an engineer I spoke with who was there said it was a non-repeatable number—he knows because he tried) and never bothered to hand out a single press car so that any sort of third-party could verify the claim. Still, ask everyone on the internet what the quickest production car in the quarter-mile is, and they’ll all say Demon.
That was then. Today? The “record” belongs to an electric car startup running a prototype variant of a car its yet to start selling. Why not? The Bugatti Chiron 300+ was a prototype and production versions will have severely limited top speeds. Elon Musk announces that the (eventual) Tesla Roadster will hit 60 mph in less than two seconds, and the brand faithful repeat it as fact, if not verse. So why not call an early mule of a potential variant of an untested startup car company a record holder? We’re getting into bloody edges of what production cars are capable of, I think we can give ’em a bit of leeway. Alternate take: Do these records matter? For now, let’s say yeah, sure.
Meet the Lucid Air tri-motor. Some of you will remember that the Lucid Air dual-motor popped off a 9.9-second quarter mile run. But that’s last week’s fish, man. Here’s what’s happening. Making an undisclosed amount of horsepower, though it does have three motors that are capable of 670 hp each (that would be a total of 2,010 ponies), Lucid’s newest beast ripped off a quarter mile sprint in—please be seated—9.2 seconds (9.245 seconds, to be specific). Holy cow! Think that’s nuts? The trap speed was—I’d lay down for this one—157.3 mph. That’s hella nuts. Want some context? The original 1,001-hp Bugatti Veyron 16.4 trapped at 139.9 mph and needed a leisurely 10.4 seconds to travel 1,320 feet. Fast forward 14 years and the McLaren Senna crossed the quarter after 10.1 seconds at 147.5 mph. You getting the picture? The quickest production car MotorTrend’s ever tested in the quarter is the 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari, which did the deed in 9.7 seconds at 148.5 mph. This Lucid is just silly. I’m not even sure what else to say. Just kidding!
If you watch the video, you’ll see that while the Air is on a prepped surface, it’s running pretty standard, narrow Pirelli P-Zero tires, measuring 265 mm at the front and 285 mm at the rear. This exact car now sports a widebody kit (like the Demon), and wears 285 R compound rubber up front, and 325s in back. Were Lucid to go back to the drag strip at Sears Point with the car in its current state, it would surely be even quicker. To restress all this, the video you’re watching is of a super early stage prototype on baloney meats. Just wait until it’s on real tires and tuned. Could we see an eight-second quarter mile run? Big time maybe.
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