The Fastest Single-Motor Electric Car In 2024

If you're building an electric car, the best way to squeeze a lot of power out is by adding more electric motors. However, there are some manufacturers who are able to deliver some impressive performance figures with just a single unit. There are a lot of front- and rear-wheel drive electric vehicles[1] currently available in the new car market, but only a handful of these will get the adrenaline pumping, as the bulk of these options prioritize efficiency and affordability.

There's a lot of value in creating a single rear-wheel drive electric performance car. In doing so, you benefit from low curb weights, resulting in improved handling characteristics. This does come at the sacrifice of raw power, which affects acceleration and top speed times, but rear-wheel drive EVs offer some of the most enjoyable driving experiences at lower speeds.

The fastest single-motor EV currently sold in the U.S. remains the base trim Lucid Air Pure[2], based on claimed and tested acceleration times. This is an impressive feat considering how the brand is essentially a newcomer to the luxury EV sphere[3], besting the likes of more established brands like Porsche and BMW. In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Lucid's websites and other authoritative sources, including Car and Driver, MotorTrend, Consumer Reports, the NHTSA, and the EPA.

Red 2024 Lucid Air Comprehensive Guide custom image text overlayModel Overview
2024 Lucid Air: A Comprehensive Guide On Features, Specs, And Pricing[4]
The Lucid Air is one of the most impressive all-electric cars on the market and this comprehensive guide dives into every little detail.

The Lucid Air Pure Does 0-60 MPH In 4.3 Seconds

Using a single permanent-magnet synchronous motor with the standard battery pack, the Lucid Air Pure produces an impressive 430 horsepower and 406 pound-feet to the rear wheels using an innovative single-speed direct-drive transmission.

The result is a claimed 4.5-second 0-60 MPH time and 124 MPH top speed, which is an incredible result for a car using only one electric motor and weighing in at 4,536 pounds. It also appears that Lucid's acceleration claims are fairly conservative, as independent tests reveal that you can achieve times as low as 4.3 seconds in ideal conditions[5].

2024 Lucid Air Pure Performance Specs

Pure Powertrain

Single Permanent-Magnet Motor Horsepower

430 HP Torque

406 LB-FT Transmission Single-Speed Automatic

Driveline Rear-Wheel Drive

0-60 MPH

4.5 Seconds Top Speed

124 MPH Lucid really sits at the forefront of electric motor technology, primarily thanks to founder and CEO Peter Rawlinson's leadership[6]. Just last year, the brand revealed a single electric drive unit that's purpose-built to run Gen3 Formula E racecars.

Weighing in at just over 70 pounds, the package includes a motor, inverter, differential, and transmission, that work together to churn out 469 horsepower up to 19,500 RPM. This motor also supports regenerative braking to recharge the battery. Rawlinson expressed excitement about these advancements potentially benefiting future road cars, potentially meaning the Pure could get even quicker and lighter in years to come.

The Lucid Air Pure Costs £78,900

Lucid Air Pure RWDLucid

Lucid's pricing strategy is on the higher side[7], but only when you compare it to Tesla's highly aggressive and competitive sales tactics[8].

When pitted against premium European rivals, the base Pure is a fairly competitive proposition, with its £69,900 starting price. Lucid also makes the 2024 Pure a more appealing package by making the optional Stealth package available for you to configure for £1,750. Additional optional extras include more exclusive paints for £800, £1,750 Aero Lite 20-inch wheels, and £3,000 Santa Cruz leather upholstery, which replaces the standard Mojave PurLuxe leather alternative.

2024 Lucid Air Pure Pricing

Trim LevelPricePure£69,900

The Air Pure range comes standard with a host of comfort, convenience, entertainment, and safety features.

These include the Dream Drive advanced driver assistance system[9], which you can upgrade to the Premium version for £2,000 or the top-of-the-range Pro version for £6,750, granting the EV some crucial and handy semi-autonomous functions. The standard and immersive Surreal Sound audio system features a collection of nine speakers, but if you want the 21-speaker Pro configuration, the Air's price will increase by £2,900. Soft-close doors, heated rear seats and steering wheel, four-zone climate control, and power rear and rear side window sunshades from part of Lucid's £2,500 Convenience and Comfort package.

20-way electrically adjustable and heated front seats with ventilation and massage replace the standard 12-way electrically and heated front seats for £3,750. After all of this, you also have to pay a £1,500 destination and £75 documentation fee.

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The Lucid Air Pure Consumes 137 MPGe

Lucid Air Pure RWDLucid

The Lucid Air Pure combines amazing straight-line performance with some class-leading range and EPA-estimated energy consumption figures[11]. The entry-level trim features the brand's basic 88 kWh net lithium-ion battery technology.

Lucid started life out as an energy storage production company, so it has extensive experience in making world-class batteries. The Pure model uses this to cover 410 miles in-between charges, but the EPA suggests that it is even more generous than this, with a 419-mile range estimate[12]. The single motor also consumes just 137 MPGe on the EPA's combined consumption cycle and 25 kWh per 100 miles.


88.0 kWh Net Range

410 Miles EPA-Estimated Range

419 Miles Fuel Economy

137 MPGe

Bear in mind that you only get access to these claims if you keep the standard 19-inch wheels fitted. Despite their more aerodynamic properties, the 20-inch wheels worsen the consumption to 130 MPGe and 26 kWh per 100 miles and range to 394 miles.

These are some impressive returns, but if you want the best that Lucid has to offer, we recommend substantially increasing your budget to access the more prestigious dual-motor Grand Touring derivative[13]. This features a larger 112 kWh battery pack, resulting in an industry-best 516-mile EPA-estimated range figure.

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The Lucid Air Pure Features 22.1 Cubic-Feet Of Trunk Space

Lucid Air Pure RWDLucid

The added benefit of the Lucid Air Pure's larger sedan proportions[14] means that you get access to a full family car experience. The spacious interior accommodates taller adults on the rear bench, thanks to a very generous 37.6 inches of legroom.

The 22.1 cubic-feet trunk also means there's more than enough space for three to four medium suitcases with some extra room to spare. The Air benefits from a great rear hatch-style trunklid, which improves access to the cargo area. Furthermore, the sedan holds up to 10 cubic-feet of space in the frunk.

Interior Dimensions

FrontRearHeadroom39.6 Inches38.3 InchesLegroom45.4 Inches37.6 InchesShoulder Room58.3 Inches54.5 InchesCargo Capacity10.0 Cu.Ft.22.1 Cu.Ft.

Electric cars like the Lucid Air benefit from better interior and cargo space[15] because the designers don't have to allocate space to traditional internal combustion engine components.

The absence of a large engine, transmission, and exhaust system allows designers to maximize and optimize cabin space and reconfigure layouts. Lithium-ion battery packs are fairly large and heavy, but their flat design means they usually fit along the platform's floor, further improving space and lowering the center of gravity. Electric motors are compact and often placed directly on the axles, which also frees up the front and rear of the vehicle's design.

This design flexibility results in more legroom, a larger trunk, and the potential for additional storage compartments, enhancing the Air Pure's overall space and utility.

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Here's How Much A 1-Year-Old Lucid Air Is Worth Today[16]
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Lucid Needs To Improve Its Reliability Reputation

Lucid AirLucid Motors

The Lucid Air benefits from some exemplary ownership reviews, but there are also some areas that the brand needs to improve on. Consumer Reports issues the current model year a 69/100 overall ranking[17]. The publication applauds the sedan's driving characteristics, but it raises concerns about its predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.

Its justification for this is valid, but may seem unfair to some, as it expresses that consumers must view the younger brand's shorter track record with caution. According to the NHTSA, the inaugural 2022 model was subject to 10 recalls, which appears to be a common occurrence for new cars in their first year of sale. Recorded faults include a bulk of software errors that the brand resolved via over-the-air updates.

There were also problems with the electric drive motor, a weak front tow eye bracket, and a poor snap ring on the front strut damper. Seven recalls affected the 2023 model year[18], while the 2024 range only has a software issue affecting the drive unit[19].

Don't Forget About The Porsche Taycan

Porsche TaycanPorsche

If you're happy to increase your budget to around £90,000, you'll find the Porsche Taycan to be an exemplary single-motor rear-wheel drive option[20]. With the Performance Plus battery specified, the base-trim German EV produces 469 horsepower and 263 pound-feet via a single AC synchronous motor and innovative two-speed direct drive transmission unit. The result is a 5.1-second 0-60 MPH time, but several independent testers were able to score results as fast as 5.1 seconds[21].

Performance Specifications

Taycan Performance BatteryTaycan Performance Plus BatteryPowertrainSingle-AC Synchronous MotorSingle-AC Synchronous MotorHorsepower402 HP469 HPTorque263 LB-FT263 LB-FTTransmissionTwo-Speed AutomaticTwo-Speed AutomaticBattery71 kWh Net84 kWh NetRange208 Miles242 MilesFuel Economy83 MPGe83 MPGe0-60 MPH5.1 Seconds5.1 SecondsTop Speed143 MPH143 MPH

Interestingly, the standard Performance Pack battery[22] decreases power to 402 horsepower, but this doesn't impact the model's claimed 0-60 MPH time or 143 MPH top speed.

With its lighter 4,550-pound curb weight figure, the base Taycan also offers superior handling characteristics that Porsche fanatics have come to expect from the brand.


  1. ^ electric vehicles (
  2. ^ remains the base trim Lucid Air Pure (
  3. ^ newcomer to the luxury EV sphere (
  4. ^ 2024 Lucid Air: A Comprehensive Guide On Features, Specs, And Pricing (
  5. ^ times as low as 4.3 seconds in ideal conditions (
  6. ^ founder and CEO Peter Rawlinson's leadership (
  7. ^ pricing strategy is on the higher side (
  8. ^ Tesla's highly aggressive and competitive sales tactics (
  9. ^ include the Dream Drive advanced driver assistance system (
  10. ^ Fastest Electric Supercars, Ranked (
  11. ^ class-leading range and EPA-estimated energy consumption figures (
  12. ^ 419-mile range estimate (
  13. ^ prestigious dual-motor Grand Touring derivative (
  14. ^ Lucid Air Pure's larger sedan proportions (
  15. ^ Lucid Air benefit from better interior and cargo space (
  16. ^ Here's How Much A 1-Year-Old Lucid Air Is Worth Today (
  17. ^ current model year a 69/100 overall ranking (
  18. ^ Seven recalls affected the 2023 model year (
  19. ^ only has a software issue affecting the drive unit (
  20. ^ Porsche Taycan to be an exemplary single-motor rear-wheel drive option (
  21. ^ score results as fast as 5.1 seconds (
  22. ^ standard Performance Pack battery (