The Lucid Air will start at $52,500 after a $7,500 federal tax credit, the company announced today. This is a surprise departure from the initial reports that indicated a much higher base price.

It also means that the base Lucid Air will undercut the current Tesla Model S 60 by $9,500, is not far off from Tesla’s initial just-under $50,000 target price set for the 40 kWh model in 2012, and may even be within realm of a nicely optioned Model 3.

SEE ALSO: Lucid Takes On Tesla With New Luxury Sedan

Both the Air and the Model S at these levels will be rear wheel drive, with the Air nudging ahead with range (240 miles vs. 210) and horsepower (400 vs. 382).

The Air prototype was at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and unveiled its bodywork at a California event in February. It is narrower, shorter, and lower than a Tesla Model S, but with the interior room to rival a Mercedes S-Class. Lucid notes that the Air’s two trunks (front and rear) will total 32 cubic feet, or to put it terms that many of its purchasers will understand, the volume of a 4-person hot tub.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Lucid Air Launch Edition To Cost $165,000

Fully-optioned, the Lucid Air will be priced over $100,000 and feature active suspension, rear executive seats, and up to 1,000 horsepower in an all-wheel-drive, twin-motor configuration. Range can be upgraded to as much as 400 miles.

The car also has all the requisite hardware to make it capable of autonomous driving.

Although the Air can be reserved now for $2,500, a special 255-unit Launch Edition is available to those able to pony up a $25,500 deposit. This version is scheduled for early 2019 and benefit from the upgraded powertrain and have an estimated range of 315 miles, putting it squarely in competition with the top-of-the-line Model S. Pricing for the Launch Edition has been estimated at $165,000, but in light of today’s announcement, it could be that Lucid will sharpen its pencil once more to sneak by Tesla.