The Lucid Air luxury sedan promises beautiful appointments in a sleek all-electric package. Additionally, the sedan boasts thrilling acceleration and an estimated top speed of 217 mph. As we'd expect of a Tesla-rivaling brand, Lucid promises that it will offer autonomous and semi-autonomous driving technologies with the Air. Expect pricing to start in the $60,000 range for an entry-level model.
As we discovered in our Lucid Air Dream Edition First Drive, the electric sedan is smooth and quiet, with a hint of wind noise coming through the cabin. Although a comfortable cruiser, it appreciates a challenge. It's ridiculously quick, and surprisingly, it leaps and bounds out of corners like a Nismo GT-R. The harder you push it, the better it becomes. Steering is quick, not too light and not too heavy.
The stylish sedan takes a different approach than rivals when it comes to interior design. Its three screens don't dominate the cabin like they do in the Tesla Model S and Mercedes EQS. A nice mix of leather, wood, Alcantara, and metal covers the cabin. We'd go as far as saying the Lucid Air has one of the nicest interiors of any car on the market. A spacious rear seating area sweetens the deal.
Can Lucid compete with Tesla? Absolutely yes. EV makers should view this capable newcomer as serious competition.
The Lucid Air utilizes a skateboard platform and up to three electric motors for varying levels of power and range.
Starting from the most expensive model, the Dream Edition has an estimated 503-mile range and 1,080 hp, while the Grand Touring is expected to have a staggering 517-mile range and 800 hp. A 406-mile Touring model will become available with 620 hp, and a model with a 406-mile range and an output of 480 hp is also expected.
Although EPA ratings haven't been set just yet, we've personally experienced the Lucid Air nearly hitting 500 miles on a drive through California. Read the full story here.
Similar to the way Tesla rolled out the Model 3, Lucid will be releasing high-dollar top-spec versions of its new sedan first. To be one of the first Lucid Air owners, you'll have to shell out for the loaded Dream Edition—a $169,000 super sedan with over 500 miles of range and more than 1,000 horsepower. An 800-hp Grand Touring model is said to follow at $139,000 along with a 406-mile Touring variant at $95,000 next fall and an $77,400 base model to round out the lineup in 2022. Lucid is already accepting reservations and expects to begin deliveries before the end of 2021.
Want more details on the different variants of the Lucid Air? Check out our trim guide.
That's right; even before Lucid's first car rolls off the production line, the new electric automaker has already had a brush with Elon Musk and Tesla. The CEO and CTO of Lucid, Peter Rawlinson, was a colleague of Musk's earlier in his career, and he wasn't just an intern. Rawlinson was the original chief engineer of the Tesla Model S. He also worked as a lead engineer at Jaguar and Lotus, so it's safe to say he knows his cars.
We've experienced the Air's real-world 490-mile electric range, but all that battery wouldn't do you much good if it took days to charge. That shouldn't be an issue for Lucid. If you can find yourself a 350-kW Electrify America charger, the Air's 900-volt electrical architecture enables you to add 300 miles worth of electrons in just 20 minutes. Tesla's EVs max out at a charging rate of 250 kW.
We established the pedigree of Lucid CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson, but the Air's electric powertrain is not the only aspect of development with a veteran at the wheel. This new electric world-beater was designed by Derek Jenkins.
Jenkins studied transportation design right here in Southern California and we're huge fans of his past work. Jenkins won 2016 World Car Design of the Year for his work as the lead designer on the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata. He was also a lead or contributing designer on the CX-5, CX-9, Mazda 3, and Mazda 6, all of which we applauded for their sharp styling.
One of Rawlinson's insights from working on the Model S was that the engineering and design teams needed to work together to avoid his experience of struggling to retrofit an electric powertrain into an existing bodyshell. Rawlinson decided to miniaturize the Air's powertrain components with a 900-volt architecture that enables more efficient interior packaging. The result is a car with 6 percent more passenger space than a Model S despite a smaller exterior footprint.
In terms of design, the Lucid Air could be described as the anti-Tesla. In the face of that car's minimalist, touchscreen-dominated cabin, the Air's interior features a wealth of materials and textures coherently woven together to form an elegant space.