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Lucid Air Elevates Luxury

by Drew HardinNovember 4, 2021
Plenty of start-ups have announced intentions to compete with Tesla, but so many have found the way fraught with challenges. A high-profile exception is the Lucid Air from Lucid Motors, Green Car Journal’s 2022 Luxury Green Car of the Year.

The fully electric, five-passenger Lucid Air luxury sedan is a study in superlatives. It has generated significant attention thanks to some impressive numbers: up to 1,111 horsepower, 0 to 60 times as quick as 2.5 seconds, sub-10-second quarter-mile times, and an EPA rating of 125 MPGe. Its charging-system technology allows for 900-plus volts of fast charging, capable of quickly energizing the battery for up to 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes. Then there’s the Lucid Air’s groundbreaking EPA rated driving range of up to 520 miles, far beyond any other electric car on the road today.

It features an overall length of 195.88 inches and 116.54-inch wheelbase are nearly identical to a Tesla Model S. It’s narrower than the S by about an inch, lower in overall height by an inch and a half, and its key interior dimensions are about an inch or so bigger than the Tesla. Lucid reports the Air has a very slippery 0.21 coefficient of drag, nearly the same as the 0.208 Cd of the Tesla S.

Lucid was able to create generous interior room within that sleek body package by designing the Air around its Lucid Electric Advanced Platform (LEAP), which positions the batteries low in the floor and makes use of relatively small motors, in terms of exterior dimensions. They produce up to 670 horsepower yet weigh just 163 pounds.

The Lucid Air is offered in four models, from the $77,400 Air Pure to the top-of-the-line $169,000 Air Dream Edition. The Dream Edition is the first available — reservations are closed, but there is a waitlist for the hopeful — with all-wheel drive, dual electric motors producing a combined 1,111 horsepower, and the aforementioned EPA rating of 520 miles. As a first edition it has exclusive paint and interior materials, special 21-inch wheels, ‘future-ready’ hardware for eventual Level 3 autonomous functionality, and the ability to receive over-the-air updates. The $139,000 Air Grand Touring and $95,000 Air Touring models also have dual motors and AWD, while the Pure is rear-wheel-drive with a single motor and the option for dual motor/AWD.

Inside is a 34-inch, 5K glass cockpit display with touch controls for wipers, lights, navigation, climate, and the audio system. A retractable Pilot Panel display in the lower center of the dash augments the cockpit display controls. Touch controls for media and Lucid’s DreamDrive are built into the steering wheel. DreamDrive is Lucid’s suite of driver assistance and safety features, which receives information from a total of 32 cameras, radar, LIDAR, and ultrasonic sensors positioned around the car. Among the interior options that are now, or will be, available is a glass canopy roof and an Executive Rear Seating Package with the ‘jet-style experience’ of two reclining back seats. Miniaturizing the Lucid Air’s powertrain has made room for a spacious bi-level rear trunk and a front trunk that Lucid claims is four times larger than other electric cars.

Lucid Motors is headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley with its cars assembled at a 500-acre greenfield manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Arizona.