Lucid Air EV Profile

October 22, 2022
EV Universe
EV Universe

Welcome to our Lucid Air EV profile!

 

A Silicon Valley company recently got into the electric vehicle manufacturing business, but it’s not the name many people expected. Rather than something fruit-related, the company in question is Lucid Motors. Their first electric vehicle (EV) is the Lucid Air sedan.

 

Lucid began life in 2007, developing batteries for EVs. Around 2014 they took the logical next step and began developing their own vehicle. Production started in September 2021 with the first deliveries from their Arizona factory in October that same year.

 

Today Lucid is a single-model company, although the Air sedan will be offered in an extensive range of trims. Here’s a look at the Lucid Air Touring and the other models coming soon. 

 

Lucid Air Front EVU

 

Lucid Air Overview

The Lucid Air is a midsize sedan with striking looks. A low roofline makes it appear longer than it is, and horizontal lightbars wrapping around front and rear make it seem wider too. It’s roughly the size of a BMW 5 Series. Recessed door handles only add to the sleek, aerodynamic shape.

 

Inside is a 5-seater, and the cabin is remarkably light and “airy” (no pun intended) thanks to a glass canopy roof. Unlike many EVs, the Lucid Air actually has a trunk rather than a hatchback.

 

There’s no engine of course. Instead, the Air Touring is powered by a pair of electric motors driving the rear wheels. The battery, sized to provide the longest range of any EV currently on the market, is mounted under the floor. 

 

Lucid Air EVU Hot Take

 

Pros:

  • Beautiful design both inside and out
  • Top of the line range and performance
  • Luxurious interior

Cons:

  • Odd trunk entry
  • First model from a new, relatively unknown brand

 

 

Lucid Air Versions

First deliveries were “Dream Edition” trim cars, built in Casa Grande, Arizona. Priced close to $170,000, these came loaded with luxury features and incorporated high-end materials and finishes, as befits a car of that price. Anyone interested in buying a Dream Edition Lucid Air will need to look on the used car market, since reservations are now closed.

 

Going forward, the base trim is the Air Pure, priced around $90,000. A step up is the Air Touring at around $108,000. Then there’s the Air Grand Touring, priced from $154,000. Topping the lineup is the recently announced Air Sapphire, for which Lucid is asking $249,000. 

 

All trims share the same body style and appearance. Where they differ most markedly is in their powertrain and performance. Here’s a run through the main features.

 

Lucid Air Pure

We start with the “base” model (that word in quotes because it’s far from “base”-ic). The Air Pure powers the rear wheels with a single 480 horsepower electric motor. A 112kWh battery provides an estimated 406 miles of range. Lucid say DC fast charging can add back 300 miles of range in 22 minutes. 

 

Lucid Air Touring

In Touring trim, the Air employs a dual motor layout that sends 620 horsepower to all four wheels in an AWD design. Projected range is 406 miles.

 

Lucid Air Grand Touring

Also equipped with two electric motors and AWD, the Air Grand Touring delivers 819 horsepower as standard. It can be specified as a “Performance” variant with 1,050 horsepower. Standard range is 516 miles on the 19” wheels, which drops to 469 miles on the 21” rims. Performance range is 446 miles.

 

Lucid Air Sapphire

For those who want the fastest EV money can buy, Lucid offers the Sapphire. This has a three motor drivetrain – one at the front and two at the back – and packs an astonishing 1,200 horsepower. The claimed 0-60 time is under 2 seconds and top speed is said to be in excess of 200mph. Range is to be announced, though it’s reasonable to assume that using all the available power will reduce range significantly. Sapphire trim cars also come with carbon ceramic brakes to ensure they can stop as well as they go.

 

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Lucid Air Interior

When designing an interior, it’s exceedingly difficult to balance luxury and comfort with the ultra-modern or futuristic appearance an EV demands, yet the Lucid team pulled it off. To begin with, the cabin is dominated by a windshield that sweeps up and into a glass canopy roof. Note that the Pure trim offers this roof  as an option.

 

In Pure trim, seats are finished in an attractive faux-leather while higher specifications get Nappa leather with real wood trim. Elsewhere, the high-quality materials and finish provide a light and airy elegance akin to sitting in a comfortable Scandinavian lounge.

 

An interior feature that must not be overlooked is rear seat legroom.  Lucid is far more generous than typical for a car of these external dimensions. Naturally, this results from not needing space for an engine and transmission. Unfortunately though, selecting the optional larger battery lifts up the floor. This requires back seat passengers to sit with their knees up (but given the space available, few will find it uncomfortable). 

 

Lucid Air Side EVU

Lucid Air Charging

With its 900V architecture, the Lucid Air is able to charge 300 miles in about 22 minutes, many studies showing a better charging rate than the Tesla Model S plaid, making the Lucid Air the King of charging speeds.  It also supports bi-directional charging with 19.2kW of power flow which will be a significant help in case of a home power outage.  However, those capabilities still outstanding as of this writing.  Lucid has partnered with Qmerit for home installations and Electrify America for reduced cost charging when on the road.  

Lucid Air Instruments

Instruments in the Lucid are primarily screens, but there are buttons too where it makes sense. The wide horizontal screen in front of the driver stands up on a narrow pillar. At the left, it offers primary controls for lights. Over on the right, the screen provides a phone, navigation or infotainment display as selected.

 

The center console is a separate large touchscreen with a couple of neat tricks. First, it can retract up into the dashboard to reveal a large storage cubby. Second, info can move between it and the right side of the drivers display, much like using multiple monitors with a laptop.

 

To avoid excessive screen tapping distraction, there are also physical controls for basic ventilation and audio functions. Seats also have buttons, although accessing the seat configuration in the center console screen opens up a larger range of adjustments. 

 

Lucid Air Infotainment

The Lucid Air comes with “Surreal Sound.” As an option, “Surreal Sound Pro” is available on Pure and Touring trims. This uses Dolby Atmos technology to create a kind of 3D acoustic bubble where each person hears music exactly the way they want.

 

Lucid Air Cargo

The Lucid Air trunk opening spans the full width of the car, providing plenty of room for longer items like golf bags. At 32 cubic feet though, the trunk isn’t especially large.

 

There is however a front trunk, or “frunk” of 10 cubic feet. Together these provide ample luggage space for all but the longest trips. Should more stowage room be needed, the Air can be equipped with roof rails to carry a box or sporting equipment. 

 

Lucid Air Stealth Option

In addition to the options covered above, one other of note for the Air Pure is the Stealth appearance package. Stealth provides an almost sinister, blacked-out look to the electric car. To some eyes, this unique and sleek option adds to the cool factor of the Air.

 

Lucid Air Back EVU

 

Lucid Air Competition

As a luxury EV, the Lucid Air has few direct competitors. Obviously, there’s the well-known Tesla Model S. Prospective buyers might also consider the Porsche Taycan, the Audi e-tron and the Mercedes EQS. These come from established manufacturers with proven car-building expertise. That said, none of these has quite the performance, range or dramatically-different styling of the Air.

 

The stiffer structure of the Air sedan may result in a better and quieter ride than these competitors offer. However, it’s unlikely that buyers will discern any meaningful difference. 

 

Lucid Air Servicing and Warranties

One of the benefits of EVs is that they need less maintenance than gas-powered vehicles. There’s no oil to change, no air filter and no complex emissions control system. Brakes however still need occasional attention, and there’s always a small chance of something else going wrong.

 

Lucid deals with this by coming to your home or place of work to service your vehicle. For some, being spared a visit to a service department might be very attractive. On the other hand, if you prefer (or if more extensive work is needed), there’s still the option of taking it to a Lucid repair center.

 

Given that the Air is the first vehicle from a new manufacturer, buyers should look closely at the warranty and repair facility location. Standard coverage is four years / 50,000 miles with the powertrain getting eight years /100,000 miles coverage. 

 

Wondering if your EV purchase qualifies for tax credits? Find Out Here

 

The Lucid Air is a unique, upscale electric vehicle from a relatively new company. Long range and high performance are its main differentiators. That said, cabin space, design, and exterior styling are also noteworthy.

 

Lucid offers a variety of trims across the pricing spectrum to meet a particular driver’s need. For many potential buyers, the question remains as to reliability from a new product, which at this point is unknown. 

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