The Lucid Air Grand Touring boasts 819 horsepower and 885 lb-ft of torque.The Globe and Mail

I’ve by no means pushed something fairly just like the Lucid Air. It’s distinctive: exceptionally styled, exceptionally quick and exceptionally costly.

It’s simple to face out when cash’s no object, as any variety of million-dollar supercars can show. The Lucid Air electrical automobile isn’t in that foolish bracket, although: It begins at $121,500 for the “Pure” trim and goes as much as nearly triple that for the about-to-be-introduced Air Sapphire, at $327,500.

“We completely have growth and development plans [to move] farther down-market,” stated Rob Whitley, the maker’s car product line supervisor. “The intent of Lucid Air was to launch with our flagship, so we’ve got the very best electrical vary of any manufacturing automobile on this planet.”

Does that sound acquainted?

The obvious outstanding characteristic on the Lucid Air is the glass cover roof, which both comes normal or as an choice relying on trim.The Globe and Mail

The vary, which is claimed at as much as 830 kilometres, is helped by the aerodynamic design of a slippery sedan in contrast with the air-thudding form of a extra standard SUV. Lucid says its automobile has a drag co-efficient of 0.197, which is a remarkably low measure of wind resistance. A brand new Honda Civic, for instance, has a drag co-efficient of 0.265, whereas a Cadillac Escalade is about 0.35.

Extra vital, the revealed drag co-efficient of a Mercedes-Benz EQS is 0.2 and a Tesla Mannequin S is 0.208. Final 12 months, Lucid stated its drag co-efficient was 2.1, however its web site now consists of the brand new, decrease quantity with out rationalization for the advance.

Lucid very a lot needs to show itself towards each Mercedes and Tesla for a stake within the electrical car struggle. “We noticed a distinct segment that wasn’t stuffed,” stated Whitley, pointing to the rarefied air simply above the tier now occupied by the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Mannequin S luxurious sedans.

The corporate began in 2007 making battery packs underneath the identify Atieva, however started hiring engineers from Tesla and different high-tech firms. Its present chief govt officer, Peter Rawlinson, was chief engineer for the Tesla Mannequin S earlier than he left 10 years in the past to affix the corporate that will grow to be Lucid Motors in 2016. That’s when it introduced it was shifting into the car-building enterprise. A billion-dollar funding from the Saudi Arabian authorities helped set up an meeting plant in Arizona and get every part up and working.

The entrance trunk on the Lucid Air.The Globe and Mail

This isn’t a small firm: Lucid says it constructed 7,180 autos final 12 months, and nearly half of them in simply the ultimate three months. There’s an SUV coming, after all – the Gravity – nevertheless it gained’t be in manufacturing till subsequent 12 months.

The Lucid Air sedan has many outstanding options. Some of the apparent is the glass cover roof, which is normal on the Grand Touring model I drove in California and is a $5,500 choice so as to add to the $148,500 Touring trim stage. (A minimum of, that’s what a marketer will let you know. The “optionally available” cover roof is at present the one roof you should purchase while you buy a Lucid Air Touring on the web, simply as you’ll be able to’t but keep away from the “optionally available” $13,500 for enhanced semi-autonomous driving, and the “optionally available” $5,000 for an enhanced sound system. There are related markups for the Pure. There’s all the time a value for being an early adopter.)

The cover roof is properly value its value, nevertheless, if just for the wow issue. It’s a curved sheet of glass that extends long gone the A-pillars and above the entrance seats, so you are feeling just like the Jetsons driving of their futuristic bubble. (Much less charitable critics would possibly point out Homer Simpson in The Homer.) It’s fairly great, with the solar visors connected to the clear glass, and particularly with the strong rear sunroof over the spacious rear seats. The one different manufacturing car that provides something like it’s the Tesla Mannequin X.

There’s loads of room contained in the cabin, with rear seats that recline and stretch out. Like Tesla or Genesis, you should purchase instantly from the corporate, on-line.

Within the entrance, the airiness continues with a large glass sprint for instrumentation and a further tablet-like management panel that retracts into the sprint when not in use. This automobile doesn’t allow you to overlook you’re driving one thing fairly totally different.

That’s particularly so while you step on the throttle. The Lucid Air Grand Touring makes use of 924-volt structure to energy a 112-kilowatt-hour battery, which produces 819 horsepower and 885 lb-ft of torque in its two motors. That’s astonishing, however when you don’t suppose it’s overkill, Lucid will give you the Grand Touring Efficiency, which steps as much as 1,050 horsepower, and even the Sapphire, which has three motors and claims greater than 1,200 horsepower. (For comparability, the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 produces 670 horsepower.)

As for charging, the Grand Touring will take as much as 300 kilowatts at a DC quick charger, and 19.2 kilowatts at an AC charger. The lesser trims of Pure and Touring produce much less energy and cost much less shortly, although they’re not precisely gradual.

Lucid claims its Air sedan has a drag co-efficient of 0.197.Mark Richardson/The Globe and Mail

Actually, I’m guessing anyone at Lucid – in all probability Rawlinson – stated, “What does Tesla provide? We will need to have extra, and rattling the expense!”

So how is it to drive? Quick reply: It’s mind-blowing.

The Grand Touring rides on digital adaptive suspension that’s as easy as any German automobile I’ve skilled. You possibly can drive it as an expensive limousine when you like, and when the drive mode is about to both “Clean” or “Swift,” it creates a hefty 600-or-so horsepower that, like all EV, is immediately out there.

Press the button once more to modify the drive mode to “Dash” and every part adjustments. A display comes up that questions your selection and requires you to push a Verify button. “Dash Mode allows most energy and torque,” it warns. “It’s endorsed for use solely by expert, superior drivers underneath appropriate driving circumstances with Lucid-specification summer season tires put in.” Like all red-blooded driver is just not going to verify this.

It’s a good warning, although. The Lucid will then kick you ahead like a monstrous mule, and can carry on doing so. Zero to 96 kilometres an hour in three seconds. Ninety-six to 209 kilometres an hour in 7.4 seconds, overlaying a quarter-mile from standstill in 10.7 seconds. And that’s simply the Grand Touring. The Efficiency version steps all of it as much as 2.6 seconds, 5 seconds, and 10.1 seconds.

After which, as a result of the Tesla Mannequin S Plaid began this sport within the first place, the brand new Sapphire goes up yet one more notch: 1.89 seconds for the zero-to-96 slice and three.87 seconds to hit 160 kilometres an hour, which actually means, “as fast because the Plaid.” Plus, all these autos have huge brakes that cease the two,375-kilogram automobile shortly and reliably.

I’d wish to say the car handles like a sports activities automobile, however I solely drove on public roads. It was actually able to carrying way more pace by the California canyons than I might dare to strive, or the freeway patrol would settle for. Frankly, the Dash drive mode is simply an over-the-top get together trick for bragging rights.

Is it higher than the Tesla? It’s extra luxurious, extra spacious and costlier. It doesn’t have the in depth Tesla supercharging community, however that’s rather less vital when it has such a far-reaching vary. And each time you drive it, you’ll know you’re driving one thing very totally different. Simply strive to not get a stone chip within the windshield.

Lucid Motors is a relative newcomer to the EV market and presents a number of variations of its sedan with as much as 1,111 horsepower on faucet. James Engelsman and Thomas Holland from Throttle Home check an Air Dream Version Efficiency and discover an EV with the pace, dealing with, vary and design to battle different electrics, with a hefty price ticket to match.

The Globe and Mail

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By Samy