By Kimatni D. Rawlins, Automotive Rhythms
It was a pure moment of reflection into the future of mobility as the emergence of electrification conversations continue to take precedence in an era of global warming and planetary resource depletion. Every major automaker plans to launch an electric vehicle (EV) within the next ten years (if they haven’t already) from Kia to Bentley. Helping spearhead that charge is the luxury and performance-oriented EV startup Lucid Motors, with headquarters in Newark, CA, and a 500-acre plant in Arizona. They develop the majority of their core technologies in-house.
This past weekend I had a chance to evaluate the Lucid Air Dream Launch Edition and experience the new Lucid Studio at Tysons Corner Center outside of the DC-metro area. The retail center is the 11th location for the EV brand. It features a 4K Virtual Reality Experience Configurator for customers to personalize their vehicle from exterior hues to interior material selections, all inspired by and named after specific cities in California such as Santa Monica, Santa Cruz, and Tahoe. You can also select your Lucid Air entirely online at www.LucidMotors.com.
I had the pleasure of a spirited test drive around Fairfax County in a 2022 Eureka Gold Lucid Air Dream Edition. Sorry, all 520 units have been claimed by forward thinkers! Expect a starting price of $169,900 and a blazing fast 2.42 second 0 to 60 mph time. That’s faster than superman, a speeding bullet, and lightning strikes. The vehicle’s design is exquisite and its performance is magnificent. Depending on packaging, the top output is an astonishing 1,111-horsepower and 520 miles of range with 19” wheels. Lucid was going for efficiency during the product planning process, but performance became the byproduct.
In addition to the Dream Edition, the Lucid lineup includes the $77,400 ($69,900 with available federal tax credit) Lucid Air Pure, the $95,000 Lucid Air Touring, and the $139,000 Lucid Air Grand Touring.
The Lucid Air is majorly all aluminum, including the chassis and doors. Its Lucid Electric Drive Unit features two motors (one up front and one in the rear) on AWD models. Initially partnered with Electrify America’s charging network, the Lucid Air Battery Pack is compatible with any public charging station. It can deliver up to 300 miles of charge in approximately 20 minutes (Dream Edition) from the high-capacity 110 kWh, 900v battery. Higher kWhs translates to a more extended driving range. As well, the unit features bi-directional capabilities to power your house if there is an outage. Basically, it converts the vehicle’s DC electricity (direct current) back to AC electricity (alternating current) through its onboard bi-directional charger.
Storage consists of 22 cubic feet of rear trunk space and 10 cubic feet under the hood. The vehicle powers up when you unlock the doors and includes three drive mode settings: Smooth, Swift, and Sprint. Steering, torque, regeneration settings, and damping are all influenced by the mode of choice selected. A 34″ touchscreen operates everything from the steering wheel and mirror adjustments to the 21-speaker “Surreal Sound” audio system. Open pore wood accentuates the cabin, an all-glass canopy (roof) extends from the windshield to the rear in one complete piece, and the rear seating is as spacious as a BMW 7 Series. At higher speeds, the Lucid Air Dream Edition is stiff and compliant and while cruising, the vehicle is pure and seductive.
For maintenance, Lucid will provide mobile service to go along with over-the-air software updates. As well, wherever there is a retailer Lucid will place a service center in the vicinity. Expect the Lucid Air to compete with various Teslas, Porsche’s Taycan, the Mercedes-EQS, and the Audi e-tron GT to name a few.