Inside the 2018 Lucid Air

In recent years, electric cars and hybrids have become increasingly more popular. Nations such as the United Kingdom and Germany are considering bans on gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles. In that category of vehicle, Tesla dominates the competition.

Tesla is undoubtedly the world’s most popular manufacturer of electric cars. Despite only producing three models, they tend to sell well. Their target markets, the environmentally conscious and well-off, tend to have enough disposable income to invest in a Tesla. As Tesla grows, they control even more of the electric car market. Until now, it’s become increasingly less likely for a new brand to make a name for themselves in the world of electric cars.

The 2018 Lucid Air is set to be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S, but at a notably lower price. It’s expected to start at $60,000 before tax incentives, whereas the Model S starts at $68,000.

Performance Specifications

Currently, Lucid has only announced two trim levels, the base model, and the Launch Edition model, which will be limited to the first 255 cars off the production line.

The base model is said to have 400 horsepower and 240 miles of range. It has a single-motor layout and rear-wheel drive. It will also contain the hardware necessary for autonomous driving. A 400-mile range battery option is available, as is a twin-motor, all-wheel-drive configuration. Torque, acceleration, and top speed figures have not been publicized yet.

The Launch Edition is rumored to have 1,000 horsepower. It will have a blistering 2.5 second 0-60 time. A prototype version of the Air, dubbed the Alpha prototype, is said to have reached a whopping 235 miles per hour during testing. It will also have a 400-mile range. Lucid hasn’t given an exact price on this version, though they say that it will cost over $100,000.

Safety and Entertainment Features

The Lucid Air is said to have 10 airbags. It will have autonomous driving available in the future as well, putting it head-to-head with the Tesla Model S. It is said to have active safety systems as well. Plus, fully active suspension will be an option.

The base model Lucid Air will be very well equipped overall. It will contain all the infrastructure necessary for self-driving capabilities. Additionally, it will feature LED “multi-array” headlights.

For entertainment, the Lucid Air has four screens that go along with its infotainment systems, with three having touchscreen capability. It will also have a five-seat configuration, with a rear bench seat. An all-aluminum roof helps to keep the weight down, which is crucial on an electric car. 19-inch wheels are set to come standard. Every iteration of the Air will feature over-the-air software updates.

There are quite a few extras available, for those willing to pay extra. Though no price-list has been released yet, a 400-mile range battery, a twin-motor, all-wheel-drive configuration, fully active suspension, and a glass sunshine moonroof will be available as options. Additionally, you can order your Lucid with 21-inch “Lucid-design” wheels and a noise-canceling 29 speaker sound system.

How It Stacks up Against the Competition

The Lucid Air’s sole competitor will be the Tesla Model S. The Lucid Air starts at $60,000 before tax incentives. The base model Tesla Model S 75D will start at $68,000.

The base model Air has 400 horsepower and rear-wheel drive. The Model S 75D has 382 horsepower, but has all-wheel drive as standard. Additionally, the Air will have 240 miles of range for the base model. The Model S 75D has 240 miles of range.

Lucid has not released the price list for the motor and battery upgrades. The upgraded battery pack for the Air is said to provide 400 miles of range. The highest amount of range available in a Model S is 315 miles, which is in the P100D model. This model costs a staggering $135,000. Tesla has not released the horsepower specifications for this model. However, it is believed to be significantly greater than the 762 horsepower that the P90D model put out. 1,000 horsepower is thought to be available in the range-topping Air, but Lucid has yet to confirm this.

Image via Lucid Motors

Fuel Efficiency

The base model Lucid Air is said to have 240 miles of range, which works out at a claimed 102 mpg (gasoline equivalent). The 400-mile range equivalent will have a similar mpg figure. Keep in mind, that figure of 102 mpg combined; Lucid hasn’t released city or highway data. The Tesla Model S 75D has 260 miles of range and the equivalent of 102 mpg city, 105 mpg highway, putting the two cars at odds with each other. The Launch Edition Air is rumored to have 1,000 horsepower from its twin-motor layout. It will have 400 miles of range as well – presumably with the battery upgrade – despite the massive power bump.

Pros

  • Very well appointed, even in base specification.
  • Decent range, on par with that of the Model S.
  • Competitively priced, especially with a $7,500 tax credit.
  • Beautiful styling, very spacious interior.

Cons

  • Unproven brand: Lucid is practically a startup, and early models could be plagued by reliability issues
  • Charging time: Unlike Tesla, Lucid doesn’t have a nationwide charging network that allows super-fast charging. As a result, it will take closer than a fortnight than a trifle to charge your Lucid Air.
  • Range: While the Lucid Air offers similar range options to Tesla’s offerings, 240 miles isn’t even a decent road trip. If you consider charging time, a weekend road trip could take days rather than hours.
  • Availability: if the Air proves to be half as popular as the Tesla Model S, you can expect a long waiting list.
Image via Lucid Motors