Lucid Air: First short test drive with a fast luxury limousine

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Dream Edition with over 800 kW and a range of almost 800 km

Lucid Air: First short test drive with a fast luxury limousine-lucid

The Lucid Air has actually made it: The luxury class sedan, which costs around 145,000 euros, has gone into series production, as Lucid announced a few days ago. site's Tom Moloughney was able to film at the Arizona factory, interviewed Lucid chief engineer Eric Bach, and has even briefly driven the car.

Besides the fact that Lucid Air (despite intermittent capital problems, site reported it) has made it into series production, Tom finds the efficiency remarkable. The Air has a 112 kWh battery, so really no small battery. But that the engineers from it up to 837 kilometers range (according to the demanding American EPA cycle), is still commendable. For comparison: the Mercedes EQS can manage a maximum of 770 kilometers with its 108 kWh battery – after the less demanding WLTP cycle.

Tom drove the (already sold out) Dream Edition in the performance version, So the version with the highest output of over 800 kW:

  Dream Edition Performance Dream Edition Range
drive 2 electric motors (AWD) 2 electric motors (AWD)
power 1,111 hp (828 kW) 933 hp (696 kW)
Torque > 1,000 Nm > 1,000 Nm
0-60 mph 2.5 sec. 2.7 sec.
Top speed 168 mph (270 km / h) 168 mph (270 km / h)
battery pack 112 kWh 112 kWh
EPA coverage 481 miles / 774 km 520 miles / 837 km
wheels 21 inches front and back 19 inches front and back
System voltage 924 volts 924 volts
price 169,000 dollars (approx. 146,000 euros) 169,000 dollars (approx. 146,000 euros)

So both versions cost $ 169,000 or about 146,000 euros. In addition, there are:

  • Air Grand Touring for $ 139,000 (around 120,000 euros)
  • Air Touring for $ 95,000 ($ 82,000)
  • Air Pure (RWD with optional all-wheel drive) for $ 77,400 ($ 67,000)

Picture gallery: Lucid Air Grand Touring interior

Lucid Air: First short test drive with a fast luxury limousine-test

Lucid Air: First short test drive with a fast luxury limousine-lucid

Interior: with foldable display

In the interior, Tom attests that the Lucid Air has an outstanding amount of space in the rear (head and knee room). Like the BMW iX, the car has a slightly curved display for instruments and a touchscreen. Interesting detail: the monitor in the center console, with which the air conditioning and seats are adjusted, can be folded up (see video at approx. 18:10). Behind it a "secret compartment" appears – that should be a unique selling point, in any case we have never seen anything like this in a car.

Driving impressions: Explosive when giving full throttle

The speed 100 sprint of the performance version should only last about 2.5 seconds. Nevertheless, the Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance driven is above all a premium luxury vehicle, according to Tom. As soon as you get in you have a feeling of openness and space, especially in the rear. At the front, the seats are as tight as the seats of most German premium brands. The side bolsters offer sufficient lateral support, but are not too tight.

The Air offers three riding modes: Smooth, Swift and Sprint. In Smooth and Swift mode, the Dream Edition Performance has an output of 804 hp (almost 600 kW). The full 1,111 hp (828 kW) are only available in sprint mode. The Dream Edition Range has 670 hp (493 kW) in the modes Smooth and Sprint, in Sprint mode it is 966 hp (710 kW).

Tom took a 10 to 15 minute drive in the Dream Edition Performance together with colleagues and a Lucid employee (in the video from around 7:00 p.m.):

When accelerating in sprint mode, the drive ensured that the four occupants were pushed into their seats every time, as can be clearly seen in the video. From a standing start and at low speeds, however, the Air didn't feel quite as strong as the 2021 Model S Long Range that Tom recently drove. But from 30 mph (approx. 50 km / h) the Air should offer the same acceleration feeling as the Model S. At highway speed you just have to tap the accelerator and after two or three seconds you are in the three-digit range.

The chassis, as far as it was noticeable during the short journey, was perfectly tuned; you feel like you're floating. In highway bends, the suspension with semi-active dampers offers precise handling, and the steering is direct and well weighted. Also distantempomat and the lane guidance worked well. Just that Driver monitoring system, which warns of inattentiveness, does not seem to be working properly yet.

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Lucid Air: First short test drive with a fast luxury limousine-short Mercedes-AMG EQS: More power, but otherwise only detailed changes

The efficiency: filing on four main points

In order to achieve the high ranges, chief engineer Eric Bach has fine-tuned four points:

  • Aerodynamics: The drag coefficient of 0.208 is only slightly below the record value of 0.20 for the EQS back; the frontal area is also relatively small. The rear part of the battery is designed as a diffuser so that the air underneath is guided to the end of the body without turbulence. The vertical air holes direct the air around the wheels.
  • Rolling resistance: Specially developed tires called LA1 (apparently for Lucid Air 1) with good traction and yet low rolling resistance
  • Ancillary units, for example, the Microlense LED headlights consume less electricity than conventional headlights
  • Drivetrain: Here, Lucid made sure that everything rotating had the lowest possible mass. The efficiency of the battery has also been optimized, even if the battery only reduces efficiency when you give it full throttle, says Bach. The silicon carbide inverter ensures low switching losses. After all, the high voltage level means that the currents are lower, so that the copper lines do not get too warm when the load is high (which would lead to more resistance).

The production: slow start

Production in the Advanced Manufacturing Plant (AMP-1) in Casa Grande / Arizona is currently still largely carried out by hand. Tom's video shows the "wedding" in which the body is placed on the chassis. No less than four employees helped. However, Tom visited the plant on the very first day of series production – so it's no wonder that everything ran a little slower than usual at car factories.

The plant is to have a capacity of 30,000 cars per year, but this year no more than 578 units are to be built. A number for the first full year (2022) has not yet been given. However, the capacity of the plant is later expanded to 90,000 units. In a third phase, it should be possible to produce as many as 400,000 cars per year.

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