With up to 517 miles of EPA-estimated all-electric range and as much as 1080 horsepower, the 2021 Lucid Air aspires to be much more than a mere Tesla rip-off. The first model from startup Lucid Motors boasts an aerodynamic shape that’s functional and fashionable. Its spacious and upscale cabin is covered by a glassy canopy that should help it live up to its atmospheric name. The Air also mixes practicality with technology, sporting capacious storage options, and no shortage of driver assists. The company says that owners should be able to resupply 300 miles of range in 20 minutes at a fast-charging station. And for those in a hurry, the quickest version can travel a quarter-mile in under 10 seconds. Sure, Lucid Air sounds more like an ’80s cover band than a luxury sedan, but the Tesla Model S sounded like an obscure electrical invention from the 19th century when it debuted, so only time will tell how far the 2021 Air ascends.
What’s New for 2021?
While Tesla has established itself as the preeminent EV automaker, Lucid Motors is currently best known for supplying batteries to Formula E race cars. Now, the upstart company looks to challenge luxury alternatives such as the Model S and Porsche Taycan with its all-new 2021 Air sedan.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The entry-level Air features a single electric motor that drives the rear wheels and produces 480 horsepower. The rest of the lineup uses dual electric motors that provide an all-wheel drive and a set of different horsepower ratings. The Touring model generates 650 horses, the Grand Touring makes 800, and the top-of-the-line Dream Edition develops an enormous 1080 ponies. Lucid claims the quickest Air can complete the quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds at 144 mph, which is insanely quick even for high-performance cars. The fastest version of the electrified sedan will also have a top speed of 168 mph. The Air will be supported by an air suspension, too, which the company says helps provide a smooth ride. Its low center of gravity is also expected to help its handling characteristics.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Neither Lucid nor the EPA has released any specifics about how efficient the Air will be. While we’ve been told it’ll have an EPA-estimated driving range of up to 517 miles, we won’t be able to put it through our extensive testing regimen and evaluate that claim in the real world until we get our hands on a production version.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Make no mistake, the Air is intended to be a luxury car, and its handsome interior is fitted with rich-looking materials and cutting-edge technology. Lucid is especially proud of the sedan’s expansive passenger space, which is highlighted by a large back seat. While the standard rear seating is said to be comfortable for up to three adults, there’s also an optional Executive Rear Seating option that brings significant recline functions for ultimate comfort. The Air’s cabin will offer a mostly glass roof that makes it feel even airier and helps outward visibility. The sedan’s front center console looks to provide generous storage space behind the retractable lower touchscreen and inside the large center console bin, which houses a set of cupholders as well as slots to place a smartphone. We’re also told its front trunk—or frunk—will have 10 cubic feet of volume, the largest of any electric vehicle.