- Lucid Motors is on the brink of delivering its first electric vehicle: the Air.
- It’s up against the Tesla Model S, the king of luxury electric sedans.
- Here’s how the two models compare in terms of their price, range, performance, and interiors.
All the big guys are coming for Tesla. But don’t forget about the scrappy upstarts also vying for a slice of the soon-to-be-massive electric-vehicle market.
Lucid Motors, founded by former Tesla chief engineer Peter Rawlinson, is one of the startups closest to delivering its first vehicle: the Air. Packing tons of performance and range, a sleek design, and a tech-laden interior, the Air might give the king of luxury EVs something to worry about.
The Air Dream, the most expensive debut model, is set to hit buyers’ driveways later this year, followed by cheaper Airs down the line.
Here’s how Lucid’s first vehicle compares to the top-dog Model S.
Range is the most important consideration for many potential EV buyers, and it’s one area where Lucid has Tesla beat. The Tesla Model S Long Range is currently the longest-range electric car you can buy, promising 405 miles of driving on a full battery, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Lucid says the Air Dream delivers more than 500 miles of range, blowing Tesla and every other manufacturer out of the water. That’s in the Range trim. No word yet on how far the Dream Performance can go.
It appears this isn’t all talk, seeing as the Air Grand Touring has already achieved an EPA range of 517 miles. Lucid says the base Air Pure will get 406 miles of range.
Lucid is taking Tesla’s approach to new vehicles, starting with an expensive, upmarket car and working down toward a more economical model. The Air Dream, which is already pre-sold out, costs $169,000. For comparison, the Model S Plaid, Tesla’s fastest and highest-end Model S, starts at $130,000.
The base price for an Air will be $77,400, while the Model S currently costs $89,990.
Two other Air trims will be available: a $95,000 Touring version and a $139,000 Grand Touring model.
The sportiest Air will be the Dream Performance, which promises 1,111 horsepower, well over 700 pound-feet of torque, and a 0-60-mph time of 2.5 seconds. The Dream Range claims to produce only 933 horsepower. Lucid says it’ll sprint to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds.
Both Dream models, by the numbers, are outrageously quick and powerful. But they don’t beat the Model S Plaid, Tesla’s latest and greatest sedan that has nabbed the title of the world’s quickest production car.
The Plaid’s three motors put out a claimed 1,020 horsepower, enabling the sedan to rocket to 60 mph in around two seconds. The base Model S Long Range is no slouch either, promising to hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds.
Here’s what the rest of the Air lineup promises in terms of power: 480 horsepower for the Pure, 620 horsepower for the Touring, and 800 horsepower for the Grand Touring. All Airs will have all-wheel drive, like all Model S cars.
Both the Air and Model S have minimalist interiors packed with screens. But each manufacturer has taken a slightly different approach.
The Model S, which pioneered the massive in-car screen, comes with a giant central touchscreen that owners use to control most aspects of the car. It also has a smaller display in front of the driver and a touchscreen for rear passengers.
The Air comes with a 34-inch curved screen for the driver, along with a smaller touchscreen near the center console. The Air has a few physical buttons for the climate controls.
We’ll take a deeper dive into the Air’s interior, features, and on-road performance once we get in one for a test drive.