The Lucid Air Just Slaughtered Tesla and Jaguar’s EVs Around Laguna Seca
… however, there are a few caveats.by Jonathan Lopez, on
In addition to playing host to the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the Ferrari Challenge, and numerous other high-profile racing events, Laguna Seca is also the latest battleground for cutting-edge EV performance bragging rights, with makes like Tesla and Jaguar attacking the world-famous Californian circuit to show off their battery-powered speed chops. Now, the Lucid Motors Air, the up-and-coming sedan from the Newark-based company, just reset the lap record for production-based EVs. Kind of.
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This new record comes mere weeks after Jaguar set the production EV lap record in its new I-Pace SUV, going 1:48.18 around the 11-turn circuit.
In response, the Air managed a 1:41.67, nearly 7 seconds quicker than the Cat Badge.
The car was running on production-based Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires, which is a summer compound that’s entirely street legal. Apparently, Lucid managed to shave off another two seconds after running on Pirelli’s P Zero Trofeo R compound, which are also street legal, but are much more aggressive than the PZ4’s and not likely to come equipped from the factory.
You can watch the Lucid Air do its thing in the videos posted above, which include a front-facing dash cam, a shot of the driver in action, a speedometer, a lap timer, and a realtime track map finder. Love that data.
However, upon watching the videos, the car is clearly stripped, with bucket seats and a rollcage replacing the normally luxurious cabin space.
No specifics were offered on the weight savings gained, but it is something to keep in mind. What’s more, the car featured here includes a new high-temp brake spec, plus the Lucid Air has yet to actually hit production, so technically, the I-Pace is still the official record holder.
There’s a few additional caveats to throw in while we’re at it. While Jag’s record was set by a professional driver at the wheel, the Lucid’s time was set by an engineer, and watching the videos, it’s clear the car still has some time left in it.
What’s obvious is that the Lucid Air is fast, no doubt about it. How fast still remains up for debate.
To truly get our vote of confidence, Lucid will need to first, you know, actually release the car, and then run it in its full factory spec - interior and all.
Only then will we know for sure how it lines up against the rest of the high-speed EV’s out there.
Here’s how we see it going down - line up the Lucid Air, the Jaguar I-Pace, and the Tesla Model S P100D. Give each the same time spec. Then put the same pro driver in the hot seat and let ‘em loose for a few hot laps. That should sort this out once and for all.
In other news, anyone else think we should make Laguna Seca the new benchmark for all sports car timed laps, rather than the Nürburgring? Just a thought.
Read our full review on the 2018 Lucid Air.
Read our full review on the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace.
Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model S.