• 2018 Lucid Motors Air

The EV war is in full swing. One could argue that it all started with Tesla and the Tesla Roadster, but shots weren’t really fired until Tesla debuted the Model S – the car that would trigger just about every major automaker out there to begin a grueling research and development process that promises a huge influx of all-electric vehicles by the early 2020s. While the big boys plug away at developing models that are affordable and capable of longer range smaller, specialty manufacturers have jumped into the pool head first. Case in point – Lucid Motors Air. Primed to be a true-to-life Tesla Model S fighter, this funky electric sedan will offer a 240-mile range from the standard model and 400 horsepower of near-instant power on demand. The car itself looks like a mix between a deformed Mazda RX-8 with a larger rear door and a Tesla Model S, really, but with a base price of just $52,500 after federal tax credits, it’s a strong proposition in the not-so-crowded EV segment.

What’s more, Lucid Motors developed a battery that is efficient and allows for quick charging without the risk of damage in the long run. But, it’s not just the 100-kWh battery that is what’s so amazing. It’s the1,000 horsepower output offered by the premium and launch editions. This means that Lucid should be able to offer a whole range of Air models with varying horsepower and range, and should be able to undercut Tesla quite easily. How it will compete in a few years when all of the big boys throw on the gloves is a different story, but for now, let’s take a good look at the Air and talk some more about it.

Updated 08/25/2017: We added a series of images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lucid Motors Air.


2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Exterior
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The first thing that caught my attention about the Lucid Air is that the front end features one of the most attractive designs we’ve seen on an electric car.

The first thing that caught my attention about the Lucid Air is that the front end features one of the most attractive designs we’ve seen on an electric car. Generally, the lack of a radiator grille makes for an obscure look compared to what we’re used to, but somehow the engineers and designers over at Lucid managed to put together some pretty decent styling. An air flow-through in between the headlights and down below in the fascia likely provide for battery and motor cooling while the vents in the front “hood” are more for looks (And they make the car look like it has nostrils, don’t they?) The curved but concave design on the front fascia looks like it would hamper aerodynamics, but with the curvature and those little corner vents should help combat that.

Moving further back, the second most noticeable thing is the massive glass windshield. Nit’s not just the windshield but half of the roof too. This not only provides for awesome visibility but also makes night riding an absolute dream for the front passenger. It’s unique and stylish at the same time. The roof has a pretty steep slope to the rear while the area above the belt line is relatively short with the windows getting shorter from front to rear. There’s a mildly curved body line just below the door handles, while a concave section toward the bottom provides a unique look and allows the side skirts to protrude from the body just a bit. The only thing I don’t like about the side profile is the way the rear quarters are so small, with the rear seam of the door and the seam of the rear hatch being clearly visible. It actually looks a little tacky.

2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Exterior
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The rear glass is short, and because of the steep slope, you can see the small roof panel that sits above the rear doors.

Around back, the Air has a rather interesting look. The rear glass is short, and because of the steep slope, you can see the small roof panel that sits above the rear doors. The rear glass itself is curved at the ends which is quite attractive and reminds me of the rear glass on the second-gen Chevy Camaro. The rear hatch is actually quite huge and essentially bubbles around the edges. A small flap at the top acts as a small spoiler while the taillights are made up of a long line of LEDs. The Lucid emblem sits right in the middle. Down below the fascia is quite small and uneventful, but a wide insert does provide for a sportier look.

All told, the Lucid air is fairly attractive. It does have some styling flaws here and there, but overall, it isn’t that bad. In my opinion, it looks a little better than a Tesla Model S, and the unique roof layout should make for extra headroom in the rear, so that’s also a plus. But, what about the inside? Let’s take a look.


2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Interior
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What makes it even more interesting, however, is the floating dash design, which makes it look like Lucid literally built the entire interior then lowered the dash in from above.

With the unique design of the exterior, it should come as no surprise that the Air is highly unique on the inside as well. First off, sitting inside makes you feel like you’re sitting in a big tub with a glass roof over it. And, the design of the body structure itself supports this feeling as you can see the way the interior wraps around from the very front to the top of the door trim panels. What makes it even more interesting, however, is the floating dash design, which makes it look like Lucid literally built the entire interior then lowered the dash in from above. The door trim panels are concave on top to make room for the wide dash, with the lower portion of the trim with the window switches extending outward, under the dash. It’s certainly a unique look and a stylish one at that.

2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Interior
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Back to the dash, it has some unique styling that includes some angular lines and a rather flat surface on the passenger side. Ahead of the driver sits a huge display module that includes three different displays – one for the navigation/driver information center, one for the instrument cluster, and another on the right that likely provides specifics about battery charge state, range, etc. Another table-like screen is nestled under the center vents and reminds us quite a bit of the unit found in the Tesla Model S and the Toyota Prius Prime, however, one has to admit that the mounting of this display is clean and attractive. The steering wheel is a flat bottom unit with a tilted hub that prominently displays the Lucid logo. It is a two-spoke wheel with a couple of thumb buttons on each side, however, it really triggers those OCD tendencies as the left spoke is longer than the right. Somehow, the wheel looks balanced, though, so don’t ask how that works out.

2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Interior
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There are very few trim elements up front, with the vents getting a silver outline that matches the spokes and the ring around those screens atop the dash. There’s also a piece of wood trim on the doors of the center console and a silver insert around the switches on the door panels. The seats themselves are quite supportive in the sides and very comfortable looking with the lower portion of the back rest and the entire seat cushion all featuring perforations for heating and ventilation. The headrests almost look like they are uncomfortable, but they are lined up with the backrest well and should prove to be quite comfortable. Finally, the front passengers get a shared central armrest.

2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Interior
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Now, if you thought the front of the cabin was nice, just take a look at the picture above and tell me that you don’t want to be a rear passenger in this baby. We’re talking about full-fledged, unparalleled, road-trip comfort that’s been taken to a whole new level. The seats are angled back in a relaxation position with tons of padding for comfort and a thin, long center console that separates the rear passengers and gives them their own space. Honestly, these seats are probably more comfortable than the bed you sleep in at night. The feeling of being in a big tub exists back here as well since the rounded nature of the cabin and first-class feeling is so prominent. There’s a small display attached to the center armrests that lets the rear passenger control various features of the seats (like the retractable leg rests) as well has rear HVAC and infotainment.

2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Interior
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The huge glass roof provides an amazing view of the sky, while the excessive passenger room provides for extreme comfort. As you can see from the second image, the seats can recline almost all of the way back while the front seats have a tray that folds down for that executive feel. A large display hovers above the center console, providing rear seat passengers with the ability to play games, watch TV, monitor the progress of their trip, and a number of other features. And, the perforation of the seats indicates that the rear seats are heated and cooled as well. Needless to say, this is one of the most attractive cabins out there, and it really does put the Model S to shame. Sorry, Elon, but it’s true – time to step your game up bruh.


2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Exterior
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Lucid’s battery technology has been developed over a period of 10 years and promises to offer superior energy density.

As far as motivational bits and pieces go, we don’t know a whole lot about what Lucid is working with under the skin. What we do know is that Lucid’s battery technology has been developed over a period of 10 years and promises to offer superior energy density, which is what contributes to as much as 400 miles of range on a single charge and up to 1,000 horsepower of near-instance go juice. It also features a special type of battery chemistry to prevents breakdown of cells that is commonly associated with repetitive quick charging. We do know that the car itself uses a drivetrain that was developed in house, and includes an electric motor and a transmission that are fully integrated and should be more reliable than other systems currently on the market.

The base model Air will be offered with a 400-horsepower configuration and will come standard with rear-wheel drive. It will offer up a 240-mile range, and while performance specs aren’t readily available, it should be able to compete with the crazy acceleration of the Model S. For the record, the S 75 hits 60 mph in 4.3, the 100D gets there in 4.1, and the P100D gets there in 2.5 seconds. Whether or not the Air will be able to top ludicrous mode remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it match or at least come close. Of course, with the base model getting just 240 miles in range, it will fall a little short in comparison to the S, but it’s also much cheaper at $52,500, so if you don’t need that extra range on a regular basis, this baby should be quite the deal for you.

At the time of launch, there will also be a special Launch Edition that comes with maxed out performance. We’re talking about all-wheel drive with twin-motor performance, 1000 horsepower, and up to 400 miles of range on a single charge. For now, that’s about all we know, but it’s certainly looking pretty good. Now, if only Lucid could get past its money problems, the Air just might make it out of the reservation stage.


2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Exterior
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At this point, there are only two models in the words that we know of – the base-model Air and the Launch Edition. The Launch edition has yet to receive a price and will be limited to the first 255 examples to roll off of the production line. Expect this model to go for much more, but the base model has a starting price of $52,500 after federal tax credits, putting it well below the cost of the Model S, but more expensive than the smaller Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf. If the Air ever moves past the reservation stage and production is actually started expect to see multiple models with progressive pricing as you move up the line.


Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S Exterior
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2017 Tesla Model S
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The Tesla Model S has been around since 2012 and was the first large EV sedan. It was Tesla’s second vehicle, however, with the Tesla Roadster ultimately paving the way for this all-electric family hauler. It has since gone through an update to freshen things up after five years on the market, however, it carries on mostly unchanged. It’s fitted with all of the hardware necessary for full autonomy (currently scaled back until the system can be further developed) and features a massive tablet-like display on the inside. It’s comfortable and fast, with three different models currently on the market.

The entry-level Model S 75 comes with a 75-kWh battery that’s good for 249 miles, a 4.3-second sprint to 60, and a top speed of 140 mph. Move up to the 100D, and you’ll get the 100 kWh battery pack that’s good for a 4.1-second sprint to 60, 155 mph top speed, and 335 miles of range per charge. Finally, you can get the P100D, which uses the same battery pack, but special calibration for ludicrous mode. This model can make the 60-mph sprint in 2.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 155 mph. Range for this model is a bit lower at 315 miles per charge.

Getting into one of these bad boys isn’t cheap, though, as the base, 75 model comes in at a cash price of $69,500. Of course, you can get a federal tax credit of $7,500 which will help, but that will begin to decrease as Tesla continues to sell models. Move up to the 100D model, and you’ll pony up $97,500 before incentives, while the P100D comes in at a divorce-inducing $140,000. It should also be noted that while the federal tax credit will eventually begin to drop, state incentives will not, so you may be able to save a little extra cheddar depending on what state you live in.

Read our full review on the Tesla Model S.


2018 Lucid Motors Air High Resolution Exterior
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I have to admit that the Lucid Air really is an attractive vehicle. I’m not so keen on some of the exterior styling, but that interior is pure luxury. It promises a decent range, plenty of power, and with a starting price of less than $53,000 it’s quite reasonable for what you get. And, while this car’s main competition is the Model S, the base model isn’t that much more expensive than the Tesla Model 3, and there are so many more amenities inside in comparison. It almost seems as if the Lucid Air would be a better investment, but there is one big problem. Tesla has the Model S and Model 3 in production while Lucid is still a pipe dream, with the most recent word being that Lucid was looking for more investors as it was having some financial difficulties.

As of now, you can only reserve a Lucid Air, and any potential date for delivery is unknown at this point in time. With that said, it’s certainly something to keep an eye on, as it could start hitting the market about the same time that Tesla decides to bring a second-gen S into the fold. But, that’s speculation for now, so take it with a grain of salt.

What are your thoughts on the Lucid Air? Hit us up in the comments section below.

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    • Not in production
    • Company struggling
Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - Robert.moore@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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