My Car Quest

January 26, 2021

Lucid Air: Pitching to the Right Audience

by Wallace Wyss –

There is no more perfect audience for the products of a new car company, called Lucid Motors, than Malibu. That’s because the cheapest house is one million dollars going up to $150,000,000. People there like to show off their money by buying the right car, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mercedes–you name it.

But with an Electric Vehicle (EV) they are also showing off how much they care for the planet. I encountered my first Lucid Air car in Malibu last week but it was only a prototype, not really privately owned. They claim that it’s “a holistic, clean-sheet approach to advanced EV construction, without using existing “off the shelf” solutions so often seen in EVs from legacy automakers.”

Lucid Air

In other words they didn’t use a body, frame or unitized floor pan from an existing car. But neither does Tesla though Lucid obviously doesn’t consider them a “legacy automaker” whatever that is. I say Tesla is over 10 years old, so to me, it’ got a legacy.

In their press release they brag about having “the philosophy of hyper-efficiency embedded in every facet of Lucid Air, from energy to spatial efficiency, delivering an unprecedented combination of range, practicality, performance, and luxury.”

They claim their car “looks entirely distinctive on the road” but to me it reminded me shape-wise, size wise, and appointment wise of the Hyundai Genesis 90 $75,000 luxury car, that is $100,000 cheaper.

DESIGN CRITIQUE

FRONT Resembles the Toyota Celica of a few years ago except the top band is muted silver instead of body color. Headlights are interesting if they are legal (some European automakers have had to supply “dumbed down” headlights because their more courageous designs don’t meet US laws). Vertical light bars on front copy Cadillac.

Lucid Air

REAR Full width taillamps are nothing new. Had a ’66 Charger with them. Their version looks modern but reminiscent of current Lincoln.

Lucid Air

SIDE A seeming four door pillarless coupe with side sculpting.

Lucid Air

INTERIOR As a non pure electric owner or hybrid owner, I fear too much “takeover” of the controls by push buttons on a screen. I.E. can you still drive it if the screen goes down? Bucket seats seem to offer a lot of elbow room. Publicity pictures show what appears to be all glass roof, I want to know what sun shielding there is or one trip to Phoenix midsummer would fry you like a potato.

Lucid Air

IN SUM…A modern design, albeit conservative. No big risks taken. If they answer my question about sun protection, I’ll be more enthusiastic…

GM’s Hummer EV better watch out, the Lucid Air packs more power–up to 1,080 horsepower in a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive architecture. Lucid claims quarter-mile times as quick as 9.9 seconds on a consistent, repeatable basis. And on range they have available a package that gets you up to 517 miles on a single charge leaving the Hummer EV with its 300-mile range back in the dust.

Lucid Air also claims to be the fastest charging electric vehicle ever offered, with the capability to charge at rates of up to 20 miles per minute when connected to a DC Fast Charging network. But then they throw in “real world” by saying “in real-world conditions on the road, that can translate into 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes of charging.”

Race-Proven EV Battery Packs

Lucid claims 20 million miles of real-world testing in creating its in-house developed, compact 113kWh extended-range battery pack. If you believe “racing improves the breed” they tested their motors in the world’s leading electric racing championship. They call it their Battery Management System (BMS).

They claim the largest “frunk” of any electric car to date and “incredible bi-level storage capabilities in both front and rear compartments”.

They claim it to have a coefficient of drag of 0.21, which I would like to see verified. I’d believe 0.31 but 0.21 is more something out of land speed record cars.

Inside there’s a big 34-inch curved Glass Cockpit 5K display that “floats” above the dashboard, contributing to an airy feel of the interior. A retractable central Pilot Panel sits in finger-tip reach of the driver and passenger for the vehicle’s systems and functions. In other words, not all push buttons on a screen, with a few precision-milled physical controls are present, for steering wheel functions, a volume control roller, and alloy toggle switches for tuning climate settings.

OK it’s not autonomous, but their system called (ADAS), Lucid DreamDrive, is they claim “a cutting-edge Driver Monitoring System (DMS) that is “the first of its kind to offer 32 sensors, covering vision, radar and ultrasonics, plus the world’s first standard high-resolution LIDAR in an EV, all working alongside the standard DMS and geo-fenced HD mapping to provide the safest possible approach to Level 2 and Level 3 driver assistance technologies.” In other words they are challenging Tesla.

Lucid Air’s headlamps are impressive. They call them their “Micro Lens Array” which uses literally thousands of “light channels.” Developed entirely in-house, this technology provides the brightest, most precise and advanced lighting system ever. You can switch light channels in different directions, kind of reminds me there’s been a couple of cars that would move the headlight beam in whatever direction you steered.

Lucid Air

In case you miss Alexa telling you what do do, Alexa Built-In implementation is in each Lucid Air, giving you voice cues on navigation, calling, streaming media, smart home control, and adding items to a shopping cart or to-do list – all the while, they say “keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.”

The Lucid Air will be available initially in North America, offered in four model ranges:

The Air, the starting point for the lineup, available in 2022 and starting below $80,000 ($72,500 after USA federal tax credit)

The well-equipped Air Touring model, available late 2021, from $95,000 ($87,500 after USA federal tax credit)

The fully equipped Air Grand Touring, available mid 2021, from $139,000 ($131,500 after USA federal tax credit)

The all-inclusive, limited-volume Air Dream Edition, available spring 2021, at $169,000 ($161,500 after USA federal tax credit)

They know this car will be a hit if it scores with west siders so they offer an exclusive “Santa Monica” themed interior trim package, including full Nappa grain Bridge of Weir leather throughout and silvered Eucalyptus wood accents. The Dream Edition, the top of the line, will also feature a unique 21-inch “AeroDream” wheel design and be highlighted by special badging and trim that marks its position as a limited-production halo edition of the Lucid Air.” A step down is the Air Touring and Air Grand Touring models, which offer 620hp and 800hp respectively. The Air Grand Touring will also boast over 517 mile range.

Availability

Lucid is taking reservations in the US and Canada, as well as in select countries in Europe and the Middle East. Unlike GM with its Hummer EV they require $1000.

Those who are inspired can reserve some Lucid Air models via a $1,000 USD refundable deposit though the limited production Dream Edition requires a $7,500 USD refundable deposit. I consider the Hummer EV reservation minimum of $100 laughable on a $110,000 vehicle. You could walk away from $100 but presumably $1000 will keep you to your promise.

Where are the showrooms? They call them the artsy fartsy “Lucid Studios and Service Centers”.

Am I convinced? Not yet. I’ve seen many concept cars introduced, only to disappear. Show me pictures of the factory (so far no shots of cars being built), the map of available charging stations (Tesla has hundreds of charging locations) and the list of repair facilities coast to coast that will stock parts and perform service.

I want to believe in the future as much as anyone else but let’s say I’m a skeptic. I like to test drive the cars I write about. So the next time I write about Lucid, it’s being from behind the wheel after driving it. Lucid, you got my number…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss does new car commentary on Autotalk, on KUCR-FM Riverside, California.
 
 
 

Lucid Air

Photos compliments of Lucid Motors.

Summary
Lucid Air: Pitching to the Right Audience
Article Name
Lucid Air: Pitching to the Right Audience
Description
Lucid Motors also claims to be the fastest charging electric vehicle ever offered, with the capability to charge at rates of up to 20 miles per minute when connected to a DC Fast Charging network.
Author

Comments

  1. Such a helpful post. Thank you! 🙂

  2. Rob Krantz says

    If this car is the “real deal” and a true challenger to Tesla in the electric car market, it will be interesting to see what happens. However, they have an uphill battle. Tesla has a huge head start on Lucid and many of the big auto makers with factories in place, a distribution network, repair facilities, charging stations and a CEO in Elon Musk who is never to be outdone and likely many aces up his sleeve to out do any upstarts. Will Lucid end up like the Fisker Karma? Not a pure electric but a car that had some promise. Perhaps. Time will tell. However, competition is a good thing and makes those (or should make those) who are more established not rest on their laurels. The Big Three blew it big time years ago by never addressing Japanese and European imports adequately. Tesla is potentially the big loser in the electric car game if they don’t take any upstarts seriously. Hope to see a future test drive and more information on the Lucid, Wallace!

  3. Robert Appleton says

    Wallace, Thank you for nice comprehensive write up of a very interesting new EV entry. However, your observation regarding coefficient of drag is wildly out of date. “They claim it to have a coefficient of drag of 0.21, which I would like to see verified. I’d believe 0.31 but 0.21 is more something out of land speed record cars.”
    The average Cd for modern cars (not SUVs) is in the 0.25 to 0.30 range with many cars in the 0.22 to 0.25 range, so Lucid’s claim is quite credible.

  4. Wallace Wyss says

    OK I realize I was thinking .32 was state of the art is old hat (even the phrase “old hat” is old hat.) I was also told by someone the roof glass might be tinted and grow darker when the sun is strong but want to read that in their already overwrought PR release. I think more automakers might come to the cars ‘n coffee in Malibu now–there’s guys walking around there that could buy this car with pocket change.

  5. The car was there very early in Malibu too, this photo was taken after the light came up a bit but it was O dark thirty when we got there and they were all set up.

  6. I do not like the styling on the lower edges of the body. I did like the wheels. They reminded me of my old Fiero wheels but beefed up. I did change them though and like mine even more. There will be a video at my youtube channel of the car later this week that has a convertible version and even wings at the tail.

  7. Wallace Wyss says

    Is this picture with your 3-layer grille what Our Leader calls fake news?

  8. My drawings are styling exercises and my videos are computer graphics tutorials. The fake news is saying bullying is leading.

  9. William Marks says

    It looks like a lot of current sedans that had to to do a quick retrofit. The hood looks like it was necessary to raise it a couple of inches to clear the (nonexistent, in the case) engine and to comply with the government’s pedestrian impact regulations. So, why put that heavy-looking, chromed non-bumper clear across the front in the first place – needlessly calling attention to it? Platypus’s would be attracted.

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