With up to 520 miles of EPA-estimated all-electric range and as much as 1111 horsepower, the 2022 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. 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 2022 Air ascends.
What’s New for 2022?
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 2022 Air sedan.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We’d steer towards the Touring model. It offers plenty to like and costs significantly less than the Grand Touring trim. The Touring offers 20-inch wheels, genuine leather upholstery, in-dash navigation, and 406 miles of estimated driving range per charge. All Lucid models come standard with three years of complimentary charging via the Electrify America charging network. The fanciest Dream Edition models are officially sold out, but if you want to maximize your luxury—and your out of pocket cost—the Grand Touring trim offers much of the Dream’s panache. Lucid increased the Air’s pricing mid-way through the 2022 model year, so orders placed after June 1st, 2022 will use the pricing detailed above.
EV Motor, Power, 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 all-wheel drive and a set of different horsepower ratings. The Touring model generates 620 horses, the Grand Touring makes 1050. An initial run of limited edition cars, called the Dream Edition and Dream Edition Performance, were good for 933 horsepower and 1111 horsepower, respectively. 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. Now that we’ve driven a Dream Edition, we can report that it’s crazy quick and surprisingly agile for its size. Despite riding on conventional steel coil springs rather than air springs, the sedan felt calm and smooth in the appropriately named Smooth drive mode. We also appreciated the natural feel of its brake pedal, which operates separately from the regenerative braking system that was also pleasing to use. Our main complaint was with our example’s 21-inch wheels on low-profile performance tires that produced notable road noise on a section of coarse pavement. At our test track, the Dream Edition Performance model blasted to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds and sailed through the quarter-mile in 10.1 seconds at 142 mph.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The Air has the longest range of any electric vehicle currently on the market, according to EPA estimates. The Dream Edition Range model should go for 520 miles on a single charge, while the Dream Edition Performance should travel about 471 miles. The base Pure and mid-range Touring trims each have an estimated driving range of 406 miles; the Grand Touring model offers up to 516 miles of range. The Air features a 112.0-kWh battery pack and DC fast-charging capability. Plugged into a fast charger, the sedan is said to be able to recoup 300 miles of range in 20 minutes. New owners will also enjoy three years of free fast-charging at Electrify America charging stations. There’s no cap on how many times owners can charge their cars, as long as it’s used for personal and not commercial purposes.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
The most efficient Air is rated at 131 MPGe combined, and the Performance version is rated at 111 MPGe combined. Once we can run one on our 75-mph highway route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world driving range. For more information about the Air’s efficiency, visit the EPA’s website.
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 adds a recline function for ultimate comfort. The Air’s 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.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Air is outfitted with a sophisticated infotainment system that incorporates a large upper touchscreen that flows out of the fully digital gauge cluster and a tablet-like lower touchscreen that handles additional functions and can be retracted into the dashboard. Lucid says the system’s voice-recognition software will respond to natural speech patterns. The interface also has an assistant that learns the user’s preferred music and climate settings. In addition to some physical controls on the steering wheel, there are a set of toggles for temperature and fan speed as well as a roller to adjust the volume of the audio system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Air is offered with an array of driver-assistance technology and the company is working on Level 3 self-driving abilities. The latter won’t initially be available, but through the magic of over-the-air updates, it’s expected to be offered within three years. For more information about the Air’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features should include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Lucid is a startup automaker with no previous products, but its warranty coverage is very similar to Tesla. Neither brand offers complimentary maintenance, though.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance
Vehicle Type: front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
Base/As Tested: $170,500/$170,500
Motors: 2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC
Combined Power: 1111 hp
Combined Torque: 1025 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 118.0 kWh
Onboard Charger: 19.2 kW
Transmissions, F/R: direct-drives
Suspension, F/R: multilink/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 15.0-in vented disc/14.8-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4 Elect PNCS
F: HL245/35R-21 99Y LM1
R: HL265/35R-21 103Y LM1
Wheelbase: 116.5 in
Length: 195.9 in
Width: 76.2 in
Height: 55.7 in
Passenger Volume: 103 ft3
Cargo Volume: 32 ft3
Curb Weight: 5282 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 2.6 sec
100 mph: 5.3 sec
130 mph: 8.4 sec
1/4-Mile: 10.1 sec @ 142 mph
150 mph: 11.7 sec
170 mph: 16.1 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 3.0 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 1.2 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 1.2 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 173 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 163 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 326 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.92 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 82 MPGe
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 111/110/111 MPGe
Range: 451 miles
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED