2.5 second 0-60 time. A 9.9 second quarter-mile, and a 168 mph top speed — these are just a few of the headline figures for the long-hyped 2021 Lucid Air electric sedan. Upstart manufacturer Lucid Motors officially unveiled their first production model Wednesday, hammering out details they had been trickling out over the past few months. The astonishing performance figures are a direct shot at the Tesla Model S, though with this debut there’s more information available if you’re in the market for a new EV.
Before you dive into the performance, the 2021 Lucid Air greets onlookers with its unconventional styling. It’s a fresh take on a sleek and minimalist approach, which has been a feather in Tesla’s cap since the Model S first debuted nearly a decade ago. Looks are always subjective, but Lucid says one of its main goals in the Air’s design is spaciousness for both passengers and cargo. To that end, Lucid claims its sedan has the largest frunk and cabin in its class.
2021 Lucid Air performance figures
At the heart of Lucid Motors’ flagship sedan is its dual electric motor configuration, offering all-wheel drive capability to compete against the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan. The top-end “Dream Edition” manages 1,080 horsepower from that configuration, as well as a 2.5 second 0-60 time and that 9.9 second quarter-mile and 168 mph top speed. That model is just one of four trims, with each successive step offering greater performance.
Information on the base Air has not been announced yet, but that will be an option at the entry-level end, in addition to the three trims below:
|Touring||406 mi||620 hp||3.2 sec||155 mph|
|Grand Touring||517 mi||800 hp||3.0 sec||168 mph|
|Dream Edition||Up to 503 mi |
(465 mi w/ 19″ wheels)
|1,080 hp||2.5 sec||168 mph|
Interior and technology
As you’d expect from what aims to be a modern electric car, the 2021 Lucid Air sports an interior covered in modern technology. The 34-inch curved screen sits front and center atop the dashboard, though the car does have many conventional controls to complement the digital approach. Another “Pilot Panel” screen in the center stack allows the driver finer control over the car’s functions, including vehicle settings, climate and infotainment systems.
Lucid’s ‘DreamDrive’ technology promises Level 2 and Level 3 semi-autonomous driving as well. The system uses an array of 32 sensors throughout the car, including cameras, radar and LIDAR units working together. Over-the-air updates should unlock additional capability in the future, as hardware and regulations allow.
While the 2021 Lucid Air aims to compete with the Tesla Model S, one area it is in another league is on price — and not necessarily in a good way. The starting price for the base model is below $80,000. However, that car won’t be available until 2022, according to Lucid Motors. Even then, that price kicks off more or less where Model S prices stop.
Instead, the most expensive model will go on sale first: the Dream Edition. If you’re in the market for those mind-bending performance figures, this is the model you’ll have to buy. But there’s a catch: The starting price for the Dream is $169,000 before applicable federal and state EV tax incentives. That’s double the price of the Model S performance, which does currently claim a quicker 0-60 time of 2.3 seconds. The Dream’s range stands at 465 miles with the standard 21-inch wheels.
The Lucid Air Touring, one step up from the base model, starts at $95,000. It offers 406 miles of range, and dials the power back to 620 horsepower. That results in a slower 3.2 second 0-60 time, but you do still get a dual-motor configuration and 155 mph top speed. That model will go on sale in late 2021.
Just below the dream, the Lucid Air Grand Touring starts $139,000. It packs 800 horsepower as well as that best-case 517-mile range. Here, you still get a respectable 3 second 0-60 time and the same 168 mph top speed as the Dream Edition.