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Kelley Blue Book: The 2022 Lucid Air: a luxury electric vehicle that’s quick, quiet and refined

Pros

Distinctive design
Maximum range of 520 miles
0-60 mph performance of 2.5 seconds
Available all-wheel drive

Cons

All-new vehicle from a new manufacturer
Available in limited numbers in a handful of states
No established record for quality, dependability and resale

What’s new?

All-new luxury electric vehicle
Dual motor versions make up to 1,111 horsepower
Underfloor mounting of battery and motors
Longest range certified by EPA

Price: The 2022 Lucid Air starts at $77,400 and ranges up to $169,000.

The Lucid LCID, -5.40% Air is a new-from-the-ground-up electric luxury sedan. While it’s a traditional 4-door model, Lucid Air has unique styling that’s more French, say like a Citroën, than American. The first models will be the top-end Dream Edition versions, while the lower price and performance models will roll out later next year.

The 2022 Lucid Air
Lucid

The Lucid Air packages its battery pack and unique electric motors with their attached inverters beneath the floor, giving the cabin a spacious feel. While the vehicle looks like a hatchback, the rear is fitted with a traditional trunk. Lucid’s selling point besides its fresh look is range. All models will exceed 400 miles between charges, with a top model earning a 520-mile rating from the EPA.

The 2022 Lucid Air competes against the Tesla TSLA, +2.08% Model S, Mercedes-Benz EQS, Audi e-tron GT, and Porsche POAHY, -0.76% Taycan.

See: Porsche Taycan EV outsold the revered 911 last year

The 2022 Lucid Air
Lucid

2022 Lucid Air pricing

The 2022 Lucid Air starts at $77,400 for the entry-level Pure trim. That model features a single-motor rear-drive configuration with 480 horsepower and a range of 406 miles. The rest of the lineup features all-wheel drive in three trim levels, Touring, Grand Touring, and Dream.

The Touring model starts at $95,000 and boasts 620 horsepower and a 406-mile range. The Grand Touring trim starts at $139,000 and makes 800 horsepower with a max range of 516 miles. The Top Dream models come in two variants, Performance and Range Editions, with respective outputs of 1,111 and 933 horsepower and max ranges of 471 and 520 miles. Both are priced at $169,000.

The 2022 Lucid Air has a wider price range than the 2022 Tesla Model S, which starts at about $95,000 and tops out at $140,000 for the Plaid edition.

The Lucid Air was designed by former Mazda designer Derek Jenkins.
Lucid

Driving the 2022 Lucid Air

For a first-time effort, the 2022 Lucid Air is impressive out on the open road. Like other electric vehicles in its class, it’s quick, quiet, and refined. There are three basic drive modes, Smooth, Swift, and Sprint. The Smooth mode is best for everyday driving. The car seems to flow well with surrounding traffic, and the steering is light and effortless yet direct. There’s plenty of regenerative braking and two levels of intensity. The higher one allows for nearly one-pedal driving.

You can also select either hold, roll, or creep functions for when the vehicle is stopped. Our choice would be either hold or creep. In roll, the vehicle will roll backward slightly if you’re pointed uphill.

With 1,111 horsepower on tap in the Lucid Dream Edition Performance model, the vehicle is plenty quick with a claimed 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds. Put it in Swift or Sprint settings for true neck-snapping acceleration. Both modes also tighten up the steering and suspension for a more spirited feel.

The vehicle’s construction — with its below-the-floor battery pack, compact motors and wheels pushed all the way out to the corners — contributes to the Lucid Air’s nimble yet planted road manners.

Interior comfort

Unlike the stark approach employed by Tesla on the Model S, the Lucid Air has all the trappings you’d expect from a luxury sedan. The advanced glass cockpit approach to the displays and touchscreen is augmented by additional buttons and controls for things like fan speed and temperature on the climate controls. There are also redundant controls for the audio, information displays, and cruise control built into the steering wheel. The shift mechanism employs a right-side steering column-mounted stalk.

Thanks to the vehicle’s 76.3-inch width, the cabin is open and airy. The comfortable bucket seats can be clad in either luxurious leather or vegan-based upholstery. The surfaces feature accents ranging from brushed satin aluminum to wood veneers and other soft-touch surfaces that use woven materials. The upper trims can be equipped with a spectacular glass roof that stretches from the windshield touchdown point on the firewall to mid-cabin. The rear seats are also bathed in light from the glass roof.

There’s plenty of space for five passengers, and the rear seats boast good legroom thanks to the flat floor. There’s a 4-passenger seating option that features rear seats with built-in leg rests and a recline function.

Exterior styling

The work of ex-Mazda MZDAY, -0.74% designer Derek Jenkins, the 2022 Lucid Air has a distinctive, yet understated design that sets it apart from other luxury sedans. Because the Lucid has no need for a front grille, it steers clear of the current obsession among luxury automakers to have the largest maw on the market.

Instead, you’re treated to a thin opening hooded by brightwork embossed with the Lucid name. Inside this slit are LED headlamps and running lights, while at the base of the fascia is an inlet that helps channel air beneath the car to produce a sleek 0.21 coefficient of drag.

In profile, the Lucid has a rounded, softly curved exterior with a silver roof that seamlessly flows from A- to C-pillar. A rounded rear window and short rear deck give the car almost a hatchback appearance even though it has a conventional trunk. At the rear, the LED tail lamps stretch from side to side in a slit that mimics the front opening. The overall appearance is understated yet elegant. The Lucid Air’s design is head-turning without getting in your face.

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Favorite features

Dream Drive
Lucid Air features a driver-assist system backed by 32 sensors including camera, radar, ultrasonic and hi-res Lidar. This array provides the latest in lane-keeping, advanced cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and parking technology.

Glass cockpit display
The instrument cluster ahead of the driver blends seamlessly with the center infotainment on a floating 34-inch glass screen. An auxiliary screen mounted at the head of the center console adds additional touchscreen controls as well as a more detailed navigation map display.

Also on MarketWatch: More car shoppers are thinking about EVs, but still holding back

Standard features

As befitting its price, the 2022 Lucid Air comes well equipped. Even the base single-motor Pure form has 19-inch wheels, PureLuxe upholstery, touchscreen infotainment including Alexa assistant, navigation, and three years of free charging at Electrify America locations.

Touring models feature a 620-horsepower dual-motor configuration with all-wheel drive, 20-inch wheels, a glass canopy, Nappa leather interior, and navigation. The Grand Touring model is more powerful at 800 horsepower and adds a 21-speak premium audio system, 21-inch wheels, and the Dream Drive Pro suite of driver assists that includes a hands-free drive mode. The top Lucid Air Dream offers either 933 or 1,111 horsepower dual-electric motor all-wheel drive.

Read: What is EV, BEV, HEV, PHEV? Here’s your guide to types of electric cars

Factory options

Lower models of the Lucid Air can be upgraded with 20- and 21-inch wheels, the 21-speaker premium audio system, vegan-based leather substitute upholstery, and the Dream Drive Pro driver assist suite.

Battery power, charge times, and range

The Lucid Air comes with either one or two electric motors based on trim level. The lightweight 924-volt motor (163 pounds) is rated for up to 670 horsepower but is limited in output depending on vehicle configuration. Dual-motor performance versions of the Lucid Air are capable of 0-60 mph acceleration of 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 168 mph.

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The 113-kW battery pack gives the Lucid Air exceptional range, which can be as high as 520 miles between charges. Using DC quick charging, owners can get 300 miles of range in as little as 20 minutes.

Single AC electric motor (Pure)
480 horsepower
N/A lb-ft of combined torque
EPA city/highway economy: N/A
Range: 406 miles

Dual AC electric motors (Touring)
620 combined horsepower
N/A lb-ft of combined torque
EPA city/highway economy: 130 MPGe/132 MPGe
Range: 406 miles

Dual AC electric motors (Grand Touring)
800 combined horsepower
N/A lb-ft of combined torque
EPA city/highway economy: 130 MPGe/132 MPGe w/19-in. wheels), 121 MPGe/122 MPGe (w/21-in. wheels)
Range: 516 miles (w/19-in. wheels), 469 miles (w/21-in. wheels)

Dual AC electric motors (Dream Range Edition)
933 combined horsepower
Estimated 737 lb-ft of combined torque
EPA city/highway economy: 126 MPGe/125 MPGe (w/19-in wheels), 115 MPGe/117 MPGe (w/21-in. wheels)
Range: 520 miles (w/19-in. wheels), 481 miles (w/21-in. wheels)

Dual AC electric motors (Dream Performance Edition)
1,111 combined horsepower
Estimated 737 lb-ft of combined torque
EPA city/highway economy: 117 MPGe/114 MPGe (19-in. wheels), 110 MPGe/111 MPGe (21-in. wheels)
Range: 471 miles (19-in. wheels), 451 miles (21-in. wheels)

Time to charge battery: 13 hours at 240V

This story originally ran on KBB.com

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