The Lucid Air is one of the coolest new electric cars on sale today.
Lucid lent me a $180,000 Air Grand Touring Performance for review.
Its best features: ferocious quickness, 446 miles of range, and, most importantly, butt massagers.
The simple fact that Lucid has managed to start building vehicles and shipping them to customers means the newcomer deserves your attention. In an industry dominated by hundred-year-old behemoths, it's exceptionally difficult for new companies to set up shop. Reminder: Tesla nearly went bankrupt when it was ramping up production of the Model 3.
Moreover, the luxe sedan is ridiculously impressive. I got behind the wheel of a $180,000 Air Grand Touring Performance (one of the pricier versions), and was delighted by all sorts of awe-inspiring features and capabilities.
The Air has a huge trunk with a snazzy clamshell opening that I think looks incredibly cool.
The trunk's mouth is a bit low and wide, presenting a bit of a problem for loading in awkwardly shaped cargo.
But on the upside, you get a secret cellar under the floor.
Folding the rear seats should make room for skis or a TV.
If you max out the trunk at a Costco run, there's loads of bonus room up front in the Air's frunk.
At first glance, the frunk looks decently sized but not huge. Remove a floor panel and it becomes one of the most spacious in the EV biz, bigger than any from Tesla.
The Air's stylish interior — filled with wood, Alcantara, and soft leather — is a big selling point in itself.
But I'll call out a few highlights.
Hopping inside, one of the first things you notice is a sprawling glass roof that brings the outside in.
There's an extra-large windshield that stretches over the driver's head, resulting in funny-looking sun visors.
It makes the interior feel super open and modern, but also has a habit of cooking passengers when the sun's really beating down.
Another high-end touch: The Air has soft-close doors. Shut a door most of the way and it'll pull itself shut automatically.
The Air's curved, 34-inch display looks crisp and elegant, but the most unique part of it is the leftmost corner.
There you'll find an assortment of touchscreen buttons that never move. It's nice to have the most critical functions at the ready.
Speaking of screens, the centerpiece of the Air's cabin is a tablet-like display down by the driver's knee.
It serves as a portal to all the Air's settings, including the seat warmers, charging settings and drive modes.
But the coolest part about it is that it retracts into the dashboard, revealing a hidden cubby.
Another virtue of the multi-screen setup: When parking, the Air prominently displays both a birds-eye view and backup camera simultaneously.
The high-def 360-degree view was one of my favorite features of the Air.
The Air I drove had massaging seats up front with several different settings.
They even massage your butt, which felt a bit intrusive at first but is welcome on long, crampy drives.
On top of all that, the Air serves up extremely impressive performance all around.
Its range is unmatched.
The Air Grand Touring earns an EPA rating of 516 miles. The Grand Touring Performance I drove is estimated at a whopping 446.
For reference, the best Tesla Model S goes just over 400 miles on a full battery, while most mainstream EVs are rated for somewhere between 230 and 300 miles.
The Air Grand Touring Performance's quickness is otherworldly. It's like your own personal rollercoaster.
With two motors sending 1,050 horsepower to all four wheels, the Air is capable of hitting 60 mph from a standstill in 2.6 seconds, Lucid says.
What's more, the Air shoots forward so smoothly and effortlessly that it feels like it's barely even trying.
One of the absolute best parts of the Air is how quickly it charges up after a day on the road.
The Air boasts a peak charging rate of 300 kilowatts, placing it near the top of the industry.
In plain English, that means it charges much, much faster than your average EV — so long as you find a station that's rated to output 300 kW or more.
I stopped for 12 minutes and added 158 miles of range, plenty for another couple hours of highway driving.
Under optimal conditions, Lucid says the Air can recoup 200 miles of range in 12 minutes.
There's no doubt that the Air is an extraordinary machine. But is it impressive enough to go toe to toe with major players like Mercedes-Benz and BMW? Only time will tell.
Read the original article on Business Insider