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Lucid Air first drive: Lucid Motors takes aim at the luxury EV market

by Danny Zepeda | November 30, 2017November 30, 2017 1:00 pm PDT

In the very near future, every car made will be electric. That’s the way it is going because fossil fuel is a non-renewable resource. Tesla and other car makers have done their part to take the first slice of the pie of the burgeoning EV market, but surprisingly, there’s still a lot of pie left for the taking.

One of the big slices yet to be claimed is the luxury EV market, which for as cool and trendy as Tesla is, it is not a luxury brand, and this is the segment that Lucid Motors wants to take a bite out of.

Lucid Motors is the little known start up that is responsible for the Lucid Air, an all-electric sedan that is meant to deliver a luxurious EV experience. Making its debut earlier this year as Lucid took some prototypes across the country, that’s when we got a chance to check out the car in person. It was a pretty neat concept that possibly could be realized one day. That day hasn’t arrived yet, but Lucid Motors officials want to show the world what they are working on.

Lucid Motors invited TechnoBuffalo to check out the car, take a drive in it and talk to some officials to get a better understanding of the Lucid Air during the LA Auto Show. We jumped at the opportunity because cool-looking cars are fun to stare at and even better to drive.

While only existing as rough alpha prototypes and refined, yet incomplete, drivable prototypes, the Lucid Air is the main attraction. And it looks impressive. Sleek lines adorning the aluminum chassis with futuristic details like the Micro-LED headlights call your attention right away, as any new car should.

Of course the car is powerful; it will have the capability of 1,000 horsepower for the high end option that will go from 0-60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds. Powering the car is a battery that has a 400-mile range.

Lucid Motors’ ultimate goal is to take up the luxury EV market that no one is truly competing in. For all the warm and fuzzy feelings Tesla conjures from its fans, it is not known as luxury brand. One of its cars might cost as much a luxury car, but it doesn’t offer the same details and finishes. The Lucid Air does.

Leather trimmings, wood finishes and alcantara fabrics adorn the inside of the car. It looks as nice as any Mercedes Benz or BMW. But where Lucid really makes a statement is with its fully reclinable back seats. It is available as an add-on option, with the base models coming with a standard bench, but the reclinable options offer two back seats that fully recline, and it is a revelation. Going in the backseat of a car has never been this comfortable.

On the center dividing the two seats is a touch pad that can adjust either seat. One button can fully recline the seat or you can adjust different parts of the seat like the headrest and such.

This was only possible by having a roomy interior. When sitting in the back, the car feels like it has a ton of room yet the overall frame of the car is actually smaller than the Model S. Lucid says it offers the interior space of an S-class but in the body of an E-class. I got a chance to sit in the back and although I am on the shorter side, there was enough room for a person twice my size

Lucid took us on a drive in the car, but unfortunately we weren’t allowed to drive it ourselves. As nice as the car looks, it’s still really early in development and there is no doubt that it is a refined prototyped. But even so, taking a ride in the back with the fully reclinable seats feels like you’re in first class seat on a plane. I reclined all the way down and was treated to a wonderful view of the Downtown L.A. skyline through the gorgeous panoramic sunroof.

I asked Lucid Motors chief technology officer Peter Rawlinson when the company hopes to begin mass production of the car, and he stated their hope is for a late 2019 date, but that may bleed into early 2020. That’s the problem with Lucid Motors.

For as much as much as the 1,000 horsepower and fully reclinable seats catch the attention, it is all a distant pipe dream right now. We’re looking at a wait time of at least two years, but most likely it’ll be more than that. With technology moving at such a rapid pace right now, waiting two and a half years to release a product is an eternity.

It’s ingenious on Lucid Motors’ part to jump into an EV segment that is not dominated by any one company. It’s also very tactical of its part not to directly take on Tesla, an EV giant. But all of this will be for naught if it doesn’t deliver a car soon as possible, because that just gives other companies more time to pay attention and jump into the market.

Lucid can learn a very important lesson from Tesla’s problems with the Model 3. It doesn’t matter how nice a car looks; if it can’t be made, then how can people buy it?

Until the Lucid Air enters mass production, it’ll just be a really sweet concept.


Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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