The Lucid Air Is So Good It Should Make Tesla Sweat

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The Lucid Air Is So Good It Should Make Tesla Sweat

For Peter Rawlinson, the guitar-playing founder and chief executive of Lucid Motors, it’s been a long, strange trip bringing the Lucid Air to fruition. The longest-lasting, most power-dense production EV to date offers up to 520 miles of EPA-certified battery range, plus a 9.9-second, 144-mph rip through the quarter-mile. Even by jaded automotive journalist standards, the Air is a stunning engineering achievement, the new benchmark for the world’s electric sedans—a title that’s partly incumbent on how many Lucid can sell.

We’re taking a breather in a pair of Lucid Air Dream Edition sedans in Tortilla Flat, Arizona, population 6, a former stagecoach stop in the spectacular Superstition Mountains, just a few hours from Lucid’s rapidly expanding greenfield factory in Casa Grande. Where other publications here are limited to brief teaser drives as part of a factory visit, we’ve finagled a 1111-hp Air Dream Edition Performance for a full dawn-to-dusk. Perhaps Rawlinson is feeling nostalgic: He recalls a 1994 Road & Track story on his CAD-designed Imola, a Chapman-esque British kit car with a stainless steel monocoque. The article helped him land a job at Lotus in 1995, where he rose to chief engineer; his Imola influenced the second-gen Elise. Next stop, Norway, where he developed the Think electric car. Elon Musk, in the weeds on his first electric sedan and firing everyone in sight, plucked Rawlinson to lead engineering on what would become the world-changing Model S. You know the rest.

Nearly 30 years later, those circles are running faster thanks to the disruptive force of electricity—in every sense. I’ve spent the past few hours whomping the Air to 120 or 130 mph in the time it takes most cars to hit 60. With the Lucid dialed to Sprint mode, I struggle to put the spatial dislocation into words. You know how you flick a stray ant off a picnic table? In the Lucid Air, you are the ant.

For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.

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