2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car
There’s no shortage of tech startups with ambitious plans to build electric vehicles, with varying degrees of hype and flakiness. Lucid Motors is one of these emerging young brands, and while its first product, the 2022 Air luxury sedan, features its fair share of gadgetry and design dazzle, it’s also an impressive example of what can result when tech dweebs and car nerds collaborate.
The Lucid Air made its debut as the limited-production Dream Edition, which has since sold out, and now is in the process of fleshing out the lineup. We sampled the now-top-spec Grand Touring Performance near Lucid’s headquarters in Newark, California, and tested the next-rung-down Grand Touring back home in Michigan. Lower-cost Touring and Pure trims are set to join the lineup by the end of the year, but for now the $140,500 Grand Touring is the most affordable variant.
For that six-figure outlay, you get a four-door EV sedan with a luxuriously trimmed cabin, 819 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and an EPA-estimated driving range that’s far and away the most generous among EVs. The special sauce is Lucid’s innovative battery pack (112.0-kWh capacity in the Grand Touring) and its super-aerodynamic design, which allows it to achieve up to an estimated 516 miles per charge when equipped with the standard 19-inch wheels.
(The optional 21-inch wheels reduce that to 469 miles.) In our 75-mph highway range test, our Grand Touring test car (on 19s) managed 410 miles—considerably less than the EPA number, but still the best result of any EV we’ve ever tested, and the first to top 400 miles.
The $180,500 Grand Touring Performance entices with 1050 horsepower, but even with its slightly larger 118.0-kWh battery pack, its EPA range estimate is lower at 446 miles. Twenty-one-inch wheels wearing summer tires are standard here, which contributes to the reduced range, but the additional power potential from the electric motors is also partially to blame.
HIGHS: The EV range champ, a surfeit of power, striking design.
Charging is quick in both Grand Touring models, and Lucid estimates that on a DC fast-charging connection, 300 miles can be added to the battery in just 21 minutes. When we did our fast-charging test from 10 to 90 percent charge on an Air Dream, it took 46 minutes at an average rate of 135 kW, the fastest we had ever measured.
Home charging is slower, naturally, but the Air can accept the highest rate of Level 2 charging, 19.2 kW, assuming your house is wired to give at that rate, which can add about 75 miles for every hour the car is plugged in.
Both models are powered by a dual electric motor powertrain, and Lucid claims the more powerful Performance version can hit 60 mph in 2.6 seconds. (The slightly more powerful Dream Edition Performance model did exactly that when we tested it earlier this year.) The 819-hp Grand Touring, meanwhile, hit 60 mph in 3.0 seconds flat at our test track.
Merely feathering the accelerator pedal moves either Lucid forward without delay, but the Performance is noticeably punchier. A launch-control feature allows the driver to easily unlock the car’s maximum capability for straight-line performance: First select Sprint mode, then simply hold your left foot on the brake and mat the go pedal until the telltale blue-bear logo appears on the gauge display. Release the brake, and the car rockets forward with a whoosh and virtually no wheelspin.
The Air’s road manners are refined and borderline athletic. It’s not as sharp as the Porsche Taycan, and its width makes it feel less nimble than an Audi e-tron GT. The 0.82 g of grip on the 19-inch all-season range tire also falls well short of those cars, whereas the previous Dream Edition we tested on the summer 21s did 0.92 g. But the Grand Touring nonetheless offers a compelling blend of comfort and sport.
Three driving modes alter the car’s suspension, steering, and powertrain to a surprising degree. Smooth mode, the Air’s most comfortable setting, sets the dampers to soak up bumps as much as possible and limits the horsepower to help preserve range. Swift and Sprint modes are where things get more interesting, with the latter unlocking the maximum horsepower.
The dampers are firmed up in these settings for better handling, and the steering dials in a bit more heft as well as some road feel that’s largely absent in the default Smooth mode.
No matter the setting, the Air’s brake pedal feels squishy through the initial bit of travel before firming up as the pads bite at the rotors. Luckily, the Air’s two regenerative braking modes—Standard and High—both are aggressive enough so that drivers can avoid touching the brakes the majority of the time, although some drivers might welcome a less regenerative coast mode. The Air Grand Touring’s 193-foot stop from 70 mph, though, is a disappointing performance, some 30 feet longer than that from the summer-tire-equipped Dream.
The Air’s design to a large degree is both aesthetically pleasing and thoughtful. The front- and rear-seat passenger compartments are more spacious than expected, and interior materials are both premium and contemporary, with soft nappa-leather upholstery and textile-covered dash panels.
Cleverly located storage bins, including one hidden beneath the lower infotainment display screen, provide ample places to stash smaller items, and the Air’s cargo capacity is adequate thanks to a deep well under the car’s hood and a wide-mouthed, if somewhat awkwardly accessed, trunk.
LOWS: Broiling under glass, body squeaks and creaks, work-in-progress infotainment software.
Missteps are few, but they include a wireless charging pad that could accommodate an iPhone 13 Pro Max only when the phone was inserted caseless and upside down. Similar to the Tesla Model X SUV, the Lucid Air’s windshield runs uninterrupted up and over the roof, creating a wide-open view for everyone inside. This type of vehicular showmanship is sure to impress prospective buyers when they first slide behind the wheel, but the wow factor quickly becomes a sweat-on-the-brow factor when the car sits in the sun.
To match the Air’s cutting-edge electric powertrain, Lucid has installed an equally impressive infotainment system, but its software is still a work in progress. The curved 34.0-inch display and onscreen graphics give the interface a high-end look, but the software occasionally lags, and accessing simple features sometimes requires wading through submenus.
Lucid assures us that enhancements are on the way via over-the-air updates and says that as many as 17 updates have already been pushed out to customer cars since the Air’s launch. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on the list to be added to the infotainment system but haven’t yet been enabled. The unfinished nature of the infotainment software combined with some body creaks and squeaks remind us that this is an early-build car from a brand-new automaker.
Still, as a first stab at luxury EV motoring, the Lucid Air is a mighty impressive piece with many traits both car enthusiasts and technology aficionados will appreciate. Lucid, for the most part, has avoided the temptation of stunt engineering and instead focused on creating a groundbreaking electric car with excellence rooted in performance and efficiency.
2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring
Vehicle Type: front- and mid-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
Base/As Tested: $140,500/$140,500
Front Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC
Rear Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC
Combined Power: 819 hp
Combined Torque: 885 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 112.0 kWh
Onboard Charger: 19.2 kW
Transmissions, F/R: direct-drives
Suspension, F/R: multilink/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 15.0-in vented disc/14.8-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero All Season Elect
245/45R-19 102Y M+S LM1
Wheelbase: 116.5 in
Length: 195.9 in
Width: 76.2 in
Height: 55.4 in
Passenger Volume: 103 ft3
Cargo Volume: 32 ft3
Curb Weight: 5212 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 3.0 sec
100 mph: 6.0 sec
130 mph: 10.3 sec
1/4-Mile: 10.7 sec @ 132 mph
150 mph: 14.3 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 3.7 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 1.6 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.1 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 173 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 193 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 385 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.82 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 82 MPGe
75-mph Highway Range: 410 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 131/130/132 MPGe
Range: 516 mi
- HIGHS: Unprecedented EPA range ratings of up to 520 miles, terrific packaging allows impressive cabin and cargo space, authentic brake-pedal feel.
- LOWS: Largest wheel and tire combo can cause road noise, cumbersome controls impact the driving position, some front seats don’t have foot-space underneath.
- VERDICT: The all-electric Lucid Air is a remarkable first effort from a first-time automaker, and the sizable sedan is also an excellent EV.
With up to 520 miles of EPA-estimated all-electric range and as much as 1111 horsepower, the 2022 Lucid Air aspires to be much more than a mere Tesla rip-off. The first model from startup Lucid Motors boasts an aerodynamic shape that’s functional and fashionable. Its spacious and upscale cabin is covered by a glassy canopy that should help it live up to its atmospheric name.
The Air also mixes practicality with technology, sporting capacious storage options and no shortage of driver assists. Sure, Lucid Air sounds more like an ’80s cover band than a luxury sedan, but the Tesla Model S sounded like an obscure electrical invention from the 19th century when it debuted, so only time will tell how far the 2022 Air ascends.
What’s New for 2022?
While Tesla has established itself as the preeminent EV automaker, Lucid Motors is currently best known for supplying batteries to Formula E race cars. Now, the upstart company looks to challenge luxury alternatives such as the Model S and Porsche Taycan with its all-new 2022 Air sedan.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We’d steer towards the Touring model. It offers plenty to like and costs significantly less than the Grand Touring trim. The Touring offers 20-inch wheels, genuine leather upholstery, in-dash navigation, and 406 miles of estimated driving range per charge. All Lucid models come standard with three years of complimentary charging via the Electrify America charging network.
The fanciest Dream Edition models are officially sold out, but if you want to maximize your luxury—and your out of pocket cost—the Grand Touring trim offers much of the Dream’s panache. Lucid increased the Air’s pricing mid-way through the 2022 model year, so orders placed after June 1st, 2022 will use the pricing detailed above.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
The entry-level Air features a single electric motor that drives the rear wheels and produces 480 horsepower. The rest of the lineup uses dual electric motors that provide all-wheel drive and a set of different horsepower ratings. The Touring model generates 620 horses, the Grand Touring makes 1050. An initial run of limited edition cars, called the Dream Edition and Dream Edition Performance, were good for 933 horsepower and 1111 horsepower, respectively.
Lucid claims the quickest Air can complete the quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds at 144 mph, which is insanely quick even for high-performance cars. Now that we’ve driven a Dream Edition, we can report that it’s crazy quick and surprisingly agile for its size. Despite riding on conventional steel coil springs rather than air springs, the sedan felt calm and smooth in the appropriately named Smooth drive mode.
We also appreciated the natural feel of its brake pedal, which operates separately from the regenerative braking system that was also pleasing to use. Our main complaint was with our example’s 21-inch wheels on low-profile performance tires that produced notable road noise on a section of coarse pavement. At our test track, the Dream Edition Performance model blasted to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds and sailed through the quarter-mile in 10.1 seconds at 142 mph.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The Air has the longest range of any electric vehicle currently on the market, according to EPA estimates. The Dream Edition Range model should go for 520 miles on a single charge, while the Dream Edition Performance should travel about 471 miles. The base Pure and mid-range Touring trims each have an estimated driving range of 406 miles; the Grand Touring model offers up to 516 miles of range.
The Air features a 112.0-kWh battery pack and DC fast-charging capability. Plugged into a fast charger, the sedan is said to be able to recoup 300 miles of range in 20 minutes. New owners will also enjoy three years of free fast-charging at Electrify America charging stations. There’s no cap on how many times owners can charge their cars, as long as it’s used for personal and not commercial purposes.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
The most efficient Air is rated at 131 MPGe combined, and the Performance version is rated at 111 MPGe combined. Once we can run one on our 75-mph highway route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world driving range. For more information about the Air’s efficiency, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Make no mistake, the Air is intended to be a luxury car, and its handsome interior is fitted with rich-looking materials and cutting-edge technology. Lucid is especially proud of the sedan’s expansive passenger space, which is highlighted by a large back seat. While the standard rear seating is said to be comfortable for up to three adults, there’s also an optional Executive Rear Seating option that adds a recline function for ultimate comfort.
The Air’s glass roof that makes it feel even airier and helps outward visibility. The sedan’s front center console looks to provide generous storage space behind the retractable lower touchscreen and inside the large center-console bin, which houses a set of cupholders as well as slots to place a smartphone. We’re also told its front trunk—or frunk—will have 10 cubic feet of volume.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Air is outfitted with a sophisticated infotainment system that incorporates a large upper touchscreen that flows out of the fully digital gauge cluster and a tablet-like lower touchscreen that handles additional functions and can be retracted into the dashboard. Lucid says the system’s voice-recognition software will respond to natural speech patterns.
The interface also has an assistant that learns the user’s preferred music and climate settings. In addition to some physical controls on the steering wheel, there are a set of toggles for temperature and fan speed as well as a roller to adjust the volume of the audio system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Air is offered with an array of driver-assistance technology and the company is working on Level 3 self-driving abilities. The latter won’t initially be available, but through the magic of over-the-air updates, it’s expected to be offered within three years. For more information about the Air’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features should include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Lucid is a startup automaker with no previous products, but its warranty coverage is very similar to Tesla. Neither brand offers complimentary maintenance, though.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring, On Youtube
2022 Lucid Motors Lucid Air Grand Touring Walk-around Video
2022 Lucid Air Review // Tesla’s Living Nightmare
2022 Lucid Air Review | Range and Performance Test of the Lucid Air Sedan | Price, Range & More
2022 Lucid Air // S-Class Luxury Meets Tesla Plaid Performance! (In-Depth Review)