Aboard Lucid Air, this superpowered luxury craft that wants to dethrone the Tesla Model S poster

We were able to board the Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance, this sedan made in the USA. We give you our first impression!

One of Tesla’s (and its Model S) most anticipated rivals is the California start-up Lucid, whose first copies of its Air will be delivered across the Atlantic, while Europe is in the spotlight for this year. Does it actually keep the same promises as in the picture? We boarded the Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance during the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Design

Slim and stylish, Lucid Air? It is in the picture and it transforms the test with mastery when it is first discovered in person among so many car beauties presented at the stands and hallways of the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​in England. The large American sedan, signed by designer Derek Jenkins (ex-Mazda), confirms the elegance of its lines seen so many pictures and videos so far. The Californian limousine’s long aerodynamic body (resistance coefficient of 0.21 Cd, length of 4.97 m) is a bit reminiscent of the treatment of its quarter panel, with a contrast roof that will be stowed on the rear wings, Alpine A110, while the Air logo is a bit reminiscent of the French “A”.

Powerful

But the (flattering) comparison ends there. Sporty, very mature and elegant and far from the weight of some cars of this size, the American seduces easily. The man named Car of the Year by American MotorTrend magazine is able to regain 400 km of autonomy in just 15 minutes (system running below 900 volts commits, capable of fast DC charging at a power of 300 kW), while in AC it peaks at 22 kW. It supports two-way charging for power supply of equipment at 220 volts.

America commits, it shows an acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in just 2.7 seconds. It is a must to put potential customers in the seats, especially if they have had the opportunity to play with a Model S Plaid … The top speed can reach 270 km / h.

Pullman interior

In the cabin we are first hit by panoramic roof that extends directly from the windshield, which gives an incredible sense of brightness, and is more spectacularly reminiscent of what Citroën had done on its Picasso minivan. At the same time, the visual purity of the whole is somewhat spoiled by the sun visors and the location of the driving aids sensors and the interior mirror.

The shape of the 34-inch, 5K definition instrumentation screen, elongated and rounded, is furiously reminiscent of the Porsche Taycan. In the same way, some control buttons are integrated there, for example for the headlights or defrost. It is complemented by a beautiful vertical screen in the center console, hyperresponsive and displays beautiful graphics.

The organization of the menus seems clear and easily accessible at first glance. Here, a virtual button opens the glove compartment – as a wink not to disorient Tesla owners. On the other hand, here all the commands are not digital and there are still many physical keys to e.g. to adjust the air conditioner or sound system volume.

The quality of the plastic, the joints, the feel of these buttons, everything exudes seriousness and care in the manufacture. The Quality Manager for Europe (a German), with whom we were able to speak, assured us that everything was still going on and would be absolutely flawless. The first versions delivered are likely to be impressive and avoid all the recurring criticism that Tesla is entitled to, faced with the perceived quality of premium brands, especially German ones.

On the rear seats, if the legroom allowed by the very long wheelbase (distance between front and rear wheels) of almost 3 m is very generous, the high floor obliges to make room for the battery bed, as (too much) often slightly uncomfortable position of the legs, too swollen. Fortunately, they can be extended by placing your feet under the front seats to relax. The ground clearance is sufficient for large adults. As is often the case, the central space is sacrificed to install a beautiful armrest with storage and the necessary cup holders. Result when this set is identified, the backrest is too hard to consider as a long comfortable ride.

A very strangely shaped breast

The classic open tailgate (without tailgate, with luggage compartment) offers a volume limited to 456 l including the deep lower luggage, which is very average considering the size of the car. It is finished with a frunk (the trunk under the bonnet) given to the largest in the world. With 200 l it is actually a good supplement. But it will be better to prefer soft bags rather than large rigid suitcases to leave on board the Air.

Price and availability

Today marketed in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands for an arrival scheduled for the end of the year, she was to join our French territory next year. Its price across the Rhine is rising 218,000 euros in the Air Dream Edition versionwith 1,111 horsepower and 780 kilometers range (Performance variant) or “only” 935 horsepower and still, 900 kilometers potential distance for the Range variant.

In the US, the Air starts at $ 87,400 in the entry-level Pure version (ie $ 10,000 more than the first price announced at launch) with 620 hp and 650 km of autonomy, which is already a nice spec sheet. It will also be on our market in the longer term, when the entire range has gained momentum and should be marketed around 100,000 euros in Europe.

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