$150,000 Super Electric Sedans: Lucid Air vs. BMW i7
It’s hard to believe that we live in a world where car companies are already trying to one up the stunning Mercedes Benz EQS. But, in the ultimate electric sedan world, technology moves as fast as these cars do. The EQS is a stunner that set the benchmark, but BMW and Lucid want you to know, too, that they’re tying to lead the pack for your $100,000-plus super sedan.
Lucid Air vs. i7: which looks better?
The Lucid Air is an imposing thing. It’s bigger in person than it looks in pictures. It also simply looks electric and has all the cues of an electric sedan, such as the no-grille front end and wheels with covers to help aerodynamics. BMW can’t get away from its traditional two-kidney grill DNA that’s baked into the BMW design. That means the i7 has two giant The BMW, however, looks a lot like the gas-powered version, so you won’t stand out as much as you do in one of Lucid’s spaceships.
Styling is always subjective. But while Lucid is trying to chase the all-electric spaceship-like look of future cars, BMW is making sure the purists know it comes from Bavaria. Lucids are made in Arizona.
The BMW is larger inside than the Lucid Air
The BMW has a truly Insane amount of space in back with 42 inches of legroom. But, of course it needs that to accommodate the dizzying amount of executive features in the back. Of course the rear seats are heated and cooled, and with an optional package they can recline, and even move the passenger seat forward so one rear seat diva can stretch out. Then, there’s the 31-inch screen that drops down from the roof. Each rear door has an iPad Air-sized screen in the door handles to control the myrad of rear-seat luxury functions, like the theater.
The BMW is a 212-inch-long car, while the Air is “just” 196 inches long. For comparison, a seven-seat Chevy Tahoe truck-based SUV is 211 inches long. That means the Air “only” has 39.5 inches of rear seat room. It, too, has an optional executive package that heats, cools, and reclines the rear seats, but it’s clear which of these super sedans was designed for back seat comfort.
Both the i7 and Air have a stunning amount of tech
Adaptive cruise, giant screens, phone apps and more are all par for the course on cars like this. It’s the party tricks that make the difference, though. There’s a package on the BMW that opens and closes all the doors automatically with buttons, like the Maybach. But, the i7 can also open them with your voice. It also has a clever augmented reality navigation option that lets you see exactly what the upcoming turn on the road looks like.
Speaking of voice control, both of these cars will let you control many of the cars’ functions just by talking. They can both self park, too. The one big advantage the BMW has, for now at least, is that it offers a self-driving package, while Lucid says their version will be available soon with an over-the-air update.
The i7 and Air are full of little luxuries
In the i7 almost evry surface you touch regularly is glass. Really, the iDrive controller knob and the seat controls are glass. It’s a bit gimmicky, but it looks cool. The Lucid’s lower center screen can retract into the dash, which cuts down on distractions and adds space. And, of course, they both offer heated, ventilated, massaging seats.
Both companies recognize that buyers of electric sedans aren’t interested in leather. Instead, the Lucid comes with a sustainable material it calls Mojave PurLuxe leather alternative, and alpaca fur on the dash. The BMW sticks to a dense-weave cloth that, while environmentally friendly, seems out of place in a $150,000 sedan.
The Lucid (can be) a lot more powerful
The Lucid comes in several trims, and each is defined by its motors. The Pure offers 480 horsepower from one motor. While other models have all-wheel drive and ratings from 620 horsepower to 1,111 in the Grand Touring Performance trim, which also means a sub-3.0-second 0-60 time. The Sapphire trim adds a third motor and takes on performance monsters like the Tesla Model S Plaid with 1,200 horsepower, however that trim will set you back $250,00 (at least).
BMW only offers the i7 for now in all-wheel drive, and it’s called the xDrive60. BMW promises the more powerful BMW i7 xDrive70 soon with up to 650 horsepower, according to Wards Auto. In BMW speak, that little “x” means you get all-wheel drive. It’s a two-motor setup and it makes 537 horsepower.
Lucid designed the Air as a luxury car first, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t focus on the ride. Unlike the EQS that has air suspension, the Air has electrically-controlled dampers that can stiffen up when pushed hard. Fun fact: the Air’s suspension had input from a Red Bull Formula 1 engineer.
The BMW does, however, fall short on range. While with fast charging, BMW says you can add 80 miles of range in 10 minutes, its range is 308 miles on a full charge. The Air, however, in base form, has a range of 410 miles, or up to 520 miles in the Dream Edition R.
How much are the BMW i7 and Lucid Air sedans?
The BMW I7 starts at $122,000. But, to get the screens and the automatic doors, get ready to pay $150,000. Like most BMWs, luxury options add up fast on the i7.
The Air Pure starts at $77,400 with 480 horsepower. But, it comes in five trim levels with each adding more power and range. The Touring starts at about $110,000, while the performance pack adds $70,000 to that price. You can also add the new Stealth blackout package.