Flawed though they are, it’s impossible to deny the impact Tesla’s models have had on the state of electric cars. But Tesla is no longer the only premium EV source in town. Nor is the Model S Plaid the only choice for a performance American EV. At long last, the 2022 Lucid Air is hitting the road. And as the YouTube team Throttle House discusses in their latest video, the 2022 Air Dream Edition P isn’t just a brilliant electric car—it’s also “Tesla’s living nightmare.”
‘P’ stands for ‘Performance,’ and the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition P has plenty of it
|2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition P|
|Motor arrangement||Front and rear permanent-magnet electric motors|
|Battery capacity||118 kWh|
|Range (EPA estimate)||417 miles|
|Curb weight||5266 lbs (MotorTrend)|
|0-60 mph time||2.5 seconds|
Although Lucid will eventually offer the Air in four different trims, for now, the range-topping Dream Edition is the only one available. However, in terms of on-paper specs, the California-based company is definitely leading with its best player. And the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition P is aiming straight at the Model S Plaid.
The Dream Edition P is one of two Dream Edition models, the other being the R, for ‘Range.’ As the acronyms imply, the R has more range, though it ‘only’ makes 933 hp. Though considering it has an EPA-estimated 520-mile range, that’s not exactly a problem. But if potential Lucid Air owners want to embarrass some Plaid owners, the Dream Edition P is the one to get.
Compared to the Tesla Model S Plaid, the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition P makes 25 less lb-ft of torque and is 400-odd pounds heavier. But it has 91 more horsepower, 18 more kWh of battery capacity, and 123 more miles of range than the Model S Plaid. And it does so with one less motor. Though admittedly, both EVs require some prep-work before they make maximum power, MotorTrend notes.
However, the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition P soundly beats the Tesla in another speed test: charging speed. Admittedly, the Model S Plaid’s ability to charge at 250 kW for up to five minutes is impressive. But the Dream Edition P can charge at up to 300 kW, MT reports. That makes it the fastest-charging EV on sale today.
The 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition P rises to the Tesla Model S Plaid’s challenge and then some
An efficient powertrain and high charging speeds are two reasons why the 2022 Lucid Air won MotorTrend’s Car of the Year award. But as the Throttle House hosts discovered in their recent drive, the EV has more to offer.
For one, although the Air is noticeably heavier than the Plaid, it’s still “shockingly quick” when you put your foot down, TH notes. And while it’s no sports car, the Air handles surprisingly well for such a heavy vehicle, Car and Driver says. That’s partially thanks to the battery pack giving the aluminum-chassis car a low center of gravity. This, as well as the adaptive dampers, also mean the Air’s handling doesn’t come at the expense of ride quality. Overall, this is a luxury EV you feel confident about canyon-carving in, TH says.
Furthermore, although the Lucid Air Dream Edition P doesn’t have a performance brake package, it doesn’t need one. An ex-Formula 1 engineer designed the Air’s well-ventilated multi-piston setup with standard stainless-steel brake lines. So, with any luck, it won’t boil its brakes like the Model S Plaid. And the brake pedal itself delivers “crisp, firm” feedback, TH reports, which adds to driver confidence.
Speaking of driving, the Air has a normal, two-spoke steering wheel. It may look cool to some, but the Model S Plaid’s steering ‘yoke’ simply isn’t conducive to safe driving. Nor is it intuitive, which can’t be said of the Lucid Air’s interior. You don’t “have to guess anything” when you get inside the Air, TH notes. The multiple displays are clear, well organized, and the lower display folds away if you don’t need it.
Admittedly, the car Throttle House drove had some pre-production quirks and creaks. But overall, the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition P isn’t just a worthy Tesla rival—it arguably does some things better.
The price and charging infrastructure still hold Lucid’s EV back for now
However, that’s to be expected given how much it costs. True, Dream Edition reservations are already closed, but still, the P costs $170,500. And while cheaper Lucid Air cars are incoming, even the least expensive version will start around $80,000. Tesla at least offers the more affordable Model 3.
Tesla also has its Supercharger charging station network, a “trust fund” that gives all Teslas a leg up in the EV market, Throttle House notes. Lucid does offer three years of free Electrify America charging, but it’s not quite as extensive. At least, not yet.
Still, it’s clear that the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition P is a compelling alternative to a Tesla Model S Plaid. And it’s also a wake-up call not just for Tesla, but other EV-focused automakers, too. This is one dream that some owners might not want to wake up from.
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