Jay Leno Has a Lot to Say About the Lucid

There’s been a lot of buzz about Lucid, the new electric-car startup that has been taking the automotive industry by storm. As the company’s first offering, Lucid Air received thousands of reservations for the inaugural model and has drawn the interest of industry reviewers like Jay Leno.

A rising company

Jay Leno standing in front of a light blue background dressed in a black suit, white shirt, and a light red tie with dark red diamond outlines on it.
Jay Leno | Getty Images

Late in 2021, company executives had an optimistic outlook for the upstart automaker, noting a sharp increase in reservations for the Lucid Air. Lucid also announced plans to increase output from its Arizona factory. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, in the third quarter of 2021, the Newark, California startup reported a net loss of $524 million. In late September, the loss was partly caused by higher costs in starting production and an expanded need for additional employees and service operations. 

The company reported that it raised $4.4 billion due to a reverse merger deal. The arrangement allowed the automaker to go public in the summer. It also provided enough revenue to boost operations through 2022.

It also didn’t hurt that Motor Trend named the Lucid Air its Car of the Year in November. It marked the first time a new car company’s debut vehicle had ever received the prestigious award. The rise of Lucid’s market value comes when many startups in the auto industry are showing up to challenge established automakers.

Jay Leno’s take on the Lucid

In January, in an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, he explained that he was excited about all the new automakers we’re seeing in today’s market. He likes that Lucid is an American automaker producing vehicles and employing American workers. Derrick Jenkins, the VP of Design at Lucid, was his guest for the episode.

Leno talked about the Dream Edition of Lucid Air, available in either Performance or Range. One is faster, and one has better battery longevity. In time, there will be multiple trim levels available

Enthusiasm for the Dream Edition isn’t expected to wane any time soon, according to autoevolution. The Performance model has as much as 471 miles of range and can go from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 2.5 seconds with an impressive power output of 1,111 hp.

The Range models aren’t slacking, with a power output of 933 hp and as much as 520 miles of range. They can get to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds. Both versions get 1,025 lb-ft of torque.

The former Tonight Show host drove the Lucid Air Dream Edition and appreciated the thrilling ride. He found it has excellent overall maneuverability and handling and stunning performance. Leno was also impressed that it had more legroom than the Mercedes S-Class, which has a longer wheelbase.

The Lucid Air is midsize, not a large sedan, contrary to popular belief. Even so, it has a generous wheelbase and smart underpinnings. It’s a four-wheel-drive with two motors made in-house by Lucid.

Leno talks EVs

Leno appreciated the ride quality of the Dream Edition. He was impressed with how light it felt when in truth, he guessed its curb weight was likely over 1,000 pounds heavier than the Dodge Hellcat. 

He recalled an early Mercedes EV that didn’t start from scratch as Lucid Air did. Leno explained it had been built on a chassis likely from a combustion engine car and adapted it. As a result, the engine was too high, and the effort was nearly futile.

Compared with its rivals, it’s hard to find any weaknesses with the new Lucid Air Dream Edition. The automaker’s executives are focused on boosting the production of the Lucid Air, which industry experts feel will be a direct competitor for Tesla. Its second model, an all-electric SUV called Gravity, is anticipated for the 2023 model year.

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