Hybrids & Electrics

Lucid Air Performance Testing Just Turned Into Another Competition With Tesla

The Lucid Air Dream model is scheduled for release next spring, and it has been undergoing testing at Laguna Seca — a racetrack that just happens to be local to both Lucid and Tesla. Operating in such close proximity, it’s inevitable for these two luxury EV brands to have a healthy rivalry. Regardless of which automaker you favor, though, there’s no doubt that the Lucid Air should be an exciting addition to the market. Here’s what we know so far, according to reports from Car and Driver.

The Lucid Air’s early performance

Although it’s still in its beta phase, Lucid has been testing the Lucid Air Dream Edition at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. According to Car and Driver, the Air showed quite a bit of promise during its September tests. While it’s clear the vehicle is still in its early stages — it’s weighed down by the large battery pack, and its chassis is only around 60 percent finished — the Air accelerated rapidly and handled fairly well on the track, hitting 120 mph.

It’s worth noting that the Lucid Air is designed to be a luxury sedan, not a race car. However, the automaker aims to tune the Air so that it can perform just as well at Laguna Seca as it can on standard roads.

Competition between Lucid and Tesla

RELATED: Is the 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid a Direct Response to the Lucid Air?

They may not often acknowledge it openly, but Lucid and Tesla sharing a track is grounds for some heavy competition. Although Lucid representatives told Car and Driver that Laguna Seca is simply the most convenient local track option, the Lucid Air and the Tesla Model S Plaid are both currently being tested there, and Lucid has good cause to want to one-up Tesla.

Both of these popular automakers are targeting the same demographic, creating speedy, luxurious EVs. While Tesla is well established in the industry, however, Lucid is just getting started. Tuning its first vehicle to perform well on the same track as Tesla is an excellent way for Lucid to ensure that it can hold its own against one of its biggest rivals.

There are some clear parallels between the Model S and the Air. Both are tri-motor EVs with similar ranges and jaw-dropping horsepower — 1,100 hp for the Model S, 1,300 hp for the Air performance model, and 1,080 hp for the Air Dream model.

To make things even more interesting, many Lucid designers and engineers are former Tesla employees. Peter Rawlinson, Lucid’s CEO, was even head engineer of the Model S. With this in mind, Car and Driver observes, it’s easy to see where the similarities between the two automakers come from.

What we can expect from the Air

Although there hasn’t been a significant amount of information released about the Lucid Air, we do know a few things. The Dream model is set to be released in the spring of 2021, with a starting price of approximately $169,000. The more powerful performance model should come slightly later, near the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022.

The Lucid Air is reported to charge extremely quickly, regaining 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes. Because of its low drag coefficient, the Air has an impressive 517-mile range and an ability to accelerate extremely rapidly. Lucid reports that the Air also performed a 9.2-second standing quarter-mile at the Bay Area’s Sonoma Raceway.

For anyone interested in the future of EVs, Lucid is definitely a brand to watch. The Air’s release may still be a few months away, but early reports all indicate that this luxurious vehicle is determined to give Tesla a run for its money.