Range is the most significant performance aspect in an electric car, more than any other measure. That's why we put EV range to the test in a real-world setting, at 75 mph on the highway. In recent testing, we discovered a new long-distance champion: the Lucid Air Grand Touring, which managed 410 miles.
Even though it was only a pre-production car, the Lucid Air Dream Edition wowed me earlier this year. Well, the carmaker spent time behind the wheel of its latest top-of-the-line Grand Touring Performance model, which came equipped with all the necessary hardware and software. This is a Lucid that you can purchase, however, the starting price is $179,000. We must state that it has exceeded our expectations.
The Lucid dethroned the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus, which achieved 320 miles and is the first EV in our hands to reach 400 miles.
A large battery pack is essential for obtaining a large range number, and the Air has one, with a pack that ranges from 112.0 kWh in the Grand Touring model we drove to 118.0 kWh in other trim levels. (The battery packs in the less costly Touring and Pure versions that are slated to enter the range will be smaller.) But the Air's outstanding performance is due to more than simply a large number of cells.
The Air also boasts a wind-cheating design, which reduces the amount of energy required to propel it down the road. In comparison to the Tesla Model S, the Air uses 12 to 25% less electricity to sustain highway speeds.
The Grand Touring and Grand Touring Performance fulfill Lucid's promise to dethrone German performance sedans with an all-electric vehicle. The electric carmaker was so confident of the 1,050 horsepower Performance trim level that it entered it in the Goodwood Festival hill climb and won the production vehicle category.
The normal $154,000 Grand Touring variant is a little slower — it takes 3 seconds to reach 60 mph instead of 2.6 seconds in the Performance — but it has an additional 70 miles of range (516 overall, compared to the Performance's 446). At these prices, the Lucid remains out of range for most Americans but one can only Dream.