Our writer Andy Reid is driving a Lucid Air for his time in Arizona for auction week, you can follow the fourth part of his journey here.
Day 5 started with me driving the Lucid to the Bonhams auction and bidding on a few cars there. I ended the day with dinner and then back to the hotel. Keep an eye out on The ClassicCars.com Journal, I’ll have a story about the results of the Bonhams bidding.
Saturday, the final day with the Lucid, saw me heading to the Scottsdale Pavilions car show to show off the car and look at some of the great cars that attend this weekly event. Being at a car show that has a lot of muscle cars with their hoods up, I decided to open the front trunk of the Lucid to help us better fit in.
People loved the car and had tons of questions, which I answered, and I ended up letting a lot of people sit in the car to better experience just how well made and high end the car is. Not a single person had anything but praise for either the styling or quality of the car and it was a hit, somewhat to the frustration of the cars we were parked next to that did not receive much attention.
While at the show I ran into friends from Sweden who come in every year to attend Barrett-Jackson. I asked them if they wanted a test ride and they happily said yes.
Since they had only ever heard about the Lucid and never seen one, I decided it was time to unleash what I call Racing Bear Mode (not the official name). This is the launch control mode available in the highest performance setting called Sprint. You select the Sprint mode in the lower display, hold the brake pedal down and then floor the accelerator. On the right side of the instrument panel you will now see a bear with a checkered flag on the display. I took off with them this mode, and the sounds they made reminded me of a bunch of 11-year old boys at their first scary movie.
The only thing I can compare the maximum acceleration of the Ludic Air with is the feeling of max acceleration in an Indy car. I rode in the 2-seat Indy car with Dan Wheldon at the wheel many years ago and it feels the same on this car. The act of moving your head away from the headrest takes quite a bit of effort when traveling at the car’s max velocity rate. The spooky part is that the acceleration never slows down, but just keeps building until you find yourself in mere seconds traveling at a completely ridiculous velocity. It is not the 0-60 time that is most impressive, but it is what happens after 60 when somehow you are instantly at triple digit speeds and still accelerating. They said that they had never experienced anything approaching that kind of speed and acceleration and were completely blown away. I think at least one of the guys is soon to become a new Lucid owner.
After the Pavilions show we headed back to Barrett-Jackson to see the prime-time cars cross the block. The prices achieved all night were very strong, showing the strength of the market.
We stayed at Barrett-Jackson until quite late and, after watching cars cross the block, we wandered the vendor areas. Here’s a top tip. If you want to see the different vendors, do so later in the evening as they are almost all still open and most of the people attending the event are in (or around the auction room), so the vendor area is not crowded at all. This lack of crowds gave us an interesting opportunity.
There was a display for the Blue Origin spaceship and my friend Joe and I walked up to meet with the people working the booth. After around 10 minutes of space geek conversation, they asked if I wanted to get inside the training capsule to get an idea of what the ride in space is like. Since I am never one to say no to a new experience, I got in and the was treated to a simulated space voyage. Of the many non-car activities I have done at Barrett-Jackson over the last 20 years, this was simply the best one ever by a longshot. The sheer number of neat things you can do and see at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale that are not car related is amazing.
It was getting quite late after five days of auction madness, so we headed home to the hotel for the night.
I have quite a few takeaways from the Lucid Air. First for the complaints: despite it not deemed necessary, I would really like a start/stop button to be able to easily turn the car off.
That’s it. Everything else about the car was literally perfect.
The plus sides could go on forever. As I stated before, the Lucid Air is easily the best built car in the U.S. now and possibly ever. The sheer fit and finish are better than any other US manufacturer and it is a true luxury car of the first order. You can cruise effortlessly in comfort, with an excellent ride, amazing seats, subtle yet luxurious interior materials, and when you look the transparent roof you get a feeling of being happy just by driving the car. It is a car that, due to the spectacular interior design and effortless driving experience, is a kind of serenity capsule. You will notice that the photos of the interior are their own press photos. I used these as mine did not convey just how nice made and designed the interior of the Air is and their photos do.
The ride is also excellent. The Phoenix area where I drove the car has roads that vary from excellent to ones that resemble a recently bombed war zone. No matter which roads the car was on the ride was always comfortable.
The car is also a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde car as the Lucid Air Grand Touring is also a performance car of the first order. It offers performance both in acceleration and handling better than most current supercars and hooks up on the exits of turns like a racecar with a perfect suspension setup, being firm but never too firm and the steering feel and response match the excellent chassis dynamics. That performance transition of sheer unending velocity potential is so extreme that my friends changed the Lucid’s name to Lucifer.
This car does everything you ask in both the comfort and performance and is unlike anything else I have driven. Yes, I have driven the Plaid, but the build quality alone easily makes up for any possible gap in performance between the two cars. The Air to me is the clear winner between it and any Tesla so much so that it is in a category all its own. I feel that if after driving the Air you were to buy the Tesla over the Lucid, you are simply buying into the cult of Tesla and will end up with a much lesser car. The Air is the best EV I have driven and is also the finest American made luxury and performance car ever built.
2023 Lucid Air Grand Touring Sedan
Vehicle type: 4-passenger sedan, all-wheel drive
Base price: $138,000 Price as tested: $154,000
Front Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC
Rear Motor: permanent-magnet synchronous AC
Combined Power: 819 hp
Combined Torque: 885 lb-ft
Wheelbase: 116.5 inches Overall length/width: 195.9 inches / 76.2 inches
Curb weight: 5,212 pounds
Range: 516 Miles
Assembled In: USA