Lucid became the first ever automaker to have their debut model named Motor Trend Car of the Year on Monday. The Air began shipping just last month but is already distancing itself from the increasingly crowded EV market.
The Air boasts an EPA-rated range of 517 miles – enough to make it from Lucid’s San Francisco Bay Area headquarters to Tijuana – and a base price of $77,400, making it the most expensive winner of the prestigious award in its 52-year history.
Motor Trend is also putting itself out on a bit of a limb with the announcement, as the 14-year old automaker only plans to make about 500 Airs this year before ramping up production next year. Lucid also announced development has begun on a SUV model, the Gravity, with a 2023 targeted delivery.
An Engineering Marvel with a Shocking Sticker
The Air is host to some truly fresh and fascinating engineering innovations. Using design and construction tricks inspired by Formula 1 cars and Dyson vacuum cleaners, Lucid was able to get the drag coefficient of the Air down to a staggering .200.
Engineers also have squeezed a stunning 670 hp from its 163 pound motor – nearly three times the efficiency of the Tesla S powertrain – and the Dream P edition will crank out a face-melting 1100 hp.
The Air also employs revolutionary battery compartment and cooling duct designs along with a 900 volt electrical system.
All of this technology does no good if the batteries are always depleted, but Lucid has that covered too, with a charging system that can provide 300 miles of range on a 20-minute charge.
All of these specifications are undoubtedly impressive, and Lucid deserves all the credit coming to them for the innovations they’ve brought to market.
But Motor Trend has given perhaps the auto industry’s most important award to a model that, at north of $160,000 for the maxed-out version, is well beyond the reach of the average consumer.
And while the Air certainly delivers performance for the steep sticker price, it is hard to see how a manufacturer that can barely get its cars to customers deserves this award this year.