The Lucid Air is an Ode to California Luxury

With a mix of nature-inspired palettes and the latest technology, Lucid’s flagship sedan is a rolling homage to the Golden State




It’s midday in Half Moon Bay, and the gray of morning begins to dissipate. Rays of sunlight permeate the haze, casting a warm glow over the deep blue waves breaking against a craggy coastline.

It’s moments like these that designers at LUCID MOTORS aimed to capture inside the Air, the company’s flagship luxury sedan. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, not far from Facebook and that other electric car company, Lucid has not only engineered some of the most powerful and efficient EVs on the road, but has also imbued them with an understated elegance befitting its native California.

“We wanted to take inspiration from our home state,” says Derek Jenkins, senior vice president of design and brand. “We looked at iconic locations during particular times of day and really let the landscape influence our colors and material.”

Inspired by architecture and mid-century modern furniture, the Lucid interior is structured, elegant, and understated. The Santa Cruz color palette echoes that time of day when the fog burns off over the shoreline. Shades of cream contrast against black leather front seats like white beaches against a cool, dark ocean. Tan piping and American Walnut add a touch of warmth. Other curated interior choices include Tahoe, inspired by golden hour at the famous lake and Mojave, a darker palette meant to capture the essence of the desert one minute before midnight. Many materials are sustainable, including leather that’s a by-product of the meat industry (from grass-fed, free-roaming cows) and fabric that’s made with a high percentage of recycled content. Look closer and you’ll find little California bear emblems in strategic locations around the cabin.



But the car is not just pretty; it also has technical chops that include one of the most compact and efficient powertrains, which means less weight and more range. Models range from the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive Pure with 430 hp (from $69,900) to the three-motor, high-performance Sapphire (from $249,000), which boasts 1,234 hp and a 0-to-60 mph time of just 1.89 seconds, edging out Tesla to make it the fastest production EV currently on the market. Range varies by model from 410 miles for the entry-level Pure to 516 miles for the Grand Touring.

On the winding roads of Skyline Boulevard, driving the Air feels effortless with instant torque and smooth acceleration. Even the Pure model in the sporty “Swift” mode is plenty powerful to enjoy the serpentine skyway. A sweeping driver’s display makes navigation and other information easy to see, and a center portrait-style display offers real estate for more features and settings — although the screen sits a bit low to glance at during a spirited jaunt. When parked, the screen flips up to reveal secure, hidden storage space, large enough for a wallet or small bag. Lucid’s electric architecture means plenty of leg- and headroom for rear-seat passengers, as well as copious trunk and “frunk” space. In all, the Air offers interior dimensions similar to a Mercedes S-Class, with a footprint of the smaller E-Class. On the road as well as in the parking lot, the Lucid Air whispers while other cars shout.

But the sedan is only the beginning for Lucid; last November the company unveiled its large SUV, Gravity, which despite its taller, roomier dimensions, maintains much of the Air’s sleek design language — the antithesis, you might say, of a certain contemporaneous trapezoidal doom-truck. Gravity will be manufactured at the company’s massive 4-million-square-foot factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, with deliveries expected to begin at the end of this year. Two midsize crossovers will follow later, slated for the end of 2026. It’s a coming out of the fog of sorts for a company that’s been challenged by a pandemic, supply-chain shortages, product delays, and other issues plaguing the automotive industry worldwide. But with fresh new models on the way and the promise of vastly increased production capacity, Lucid is due for its day in the sun.




May 6, 2024

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