2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring Review: Blue-ribbon relevance

Steven Cole Smith

For the better part of 20 years, Javier has delivered cars from my local media fleet to journalists in Florida. He is unfailingly polite. We make small talk about the weather and his drive home, and he’s gone. We never talk about the cars.

This time was different. Javier handed me the key fob and started to walk away. Then he turned back and said, “This is a good car.”

Javier drives more new cars than anyone I know. When he says a car is “good,” after 20 years of not saying anything about them, it makes an impression.

He was correct. The electric Lucid Air Grand Touring is indeed good, in the sense that Tate’s Chocolate Chip cookies are “tasty,” or Taylor Swift is “popular,” or the Grand Canyon is “pretty.”

The Lucid Air is a great car. Possibly, all told, the best I’ve ever driven. The last time I recall being so impressed with a new model was in 1989, when I drove the 1990 Lexus LS400. Though it was wearing a new brand name, the LS400’s maker, Toyota, was an established, well-regarded car company at that point. The Lucid Air was designed in California and seems to have risen out of nowhere from the dust and sand in Casa Grande, Arizona, where it is built.

I have driven the similar Lucid Air Dream, but only for a day, in California, with little chance to exercise its stunning 1111 horsepower. The Lucid Air Grand Touring has “just” 819 horsepower—more than the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye. (Who  needs that much horsepower? Nobody. Who wants that much horsepower? Me. And presumably Javier.) With all-wheel drive (one motor up front and one in the back) the Air launches like Usain Bolt (not like the Chevrolet Bolt). Our 0 to 60-mph times averaged 3.2 seconds, quick in anybody’s book, and past that speed the Lucid Air keeps pulling with authority.

Those sort of bursts don’t help mileage, of course, but with a jaw-dropping EPA-rated range of 469 miles, there’s electricity to spare. And when it does come time to recharge, the 900-volt architecture makes for quick top-offs using public DC charging infrastructure.

Specs: 2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring

• Price: $138,000 / $155,650 (base/as-tested)
• Powertrain: Dual motors, (one front, one rear); single-speed direct-drive transmission
• Horsepower: 819
• Torque: 885 lb-ft
• Layout: All-wheel drive, five-passenger sedan
• Weight: 5236 lbs
• EPA-rated electric range: 469 miles
• 0–60 mph: 3.2 seconds
• Top speed: 170 mpg (estimate)

Outside, the Lucid Air’s looks are distinctive but understated. People noticed it, but few seemed to recognize it. There’s an, uh, airy glass canopy roof that includes heat and sunlight blocking technology. It even works.

Front seats are lined with Nappa leather, are 20-way adjustable, and feature ventilation and massage. The (heated) rear seats are roomy enough for three adults, but leg room is a bit limited given the footprint of this yacht. Twenty-inch wheels are standard, but ours had 21-inch, 10-spoke “Aero Blade” wheels, a $2000 option, shod with always-capable Pirelli P-Zero rubber. Between the trunk and the frunk, there’s ample usable cargo space.

The paint color, Cosmos Silver, was rich and in some lights had slight gold overtones. It matched the car’s styling very well. Length, at about 196 inches, is an inch shorter than that original Lexus LS, but the Lucid Air, at about 76 inches, is almost four inches wider. There’s plenty of luxury-car-appropriate elbow room.

The 34-inch glass cockpit display screen was immediately familiar to the eye, wrapping around the driver’s field of vision. An iPad-size screen sits between the front seats, handles multiple functions, and is fundamentally intuitive to use for anyone who owns a smartphone. We suspect the standard sound system would be plenty, but our test car had a “Surreal Sound Pro” option that added $4000 to the window sticker.

All this must be viewed, however, through the lens of Lucid’s quarterly earnings report from last month. It wasn’t good. The company missed estimates, deliveries were down, and so was the stock price.

Lucid’s business philosophy has been from the Field of Dreams school, as in “if you build it, they will come.” Buyers, that is. It’s imperative that the company get the car into the hands of potential customers. If you can afford to pay $150,000 and up for an electric luxury car, well, this one is well worth your consideration.

I met a Lucid owner at the local charging station the other night while I was plugging in a Ford F-150 Lightning: He said he felt like he was taking a chance by owning a Lucid Air, but he was so impressed with the car he felt it was worth the risk. I’m not exactly Lucid’s target buyer, but after driving it, I too want to believe.

Lucid Air and Performance edition models
Lucid Motors

2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring

Highs: Impressive engineering, superb build quality, long range, tons of power. Handsome inside and out.

Lows: Middling foot room in the rear. Rough riding over potholes thanks to the low-profile tires. Uncertain future for a brand-new company.

Takeaway: “A good car,” says Javier, a tough critic.




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    Middling rear leg room? Is the reviewer an ex NBA player? The car sits on a Mercedes E class foot print but has an S class amount of room in the back. Yes the floor is a little higher due to the battery pack but I’ve had people over 6 feet in the back of my GT and they’ve raved about the room. I’m 6’ so it’s not like my drivers seat is all the way forward. Just look at the pics you posted. Seriously

    I own a Lucid Air Touring starting at 107k- the best car I ever owned period! Amazing ride and handling. Not a squeak after 3k miles, suspension is the best- and this was achieved without air suspension- listening Tesla/Mercedes! The more I drive this car, the more I love it! Company will be fine, ignore the negativity, product is great and more people will start buying the base models.

    As an enthusiast I’ve always favored perfomance over luxury and never saw the point of S class types of cars if I wasn’t going to be in the back seat of one. This is my idea of luxury as the performance is efforless and the ride is so creamy smooth with the best technology that gets frequently updated with OTA software updates. In the 3 weeks of ownership of my touring, I’ve had three updates that has fixed all the issues with Carplay integration, Highway assisst Level 2 drive assist that were the only issues I could find fault with.
    The interior quality, the lack of NVH and exterior fit and finish is truly specatular for any car company let alone a brand new one with only 2 year of history building cars. Unlike Tesla they don’t appear to be chasing volume above all else. This means they are going to be expensive, but compared to others in it’s class I think it’s a bargain.

    Is there a “review” contained in the words that Stephen Cole Smith was (presumably) paid to assemble above?

    I gather that Javier liked the car; maybe McKeel can hire him to write instead.

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