Second impression of the Lucid Air, and a Test Ride (and video.)

On Saturday morning, I drove to meet the Lucid Air at Cars and Coffee Aliso Viejo. It was a great first impression. I had a good feel for the car, but I was really looking forward to the day after that Cars and Coffee because I was lucky enough to score an invite to one of two Test Ride EVents that Lucid had scheduled last weekend.

The first one was later on Saturday evening at the Petersen Automotive Museum and the second was at a private residence in Newport Beach. Since my wife and I were occupied on Saturday evening, we made plans to join Lucid on Sunday afternoon.

My original invite to the event was as a “plus one” for another friend who was invited as well. We had made plans to carpool down to the event, so I asked if my wife can join us as well, and he was cool to pick us both up.  It was a treat, because he was planning on taking his Model X to the event, and I’ve had limited time riding in any Model X.

So, we met at our house and he drove us down to the event.

Seeing those banners at the side of the road meant that we’ve landed at the right place.

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To call the place that Lucid was using for this party a “house” is like calling the Model S a “golf cart.”  Apparently the home was being sold for $55 Million dollars.  (supposedly at a loss as I overheard something to the effect of $150 Million for the purchase price.)  This figure is unconfirmed, whereas the $55 Million price was the ask for the listing.

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The walk down the driveway was long enough that Lucid provided golf carts to shuttle us from the entrance down to the house.

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It was such an opulent setting for a party, I felt like I was vying for a “rose” at the end of the party 😜.

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To the left of the house was where a large screen was set up for the presentation. But before the presentation, we get to explore and mingle.

First stop was to talk motors with David, the Director for Powertrain.  He spent some time explaining the 400 HP front and 600 HP rear motors.  The initial motor that they were developing  is doing something with the magnets that were “normal” and the subsequent motors were going to be doing something else with the magnets that would make them even more powerful.  If I had been more technical, I would have remembered what he said.  Unfortunately, that was several days ago, and I’m sure that I’ll hear about it again before the cars are released.  He was also showing off how small these motors were, even though they were pretty powerful.

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This next shot shows the gears that drive the wheels and makes the car go!

 

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After talking motors with David, we headed through the house to the back porch where Lucid had set up some virtual mockups of the interior and a Virtual Reality (VR) of the ride experience.

 

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To the right of the patio was a mock up of the driver cluster and infotainment cluster.

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Having seen the actual prototype the day before, it was laid out sans steering wheel.

 

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There were several interior trim samples.  The packages were named after some of the ritzier cities in California (Santa Monica, Tahoe, etc.)

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There was also a virtual reality experience. I tend to get dizzy with those, so I skipped it.

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There was also some cheese and fruit setting in the back, but I was there for car stuff, so I skipped those.

We were given a fair warning that the presentation was to start, so we headed back to the front and where the screen was.

I decided to take a panoramic of the front driveway.

 

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And then another panoramic from the front back to the house.

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Then the presentation started.  We were taken on the Lucid journey by three members of Lucid’s management team.

First up was Zak Edson, Director of Marketing.

 

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Followed by Derek Jenkins, Vice President of Design.

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Then finally by Peter Rawlinson, Chief Technology Officer.  He had this funny slide explaining Horse Power and describing the shrinking size of HP from the first horse to ICE engines to the Lucid Motor.

 

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This slide shows where the LIDAR (4 of them) and cameras are that will enable the Air to get to autonomy when that is offered.

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And rather than use a drop-cloth to do the reveal of the Lucid Air to this crowd (as they had done at the Petersen Museum event the night before).  Lucid actually drove the Show Prototype down the driveway to the crowd below   IMG_0940

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It’s a nice looking design in front.  I don’t really like the rear exterior of the car, but it still looked great.

In discussing the Show Prototype with several of the other Lucid Design members, I found out that these 22″ tires are special ones that are for the show car, but probably won’t make the production car.

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Apparently, Pirelli had these laying around, but not producing them.  Still looks great, but knowing how much tires cost and how often they’re replaced on aggressively driven EVs, I would opt for a more sensible sized wheel and tire combination.

So, after a full day of waiting.  I finally got to actually go in and experience the interior of the Show Prototype…  Especially the rear passenger seats in the Executive Seating package.

 

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As I previously mentioned, the trim packages are named after “ritzy” California cities…  The Show Prototype is named after Santa Cruz.   (No San Quentins or Alcatraz Islands here. 😜)

 

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Here is your author fully reclining in the executive seats of the Show Prototype taking a selfie.  It’s like being in a business class seat.  Not fully lay flat, but pretty darn comfortable.

 

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The Lucid Executive Seat controls are a touch panel in the center, shared by both passengers.

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Which means it would be easy to program other functions to it.

Here is my seatmate on the left adjusting his seats…

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The view of the front from the back seats.

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A dedicated vent for air…  I like that.  Don’t have to share.  Just wonder how strong it is.

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A great shot of someone else in the back seat with the leg support extended.

 

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After lounging in the back, it was my turn in the front seat of the Show Prototype without having to sit awkwardly to avoid getting dirt in it because of the damp weather from Saturday.

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The infotainment screen in the middle.

 

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Some cool looking diagnostics…

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Lots of range left.

 

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The footwell is pretty standard, though looks like some loose wires to the left.

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Nice touchscreen to the right to dynamically change the driving style of the car. This menu is a little less accessible on the Model S (under current releases.)

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And the functionality, as with many touch screens can be changed.

 

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Back to the infotainment…

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Love the fact that the creep can be turned on and off.  (I prefer to drive with it off.)  It also looks like they’re using air suspension.

 

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Obviously a mock up on the Show Prototype…

 

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We’re in Newport Beach, CA, not the Bay Area.

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Lots of configurable options on the displays… Not sure how many are actually implemented.

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Error codes?
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After checking out the car, I went to stand in line for the test rides.

But while waiting, they opened the front trunk (they were not using the “frunk” nomenclature), so my wife held our place in line and I ran over to take some pictures of the front trunk.

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That’s a deep front trunk.

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We then jumped back in line for Prototype 2… Apparently there were some issues with Prototype 4 from the previous evening, so we’re down to one prototype for the drive events.
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If you remember from the article on Cars and Coffee, Prototype 2 had the bench seating and Prototype 4 had the prototype executive seating.

After a little wait, we got to ride in the car…

I’m in the rear passenger side seat and here I am getting my iPhone ready to take photos.

 

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My better half shot this video…

Some stills from me.

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When we got back, we hung out with some friends and soaked up more of the atmosphere…

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Had to take the “car in the background” shot…  It’s a beautiful, sunny Southern California day, so have to look good while hanging out in the sun.

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A few more car shots…

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The Lucid Air looked great yesterday, but it looks even better with more light.

While we were chatting with friends.  Someone finally managed to get the trunk opened, and I ran over to take some pictures of that.

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That grey floor cover can be removed.

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So, I guess the drawback is hauling space in the executive seat option. The Model S does a better job of that.

And with that, we bid adieu to our friends.

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We took the golf cart back to valet and said farewell to the awesome house that the party was held at.

 

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While we were waiting for the valet to bring our friend’s Model X up… Prototype 2 passed us again…

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The sun was setting over the Pacific Ocean as we headed back home.

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Overall, I would say that if we decided to go for the executive seat option, Lucid has made a car that I would prefer to have someone else drive me around in than drive myself in.  The power at 40% is great, but I’m all about the range.

Additionally, the Lucid folks recognize that they have to get a deal done for DC Fast charging and I’m rooting that Tesla works with them to let them into the Supercharger network.  Otherwise, it’s a longer climb for Lucid to get there.

Published by

Dennis

rEVolutionary armed with a Tesla Model S S85 and a Tesla Roadster, when his wife let’s him borrow it. Formerly driving a BMW Active E (2012-Feb to 2014-Feb).

Dennis has been driving EVs since he found himself on the BMW Active E trials on February 2012. As a result of his involvement in the Active E program, he became Accidentally Environmental. Aside from this blog, he often tweets @dennis_p. When not driving, he can be found on the following Tesla/EV forums – teslamotorsclub.com, teslamotors.com, and model3ownersclub.com as AEdennis or on speakev.com as Dennis. In the interest of full disclosure, Dennis has an inherent bias toward electric vehicles and has an investment in and is LONG Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

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