Based on its shockingly good straight-line performance, the Air earns two extra points. Its very above-average ride and handling earn it another couple points, for a total of 9. While we base our score on the widely available models, if you’re focusing on the Sapphire it’s hard to argue it’s anything but a perfect 10.
Most of the Lucid Air lineup offers a dual-motor rear-wheel-drive layout, although base Air Pure models come with a single-motor rear-wheel-drive layout and dual-motor AWD is optional.
The Sapphire offers a three-motor layout (two at the rear wheels, one in front).
How fast is the Lucid Air?
Very, very fast—especially if you skip directly to the three-motor Sapphire. An exclusive version costing $250,500. With 1,234 hp and 1,430 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Sapphire lays all that power to the road without the complexity of an air suspension—albeit with bigger brakes, retuned steering boost, grippier tires and advanced stability systems.
Throughout the rest of the lineup, the dual-motor Lucid Air models are all very quick, and while they might not have the punch of the Tesla Model S or Porsche Taycan from a standing start, they make up for it with blistering passing performance. Acceleration numbers range from 4.5 seconds for the Pure down to just 3.0 seconds for the Grand Touring, and Lucid claims just 1.95 seconds for the Sapphire—or 3.9 seconds to 100 mph, if you dare. And if you’re considering that model, of course you do.
Top luxury Grand Touring versions of the Air offer 819 hp from a dual-motor system that can deliver up to 516 miles of range as well as a 3.0-second 0-60 mph time—although not likely at the same time. The Grand Touring Performance sacrifices some range but delivers 1,050 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 2.6 seconds. Air Touring versions make 620 hp, while the base-level Air Pure delivers up to 480 hp and still manages a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds.
The 2024 Lucid Air lineup starts with the 430-hp single-motor Air Pure. Stepping up to the 480-hp rating brings a dual-motor design, as does the 620-hpTouring model. Below the Sapphire is the dual-motor Grand Touring model. For 2024, Lucid is updating this 819-hp version with better thermal management, for longer periods of “spirited driving.”
The Sapphire gets a second motor at the rear wheels for a total of three.
Across the entire lineup, the Air is no performance slouch, with quick, strong, silent acceleration combined with graceful handling. This isn’t a pillowy luxury car, but it’s firm enough to feel athletic when it’s asked to be, and it’s composed and easy to control but not sharp-edged.
On the move, the Air’s ride and handling balance is a pleasant surprise benefitting both the driver and passengers. The Air weighs more than 5,000 pounds in all its variants, yet its ride damps out harshness and heaves, it steers precisely, and it’s nimble and graceful through turns. That’s all the more impressive considering that it skips the air suspension that’s favored by Tesla and much of the luxury EV set. Instead, the Air has semi-active dampers at all four wheels, a mechanically variable steering rack, and confident tracking on the open road.
For Pure, Touring, and Grand Touring versions, Smooth, Swift, and Sprint modes do as promised. Drivers have two regen settings to choose from, the greater offering something close but just short of the one-pedal driving some might prefer. Brake pedal feel and feedback are also especially satisfying and precise. Lucid, like Tesla, sets its motors to recoup energy when you lift off the accelerator, not to blend more in as you press on the brake pedal. The Sapphire performance model also gets Sapphire, Track, Drag Strip, and Endurance modes, with only Drag Strip allowing the full 1,234 hp.