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Lucid Air Touring first drive: This model could be the one to splurge on

Another version of the Lucid Air is reaching reservation holders, so naturally, that means it was also time for me to get behind the wheel of it and test it for myself. My latest Lucid EV loan was with the Touring – the third in the lineup and second most affordable option behind the Air Pure. I’ve pushed the Air Dream Edition’s 1,111 horsepower out on the highways of Arizona and have driven the Air Grand Touring up the California coast, but the Touring might just offer the most bang for your buck.

The Touring was part of the original four models of the Air announced by Lucid Motors before production even began. That journey kicked off with the limited-run Dream Edition, followed by the Air Grand Touring.

Lucid has since introduced a Performance version of the Grand Touring, as well as a freaky fast tri-motor Air called Sapphire. I’m admittedly frothing at the mouth to experience the 2.6 second 0-60 mph the Sapphire is touting, but recently I had to “settle” for the Touring. Poor me.

That being said, I was not disappointed.

In fact, having driven two of the three higher-end models of the Lucid Air, I would now argue that the Touring is the best option, given the luxury and performance you still get but at a lower MSRP. Don’t get it twisted, though – this all-electric sedan still starts north of $100k, so a small segment of consumers will be in the market for one.

Still, if you’ve got the money, Touring is worth a look. Here are my thoughts.

The Air Touring stays true to Lucid’s design and performance

The Touring is a Lucid Air in every sense, from its sleek aerodynamic exterior to the strategic blend of touchscreens and physical buttons inside and meticulously curated textiles throughout.

As the second most affordable model currently available, the Touring is not the fastest, nor does it go the furthest – but it’s still a Lucid Air, where the specs still top nearly every other EV on the road, with unmatched efficiency to boot.

Let’s start with some pertinent specs just to give you a feel for what I was working with as I cruised up and down the winding roads of Palos Verdes in less-than-ideal weather this past week:

  • Powertrain: Dual Permanent-Magnet Electric, All-Wheel Drive
  • Power: 620 bhp
  • Torque: 885 lb.-ft.
  • Battery Capacity: 92 kWh
  • Platform Architecture: 700V+
  • DC Charge Rate: Up to 250 kW
  • Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds
  • EPA Est. Range: 425 miles (19″ wheels)
  • Efficiency: 4.6 mi/kWh (19″ wheels)

No matter what model of the Lucid Air you’re in, the acceleration is an absolute thrill. Anything under 3.5 seconds is good in my book, but I’ve been spoiled in recent years with nasty all-electric speed, and I’m not going back to 4+ seconds, OK?

As I’ve mentioned countless times, I’m a huge proponent of stiff regenerative braking and love one-pedal driving. I don’t ever want to use the brake anymore, and the Lucid Air Touring allows for that. The American automaker has some of the best regen in the game, in my opinion. Not only does the EV come to a complete stop when you let off the accelerator, but it stays there.

If you’re into rolling when stopped, you can turn that setting on, but I personally have zero use for it. The design of the one-pedal driving doesn’t end at stop lights; its overall feel is easily the most comfortable and responsive I’ve come across in all my drives. A slight push of the ankle forward on the accelerator or backing off to create space is instant and seamless, adding welcomed joy to driving through the ebbs and flows of tenacious LA traffic.

The sedan drives as intuitively as you want without delay, like you almost become one with it as your muscular instincts move to push forward or slow down. I know that’s a lot of time spent talking about regenerative braking, but that was my biggest takeaway this go around, and it’s something you should absolutely seek out to experience for yourself, even if it’s just a test drive.

Onto the interior.

With my Air Touring, it was the first time I got to see Lucid’s Tahoe interior design, which is hands down my favorite to date. I don’t think it would fit every exterior color of the sedan, but its caramel sustainably sourced leather beautifully compliments the Infinite Black exterior and the darker materials of the front seat.

Top comment by Dr. Chaos

Liked by 14 people

I like the exterior. I see some others are not feeling it, but I get what they're going for: minimalist elegance. As soon as I can afford the $10 million modernist home that needs to go with it, I'm buying one of these.

View all comments

Spaceship cockpit up front, business lounge in the back: All the Lucid Airs feature this unique separation of passenger spaces using color and materials that deliver two separate spins on luxury.

Lucid has rolled out a few OTA updates since my last drive, so I found the overall software and UX a lot less buggy. I connected my phone via Bluetooth with ease but still had some trouble using the Tidal app and getting my music to begin playing again after I had exited the EV, locked it, and returned later. Minor issues.

Overall, the Lucid Air Touring was a joy to drive, despite Mother Nature’s best attempts to thwart my acceleration at any open opportunity. I found its performance miles beyond ample and didn’t really miss any of the additional bells and whistles present on higher-tier models of the sedan. For that reason, I feel like this may be the sweet spot for consumers interested in the Air.

I can’t say for certain, however, until I drive the Air Pure and get a chance to push Sapphire to its my limit. Those opportunities are sure to come this year, so stay tuned for the next one!

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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