We were able to board the Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance, this sedan made in the USA. We give you our first impressions!
One of the rivals of Tesla (and its Model S) the most anticipated is the Californian start-up Lucid, whose first copies of its Air are delivered across the Atlantic while Europe is in focus for this year. Does it actually keep the same promises as in the photo? We boarded the Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Sleek and stylish, the Lucid Air? It is in the photo and it transforms the test with mastery when it is discovered for the first time in person, among so many automotive beauties presented over the stands and aisles of the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. The large American sedan, signed by designer Derek Jenkins (ex-Mazda), confirms the elegance of its lines seen so many photos and videos so far. The long aerodynamic body of the Californian limousine (coefficient of drag of 0.21 Cd, length of 4.97 m) is somewhat reminiscent in the treatment of its quarter panel, with a contrasting roof coming to be stowed on the rear wings, the Alpine A110, while the Air logo is somewhat reminiscent of the French “A”.
But the (flattering) comparison ends there. Sporty, very mature and elegant and far from the heaviness of some cars of this size, the American seduces easily. The one that was named car of the year by US MotorTrend magazine is capable of recovering 400 km of autonomy in just 15 minutes (system operating under more than 900 volts obliges, capable of fast DC charging at an output of 300 kW), while in AC it peaks at 22 kW. It supports bidirectional charging to power equipment at 220 volts.
America obliges, it displays an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h of only 2.7 seconds. Sticking potential customers to the seats is a must, especially if they have had the opportunity to play with a Model S Poster… The maximum speed can reach 270 km/h.
In the passenger compartment, we are first struck by the panoramic roof extending directly from the windscreen, which gives an incredible sensation of luminosity, recalling more spectacularly what Citroën had done on its Picasso minivan. At the same time, the visual purity of the whole is somewhat spoiled by the sun visors and the location of the driving aid sensors and the interior mirror.
The shape of the 34-inch, 5K definition instrument screen, elongated and rounded, is furiously reminiscent of the Porsche Taycan. In the same way, some control buttons are integrated there, for the headlights or the defrost among other functionalities. It is complemented by a beautiful vertical screen in the central console, hyper responsive and displaying beautiful graphics.
The organization of the menus seems clear and easy to access at first glance. Here, a virtual button opens the glove box – as a wink so as not to disorient Tesla owners. On the other hand, here, all the commands are not digital and there are still a lot of physical keys to adjust the air conditioning or the volume of the sound system, for example.
The quality of the plastics, the assemblies, the feeling of these buttons, everything exudes seriousness and care in manufacturing. The quality manager for Europe (a German) with whom we were able to speak assured us that everything was still in progress and would be absolutely flawless. The first versions delivered are indeed likely to be impressive, avoiding all the recurring criticism to which Tesla is entitled, faced with the perceived quality of premium brands, German in particular.
In the rear seats, if the legroom allowed by the very long wheelbase (distance between the front and rear wheels) of almost 3 m is very generous, the high floor to make room for the battery bed obliges, as (too much) often a slightly uncomfortable position of the legs, too elevated. Fortunately, they can be extended by placing the feet under the front seats to relax. The headroom is sufficient for large adults. As often, the central place is sacrificed to install a beautiful armrest with storage and the essential cup holders. Result, once this set is identified, the backrest is too hard to consider a long comfortable trip.
A very strangely shaped chest
The classic opening rear boot (without tailgate, with a trunk) offers a volume limited to 456 l including the deep under-boot, which is very average given the size of the car. It is completed with a frunk (trunk under the front bonnet) given for the largest in the world. With 200 l it indeed offers a good complement. But it will be better to favor soft bags rather than large rigid suitcases to leave on board the Air.
Price and availability
Today marketed in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands for an arrival scheduled for the end of the year, she should reach our French territory next year. Its price across the Rhine climbs to 218,000 euros in the Air Dream Edition versionwith 1,111 horsepower and 780 kilometers of autonomy (Performance variant) or “only” 935 horsepower and still, 900 kilometers of potential distance for the Range variant.
In the United States, the Air starts at $87,400 in the entry-level Pure version (i.e. $10,000 more than the first price announced at launch) with 620 hp and 650 km of autonomy, which is already a nice spec sheet. This will also join our market in the long term, when the entire range has picked up its stride and should be marketed. around 100,000 euros in Europe.
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