Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance Review: Energizing Electric Elegance

Luxury cars are tasked with effortlessly moving its passengers to and fro, unburdening them from the rigors of their life with a plush ride surrounded by the latest creature comforts and technology that money can buy.

Add in the hush that an electric powertrain offers, combined with the available driving thrills, and it's easy to see why a sedan is such an easy "yes" for high-income individuals.

The Lucid Air Grand Touring and Grand Touring Performance offer two very similar flavors of luxury electric performance for customers looking to be an early adopter of a company that is chock-full of Apple alumni.

The sophisticated exterior of the Air GT and GT P, as they are known internally, are very similar. It's easiest to tell the difference between them by looking at the wheels. Air GT P models have paddle wheels (only available on that model) while the Air GT wears a more traditional blade-like setup in the standard 21-inch version. Other options are available for GT; all aerodynamics friendly.

The Air GT P is powered by a dual-motor setup (one on each axle) that delivers 1,050 horsepower. That power moves the electric car from zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in 2.6 seconds. It has a driving range of 446 miles on a full charge.

Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance
The Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance has unique blade-like wheels. James Lipton/Lucid Motors

Lucid's Air GT is the less powerful version of the GT P. Its 819 horsepower come from a dual-motor setup. Less horsepower means more range. The car can go up to 516 miles on a single charge. Though its zero to 60 mph time of 3.0 seconds is just a smidge less than the Air GT P, being behind the wheel tells the full story.

While most will find the power of the Air GT plenty, it is noticeably a step behind the GT Performance when it comes to acceleration and outright zippiness. The GT P allows for a more spirited drive, not just because of its added horsepower, but because of the driver's ability to push that power through the corners.

Off the line, both models provide the steady and balanced acceleration befitting a luxury car rather than a sports car. There's no doubt that the Air is heavy - batteries will do that to a model - but the power that the Air GT P has access to gives it the speedy glide that makes one a true believer in the electric car future.

All-wheel drive is standard on both models.

The car has a 900-volt charging system, which allows owners to add up to 300 miles of range in 21 minutes at a 350-kilowatt DC fast charger that's running at full steam.

Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance
The front end of the Lucid Air is distinct, looking unlike every other vehicle on the market today. James Lipton/Lucid Motors

The interior of the Air is spacious, as is status quo among modern electric cars, but it's thick sill means that the car requires a larger step-in than is customary. Its back seat has gobs of leg- and shoulder room for passengers.

Aesthetics immediately show off that the Air is a luxury car. Marerials and fit and finish are on par with Bentley Motors offerings, and has far less reflective and easily smudge-able surfaces than a modern Mercedes-Benz models.

A glass canopy spans the length of the roof. Though a visor is present, it can't block all the sunshine pouring in, distracting the eyes.

In front of the driver is 34-inch cockpit that features 5K resolution. Crisp graphics are easy to decipher on the go. The display proves far less distracting than the Mercedes Hyperscreen, keeping images in a comfortable position for keeping eyes on the road.

Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance
The interior of the Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance features two large screens that feature crisp, easy-to-read graphics. James Lipton/Lucid Motors

The car is updatable over-the-air. Current Air customers have requested a number of preferred solutions to perceived issues with their vehicles, sometimes directly to the company's lead engineers, and have seen "fixes" come to fruition via an over-the-air update. One such solution, part of a recent update, lessens the amount of time it takes for the car's display screens to boot up.

Other features, just as welcome and luxe, include a 21-speaker Surreal Sound system with Dolby Atmos compatibility, heated and ventilated front seats with massage, soft-close doors, and power-opening front and rear trunks.

The front trunk, frunk, is supremely spacious compared to other vehicles in the Air's class and the rear features controls for lowering the back seats, instead of on the seats where they typically are on a passenger car. This engineering shift makes the trunk space a completely secure area unless the car is unlocked.

Lucid stocks its vehicle with DreamDrive Pro, a suite of driver assistance and safety features. Unlike systems in more established brands, the Lucid Air's software is responsive and has alerts that seamlessly blend in with the overall aesthetic of the vehicle.

Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance
Two Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance models sitting outside a hotel in Silicon Valley, California. James Lipton/Lucid Motors

Lucid prices the Air GT P at $179,000 and the GT at $154,000 to start. That puts the models well into super luxury car territory.

Unlike the cheaper, but similarly positioned Tesla Model S, Lucid's fit and finish, user interface (technology and physical buttons), and styling is an easier leap for the first-time EV buyer. The Lucid wins over the Mercedes EQS for those seeking a less immersive tech experience, without all the ambient lighting, vastly illuminated screens, and bubble-like styling.

Where Lucid fails compared to those two is in service centers and production. As a startup, the company is working toward making more vehicles, faster, and expanding its offerings to include more cities.

Those with a service center near them, and the budget to purchase, should absolutely consider a Lucid Air GT or GT P alongside the Tesla Model S and Mercedes-Benz EQS, especially considering its range.