The Lucid Air looks superficially the same as the early prototype we saw in 2017, but much has changed. [credit:
Jonathan Gitlin ]
Back in 2017, I got my first face-to-face encounter with a Lucid Air, when the startup electric vehicle-maker brought one of its early prototypes to Washington, DC. Its EV combined distinctive styling with some innovative packaging, with the technical team being led by a CTO who can count being the Tesla Model S’ chief engineer among his CV highlights.
Lucid’s timeline might have slipped a little from the original plan—investors are much less reticent about putting their money into EV startups than they were in 2017, and then the pandemic happened—but it’s on track to begin deliveries of the Air later this year. And on Sunday, I was fortunate enough to go for a ride in one of the company’s current prototypes to see how things have changed.
From the outside, the Air looks like little else on the market. It’s a smooth shape, with a relatively long hood and a short trunk, accented by the polished aluminum pillars that frame the glasshouse. Superficially it looks much the same as when I first saw it, but many of the details have changed along the way to what may well be a class-leading drag coefficient of just 0.21.