Configurator Challenge: Lucid Air

8 minutes, 30 seconds Read

Embattled US electric-car start-up Lucid’s first car is a luxurious Tesla Model S rival. Here’s how Drive journalists would configure theirs.


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Customisation is in vogue at the moment, but too much choice can be confusing. In our configurator challenge, Drive team members scroll through a manufacturer’s website to create their ideal combination for a certain model.

This week the team looks at the Lucid Air, a Tesla Model S and Mercedes-Benz EQS rival from a US electric-car start-up.

Tell us how you’d specify yours in the comments below (build yours here), and what you’d like us to configure next.

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James Ward, Director of Content

While not all of America’s automotive exploits have been great, the ‘Land of the Free’ sure knows how to dial up the impact of bespoke luxury. This was a country that brought us Duesenberg, Cord and Packard, so why not, near a century later, look to another specialist brand to produce a more modern implementation of the ‘Great American Automobile’?

For my Air, I’ve started with the Grand Touring Performance edition ($US149,600), mainly because it affords a level of personalisation that the top-tier Sapphire does not.

To make an appropriate, yet classical statement, I’ve selected Zenith Red paint with the contrasting platinum and glass roof. The 21-inch Aero Sport wheels are standard for this specification, but still offer the right amount of classy food-processor blade impact this car deserves.

Inside, I’ve opted for the natural wood and light fabrics of the Santa Cruz colourway. I’m a big fan of the dual-coloured seats between the front and rear too.

Like this, the Lucid Air becomes an instant classic, even if like Duesenberg, Cord and Packard, it only stays with us for a short time.

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Kez Casey, Production Editor

Does someone want to let Lucid know its Sapphire flagship has a problem? If you don’t like the Sapphire Blue paint and black ‘Sapphire Mojave’ interior… Too bad, that’s all you get.

As much as face-altering acceleration sounds like it might be fun, I’ve gone with the Grand Touring spec and but didn’t tick the Performance package box, resulting in a ticket price of $US125,600 (about $AU191,500).

With a 610kW dual-motor powertrain allowing a 0-60mph (97km/h) time of 3.0 seconds (so expect a modern-world 0-100km/h just over three seconds) and an estimated range of over 750km the Grand Touring isn’t really short on either performance or range, so that should do nicely.

Lucid’s colour palette is surprisingly subdued, so leaning into the subtle look I’ve gone with Quantum Grey paint with a brighter Platinum roof (sorry, ‘glass canopy’). Inside I’ve kept the contrast theme going with the beige and black Santa Cruz interior, though I do wish you get the front and rear seats to match, instead Lucid makes you have black seat up front no matte the colour combo selected.

The finishing touches are a set of 21-inch Aero Blade wheels – probably not the best friend of ride quality, but they just look very cool – and the available premium audio system. All up, that’s close to $AU198,300.

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Susannah Guthrie, Consumer Editor

These cars just look so damn cool, it’s hard to put a foot wrong in the design studio. Having said that, why would you choose anything other than that stunning Shiraz-hued Zenith Red Metallic? The platinum roof accents and mirror caps are a bit much, so I went full stealth mode.

I know I’m spending imaginary money here but even then, I couldn’t fathom dropping $250,000 US dollars on the Air Sapphire, so I was sensible and opted for one grade down, the Air Grand Touring Performance. A bargain at nearly $US150,000!

As for interiors, black and grey are boring so I went with Tahoe brown. I like to think the finished product makes me look like I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

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Ben Zachariah, Journalist

There seem to be endless electric-vehicle start-ups promising big things, but Lucid is one of the few that I’m quietly rooting for – and I’m hoping the company can survive long enough to stand on its own feet and expand to Australia. From all accounts in the US, the Lucid Air is an exceptionally good car, and it’s something I’d happily park in my driveway and use as a daily driver.

While it would be easy to blow $US249,000 ($AU379,500) of my Monopoly Money on the range-topping Lucid Air Sapphire, I’m worried the sub-two-second 0-100km/h time would ruin my perspective and enjoyment of cars to the point that every other thing would feel slow. I’m also definitely a member of the ‘drive slow cars fast’ club. Not that any of the Lucid Air variants could be considered slow.

This is why I’ve opted for the Lucid Air Pure – the base model – but with the $US5000 ($AU7620) 358kW dual-motor option, which offers a claimed 618km of driving range and changes the car from rear- to all-wheel drive. I like my commuter cars having all-weather traction, as I’ve seen first-hand the benefit of all-wheel drive during biblical winter storms.

Because I’m predictable, I’ve gone with Infinite Black Metallic paint, the least-offensive 20-inch Aero Lite five-spoke alloy wheels, and zero extra options. Bringing the final price to $US83,900 – or $AU127,900, which seems pretty reasonable to me considering the range and performance.

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Tom Fraser, Journalist

With an electric vehicle line-up that’s fast across the board I think the smartest buying in the Lucid Air range is at the Touring level, which can do zero to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds. It’s not the mind-bendingly quick sub-two seconds of its flagship range-mate, but the Touring offers (very fast) sports-car performance without going over the top. 

Colours-wise, I always find it hard to go past a nice silver, and while I don’t think the Cosmos Silver Metallic presents beautifully on-screen, the photos I’ve seen show a gorgeous finish that suits the Air’s shape well. I’ve paired it with the glass canopy roof in the body-coloured finish, considering the Stealth package doesn’t tie-in well with the light-coloured bodywork paint. 

The 21-inch wheels might seem a little try-hard on a sedan but the Aero Blade design arguably looks the best of three options. 

Inside, the tan-coloured Tahoe upholstery pairs well with the silver exterior, and the only option I’ve picked was the upgraded sound system – a must-have in any luxury car. 

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Alex Misoyannis, Journalist

The $US249,000 Air Sapphire was tempting, but I think all the Lucid you need is the base model, the rear-wheel-drive Air Pure. Zero to 60mph (97km/h) in 4.5 seconds is still hardly slow, and about 400 miles (644km) of claimed driving range will make road trips easy.

The Air suits a more elegant and understated look, so in lieu of the gold colour Lucid offered on the ‘Dream Edition’ variant at launch, I’ve optioned Cosmos Silver Metallic paint for $US800, plus 20-inch Aero Lite wheels for $US1750, and the standard black interior.

While I’ve been restrained with my choice of the base model, I’ve splurged on options:

  • $US6750 for the full DreamDrive Pro safety suite (which includes semi-autonomous highway driving)
  • $US2900 for the Sound System Pro
  • $US3750 for 20-way power-adjustable front seats, which add ventilation and massaging to the existing heating functionality
  • $US2500 Comfort and Convenience Package (soft-close doors, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, four-zone climate control, power window sunshades)

The total price is $US95,850 ($AU148,000) before taxes – up from the $US77,400 ($AU120,000) base price.

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Ethan Cardinal, Content Coordinator

Even though this challenge gives us unlimited money to configure our own Lucid Air, I personally can’t justify paying $US250,000 for the hero Air Sapphire version. 

The great thing about the Lucid is no matter which variant you choose, it seems to have the luxurious opulence you’d expect of the price – so I went with the Air Touring finished in Infinite Black Metallic. Even though it’s the second-cheapest option in the range, it’s still expensive, but slightly less out-of-reach at $US105,000 ($AU160,000). 

I’m in love with the Stealth with glass canopy appearance as I like the idea of quiet luxury in vehicles – not too out there, but yet stands out through the quality and craftsmanship. I was aiming for a timeless look with my specification, something that won’t age too quickly.

I’m excited to see if Lucid can stand up in the long run as a worthy competitor to Tesla in the electric-car market – even though it’s yet to build cheaper cars that can bring in the revenue and profit the company sorely needs.

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

Read more about Alex MisoyannisLinkIcon

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