Lucid introduces entry-level Air Pure and mid-tier Touring trims

In August Lucid surprised us with the Air Sapphire, a 1200-horsepower, $249,000 electric luxury sedan. Now, the California-based EV company has launched two trim levels on the more attainable end of the price spectrum. Of course, attainable is a relative term when talking about a starting price is closing in on six-figure territory, but these are positioned to be compelling alternatives to Tesla and Mercedes EQS.

The Lucid Air Pure is the new entry-level trim, starting at $88,900 (including a $1,500 destination fee) for a single-motor rear-wheel-drive configuration. It will only come with an aluminum, body-colored roof rather than the expansive panoramic glass roof of higher-end Airs. According to Lucid reps, the solid-roof cars have an entirely different side body stamping than the glass-roof models due to the way the roof is welded.

The Pure introduces a new color, a Pacific Ocean-inspired grayish-blue called Fathom Blue, and simplifies the options to just a single interior. A cow-free Mojave (i.e., black and gray) leather alternative with a recycled woven fabric covering parts of the dash and door panels.

For $5,500, you can add a second motor and all-wheel-drive. In this configuration, the model offers 480 horsepower and an EPA-estimated 410 miles of range. Sixty mph comes in just 3.8 seconds from a standstill, according to Lucid. Despite having less battery capacity than the higher grades — it uses an 18-module battery pack as opposed to 22 — the range is still more than adequate for most drivers. Charging with Lucid's high-speed Wunderbox recovers 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes.

You can literally see the difference in the batteries, as the four absent modules result in a 3.75-inch-lower footwell for rear seat passengers. According to Lucid lead designer Derek Jenkins, the lower cushion of the rear bench has a different contour in to compensate for the way your legs will rest at the lower height.

The next trim level up from Pure is the Air Touring, which starts at $108,900 and comes with standard dual-motor AWD. With 620 horsepower, 0-60 comes in just 3.4 seconds. The bigger battery has an EPA-estimated range of 425 miles.

Like the Pure, the Touring comes standard with an aluminum roof. However, buyers have the option to upgrade to a panoramic glass top for $4,500. Inside, all three color schemes — Mojave, Santa Cruz, and Tahoe — are available in Nappa leather claimed to be carbon neutral, a wood trim harvested sustainably, and alpaca wool inserts. Touring models also have an available Stealth trim, which grays out much of the brightwork and extremities such as the front spoiler and mirrors.

In person the Air looks almost surprisingly low in an age of bulked up sedans and crossovers. With a drag coefficient of 0.197, it alleges to be the world's most aerodynamic production vehicle. Even though Lucid claims hypercar-like performance from the Air Sapphire, all the models display an elegant presence needing to peacock with bulging fenders and gratuitous creases all along the sheetmetal.

"We made the conscious decision to tilt towards this idea that where EV was going was where luxury would be going. It's efficiency and easy performance, meaning you didn't have to have to have a huge grille or exhaust pipes to be the fastest car on the road," explained Jenkins on why Lucid eschewed gratuitously ostentatious and outlandish design. "So we really focused on something more jet-like. An aircraft is a very efficient shape, and we wanted Lucid to have that effortless quality about it. If you think about modern sports car and truck design big vents and scoops are telling you, 'I go fast.' In the new paradigm, that's telling me, 'You're low tech.'"

Pure will be delivered in December — just a couple of weeks. Initially, Lucid is churning out AWD Pures from its Arizona factory. Single-motor RWD variants will arrive in early 2023. Meanwhile, the first Touring models will be delivered to owners at a private event in Los Angeles later tonight.

As for the range-topping Air Sapphire, Lucid says it's still undergoing testing. Engineers are finalizing some of the performance aspects like torque vectoring and plan to deliver the limited production (though they would not say how many units) sometime next year.

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