Here's How Fast The Lucid Air Really Is

Not every electric car is a speed demon, but there's no denying that if sheer pace is your primary goal, being battery-powered is increasingly the way to achieve it. Cars like the Tesla Model S Performance demonstrated that 0-60 mph times typically reserved for supercars are easily achievable with the right combination of electric motors, but Elon Musk's company certainly isn't the only automaker offering blistering acceleration. That's something relative upstart Lucid Motors is keen to demonstrate.

Though founded in 2007, it was only in late 2016 that Lucid Motors revealed its ambitions to make production cars of its own. Fast forward to October 2021, and the first Lucid Air Dream Edition cars were delivered to patient customers. On the outside, the sleek four-door sedan looked every bit like the alternative to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series that the automaker pitched, but its secret weapon was hidden beneath the aerodynamically-smoothed bodywork.

The $169,000+ luxury electric vehicle (EV) boasted up to 520 miles of range on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's testing, but it was its potential for speed that helped boost preorders. An in-house design for the dual motors not only gave the Air Dream Edition all-wheel drive, but enough zero-emissions grunt to embarrass Ferraris and Porsches.

Overtaking Lamborghinis

Lucid's special motors delivered up to a wild 1,111 horsepower. The result was a 0-60 mph time of as little as 2.5 seconds: that's significantly quicker than a Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica, which does 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds. The top speed is 168 miles per hour.

Part of the Air Dream Edition's charm was its rarity: Lucid only planned to make 500 of the cars. However, that didn't mean it was giving up on all-electric performance.

Next came the Air Grand Touring, with deliveries beginning in 2022. With up to 1,050 horsepower on tap in Performance trim, it's slightly slower than the Dream Edition — 0-60 mph arrives in as little as 2.6 seconds, though the 168 mph top speed carries over — but it has the advantage of no longer being a limited edition. Still, if outright pace is your guiding star, you might want to save your money for an even faster iteration of the Air.

Sapphire is the gem in Lucid's lineup

Unveiled at Monterey Car Week 2022, the Lucid Air Sapphire debuts the automaker's performance brand — think AMG to Mercedes-Benz, or M Sport to BMW — not to mention its first triple-motor configuration. With two rear motors and one at the front, the $249,000+ Sapphire can do clever things like true torque vectoring: precisely controlling the power delivered to the rear left and right wheels, to improve stability and cornering.

With more than 1,200 horsepower on tap, though, the big news here is raw speed. Lucid Motors hasn't revealed final figures for the Air Sapphire, but it's expecting a 0-60 mph time under 2.0 seconds. That would make it faster than a Ferrari SF90 Stradale, and give the Tesla Model S Plaid — with its quoted 1.99 second 0-60 mph time — some serious competition.

The top speed for the Lucid Air Sapphire, meanwhile, is expected to blast through the 200 mph mark. That's not just quick for an EV but fast for any car, period. The fact that it's a five-seater luxury sedan doing it, well, that only makes the performance here all the more impressive.