MotorTrend awarded Lucid Group’s Air sedan “Car of the Year” Monday, the first time the award was given to a manufacturer’s first production vehicle.
Lucid, based in Newark, Calif., has only begun delivering the Air recently from its Casa Grande, Arizona, assembly plant. It also completed its initial public offering last week, raising $11.9 billion in the seventh-largest IPO ever in the U.S.
In less than a week it has become the ninth most valuable automaker globally, with a market capitalization of $71.6 billion.
CEO Peter Rawlinson came from Tesla
The magazine said the Lucid Air set a “new benchmark” for electric vehicles, also citing its range and efficiency. Some versions of the car can travel as much as 520 miles on a full charge. MotorTrend reviewers were also impressed by its interior and overall performance.
“With the longest driving range of any electric vehicle on the market, an EPA-estimated 520 miles, and over 1,100 horsepower available, the Lucid Air is a technological tour de force,” MotorTrend Group’s head of editorial, Ed Loh, said. “The sleek futuristic Lucid Air sedan looks like nothing else on the road, while its gorgeous, smartly-packaged interior sets the standard for the next generation of luxury cars.”
They did caution that the car tends to rely very heavily on touch screens for basic controls.
It beat out other finalists, including the 2021 Porsche Taycan, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQ EQS, the 2022 Toyota GR86, the 2022 Honda Civic and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra.
Despite the praise, the Air is not a mass market car. The first ones delivered were the limited Dream Edition that is priced at about $160,000. Lucid plans a Grand Touring version that will be priced starting at $140,000.
For buyers willing to settle for less range and power there eventually will be an entry level package, called the Air Pure, that will start at about $77,000.