Tested: Lucid Air Pure RWD for the year 2024

The Air variant from Lucid, which is their most affordable option, continues to be an exceptional luxury electric vehicle.

Lucid’s Air sedans have impressed us with their range and performance, particularly the Air Grand Touring, which achieved an impressive 410 miles on a single charge during our 75-mph highway test and accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds. While the new rear-wheel-drive Air Pure may not match its siblings’ performance in those areas, it offers a unique advantage: affordability. Priced at $78,900, the rear-wheel-drive Pure is $5000 less than the all-wheel-drive version and presents a compelling value compared to rivals like the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S.

The base-model Pure, the sole rear-wheel-drive vehicle in the Air lineup, may not be as rapid as its multi-motor counterparts, but it still delivers an exhilarating driving experience. It accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and covers the quarter-mile in 12.7 seconds at 113 mph, performance that’s nearly on par with the V-10-powered E60-generation BMW M5. Although the rear tires don’t produce much drama during a hard launch, the traction control system is actively managing the distribution of the 430 horsepower to ensure optimal grip. For reference, the 480-hp all-wheel-drive Pure achieved a 3.5-second 0-60 mph time and an 11.7-second quarter-mile run.

One factor in the rear-drive Pure’s lower rate is its smaller 88.0-kWh battery pack. It doesn’t provide the massive variety claimed for the Air designs fitted with the 112.0-kWh pack; however, this Pure boasts an EPA-estimated series of as much as 419 miles on the typical 19-inch wheels. With the optional 20s, we went 300 miles in our 75-mph freeway range examination—still an impressive figure—during which the Air averaged a frugal 109 MPGe.

Past efficiency, rear-wheel drive brings dynamic benefits. On the road, this Pure really feels a lot more agile than the all-wheel-drive versions. One gets the sense of the back side turning under power, although stability control stops significant oversteer. There’s additionally a valuable weight decrease. At 4536 extra pounds, our test auto was 415 pounds less portly than the all-wheel-drive Pure and 676 less than the Grand Touring. The guiding feeling is restricted; however, the rear-wheel-drive Pure reacts acutely and grasps remarkably. Its 0.94 g of side acceleration on Michelin Pilot Sporting activity EV rubber is 0.04 g, far better than what its all-wheel-drive counterpart took care of on the exact same tires. The 164-foot quit from 70 miles per hour was 4 feet better as well.

However, braking presents some challenges. The Pure model’s brake pedal experiences a lack of response at the beginning of its travel, requiring a significant amount of movement before the sensation of slowing down increases beyond what is provided by the constant regenerative braking. The vehicle offers only two regen settings, Standard and High, with the latter being a more aggressive one-pedal mode. It would be beneficial to have a coaster function available.

The Pure’s ride quality is exceptional, thanks to its rear-wheel-drive configuration. Even with larger wheels, the car glides smoothly over bumps and road undulations and maintains impressive stability when cornering. At high speeds, the only notable disturbance is the faint sound of wind rustling around the driver’s side mirror.

Similar to previous models, the Air’s interior is remarkably roomy, particularly in the rear seating area. The smaller battery pack enables a lower floor, which improves legroom in the back. However, the slanted roofline can make entry a bit tight, and taller individuals may find themselves accidentally hitting their heads.

The absence of the pricier versions’ standard glass roof in the Pure model gives the interior a darker feel, but it also prevents it from turning into an oven on sunny days. The materials used give a luxurious impression, and the 34-inch curved display screen is visually impressive. Although it may sound old-fashioned, it can be quite bothersome to have to rely on a touch-sensitive panel for controlling the wipers and to use the touchscreen for adjusting the mirrors and steering wheel.

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