The Lucid Air returns to the Motor Authority Finest Automotive To Purchase competitors finalists’ circle, although this time logistics virtually saved it out of the working.
On the eleventh hour earlier than Motor Authority Finest Automotive To Purchase 2024 testing started we obtained phrase the Lucid Air Sapphire booked for observe testing wouldn’t be coming as a consequence of unexpected circumstances. We dominated the insanely quick electrical automotive out of the competitors proper then and there.
However after Senior Editor Kirk Bell and I spent a day with the now de facto benchmark for quick sedans we agreed there’s no approach it might be minimize from the competitors. After the Air Dream Version made it to the Motor Authority Finest Automotive To Purchase 2020 finalist circle and didn’t clinch the win, can the Lucid Air Sapphire end the job to turn into Motor Authority Finest Automotive To Purchase 2024?
Lucid Air Sapphire
With three electrical motors producing as much as a mixed 1,234 hp and 1,430 lb-ft of torque, the Air Sapphire definitely has greater than sufficient energy. And with a 118-kwh battery pack, it delivers loads of vary, an EPA-rated 427 miles to be exact.
With eye-popping efficiency statistics of 0-60 mph in 1.89 seconds, 0-100 mph in 3.84 seconds, and the quarter mile in 8.95 seconds at 158 mph on its approach to a high pace of 205 mph, the Air Sapphire is way and away probably the most highly effective and quickest finalist in Finest Automotive To Purchase historical past.
Whereas the efficiency specs seize headlines, it’s the Air Sapphire’s skill to carve corners with precision and a pure really feel that shocked our editors. With one electrical motor on the entrance axle and two on the rear, the Sapphire shifts the facility entrance to again and vectors it aspect to aspect within the rear to rotate the automotive by means of turns. All of it occurs within the background, unbeknownst to the motive force. The automotive simply goes about its sport sedan enterprise regardless of weighing 5,336 kilos.
Customary Air fashions provide high quality dealing with, however the Sapphire takes the automotive into true sport sedan territory. That’s as a result of the suspension has been retuned and upgraded with firmer bushings, completely different angles for the knuckles and management arms to dial in additional camber, and stiffer springs paired with retuned dampers. All of it provides as much as a composed and managed journey even at blisteringly quick speeds.
Lucid upgrades the brakes to deal with the automotive’s weight and the pace it may obtain. It will get huge carbon-ceramic rotors paired with 10-piston entrance and 4-piston rear calipers. They by no means appear to fade and even smoke even after repeated abuse.
Lucid Air Sapphire
The Air Sapphire nonetheless retains a lot of the remainder of the lineup’s qualities, for higher and worse. The quick roofline can nonetheless make getting out and in of the Air’s snug cabin a chore. The software program appears to have just a few glitches left as our key wasn’t acknowledged a pair instances. The roof is now metallic as a substitute of glass, which reduces weight and inside temperatures however doesn’t look as futuristic.
Whereas dynamically spectacular, the Air Sapphire can nonetheless solely take to the observe for 2 or three laps, relying on the observe, at full tilt place within the Sapphire mode’s Sizzling Lap sub-setting earlier than it is going to pull again the facility. The Endurance sub-mode, which “solely” delivers 767 hp, will allow about twice as a lot observe time. However as soon as the powertrain will get too sizzling, the automotive will must be plugged into a quick charger for 60-80 minutes cool the system and recharge the battery.
Is the second time the attraction? Is an American-made electrical tremendous sedan poised to win this competitors? Will the Lucid Air Sapphire be named Motor Authority Finest Automotive To Purchase 2024 over an American supercar, America’s muscle automotive, a Japanese sizzling hatch, and a German sport coupe? Examine again on Jan. 3 after we reveal the winner, together with the champs from our sister websites, The Automotive Connection and Inexperienced Automotive Reviews.