Taking the 2024 Lucid Air Pure RWD for an In-Depth Test Drive

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Lucid Air Pure RWD
Lucid Air Pure RWD (Credits: Reddit)

Lucid has consistently impressed us with the range and performance of its Air sedan models. The Air Grand Touring, in particular, set a new standard by achieving an impressive 410 miles on a single charge in our 75-mph highway test, the highest among all-electric vehicles. Its acceleration to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds further solidified its prowess. However, the latest addition to the lineup, the rear-wheel-drive Air Pure, may not match the Grand Touring in certain areas, but it brings affordability to the table.

Priced at $78,900, the rear-wheel-drive Pure is $5000 cheaper than its all-wheel-drive counterpart, making it an attractive option compared to competitors like the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model S. While the entry-level Pure may not have the same speed as its multi-motor counterparts, with a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 12.7 seconds at 113 mph, it is still impressively quick by conventional standards. Despite a less dramatic rear tire experience during hard launches, the traction-control system effectively channels the 430 horsepower to the ground.

The Pure’s affordability lies in its smaller 88.0-kWh battery pack, which offers an EPA-estimated range of up to 419 miles on standard 19-inch wheels. Even with optional 20-inch wheels, it achieved a commendable 300 miles in our 75-mph highway range test, with an efficient average of 109 MPGe.

In addition to its efficiency, the rear-wheel-drive configuration enhances the Pure’s dynamic performance. On the road, the Pure feels more agile compared to its all-wheel-drive counterparts, providing a sense of the rear end rotating under power while maintaining stability. The weight reduction, at 4536 pounds, contributes to its nimbleness, outperforming the all-wheel-drive and Grand Touring models. The Pure also achieves 0.94 g of lateral acceleration on Michelin Pilot Sport EV rubber.

Despite some braking issues, such as a dead spot in the pedal and limited regen settings, the Pure excels in refinement. The ride remains smooth, even with larger wheels, and cornering exhibits minimal lean. The cabin offers excellent rear legroom, thanks to the spacious rear seat and lower floor due to the smaller battery pack. However, getting in and out of the car can be a challenge due to the rakish roofline.

While the Pure lacks the glass roof found in more expensive variants, resulting in a darker cabin, the materials used exude luxury, and the 34-inch curved display screen adds to the overall appeal. However, the reliance on touch-sensitive controls for wipers and the need to adjust mirrors and the steering wheel via the touchscreen may prove inconvenient.

In conclusion, the rear-wheel-drive Air Pure may not have the same extravagance as its high-end siblings, but as the most affordable option, it stands out as a true luxury car that offers exceptional value.

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