Lucid Group Inc.’s Air sedan was named MotorTrend’s “Car of the Year” on Monday, the first time that an automaker has won that award with its first car.
The Newark, California electric car company only recently began delivering the cars it is making at a new factory in Arizona, catapulting to a value of $86 billion in its first day of trading last Wednesday and raising $11.9 billion in the seventh-biggest U.S. initial public offering of all time.
But MotorTrend, which similarly honored Tesla’s Model S in 2012, said the Air has established “the new (electric vehicle) benchmark.”
The award only goes to new models, so the Air wasn’t competing against the Model S for the MotorTrend honor. The finalists that it beat were the 2021 Porsche Taycan, 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, 2022 Mercedes-EQ EQS, 2022 Toyota GR 86, 2022 Honda Civic and 2021 Hyundai Elantra.
The magazine’s judges praised the Lucid Air’s range and efficiency, with some some versions of the car able travel up to 520 miles on a single charge. They also were impressed by its performance and luxurious interior.
The first Airs delivered were a limited Dream Edition that cost more than $160,000 each. The company plans to deliver next its Grand Touring version, which starts at around $140,000. Less expensive versions that don’t have the power or range of the Dream or Grand Touring Airs will be available later, with prices starting around $77,000.
In spite of the high cost, MotorTrend’s judges said they believe that the Lucid Air is a strong value.
But they did find one nit to pick. They believe that the Air relies too much on touch screens for basic controls.
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