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These days, the cheapest Lucid Air is almost as expensive as the cheapest Tesla Model S


Table of Contents
    • Lucid Motors reveals its Air Pure RWD sedan with a single-motor layout and a 410-mile range, which becomes the entry-level model in the automaker's lineup.
    • The electric sedan is priced well below competitors from Germany, but analogously to Tesla's least-expensive Model S dual-motor variant.
    • Lucid Motors expects the Gravity SUV to enter production in 2024, giving it a second model line.

    Lucid Motors kicked off production with the most expensive versions of the Air sedan in 2021, but after 24 months we're now getting to the most affordable variant of the sleek luxury electric sedan.

    The company revealed the Air Pure RWD sedan this week, featuring a single-motor layout and offering a 410-mile range. With a price of $78,900, it's some $5000 cheaper than what has been the most affordable Air variant to date, albeit with a dual-motor layout.

    The company, which has been buffeted by market pressures for much of the year amid concerns over shrinking demand, has said this model completes the Air lineup, which means we won't see other versions debut as it focuses on its coming SUV.

    "I'm delighted that the most accessible Air surpasses the range of any other electric car from any other brand," said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Lucid. "With a starting price of $77,400 [before $1500 destination costs], I believe that this new addition to the Lucid Air lineup is the car so many have been waiting for."

    The Lucid Air Pure RWD becomes one of the three most affordable full-size electric sedans available at the moment, positioned in price below the Mercedes-Benz EQS, BMW i7, Audi e-tron GT, and Porsche Taycan, but roughly alongside the Tesla Model S that has recently (and unexpectedly) dropped in price to $76,380, as well as the Genesis Electrified G80 that arrived just a year ago but has largely stayed under the radar. Genesis' contender starts at $80,290—reasonably close to the two others.

    Lucid has a disadvantage as the only player in the segment with a single model on offer currently.

    EV shoppers won't miss the fact that the two most affordable flavors from Tesla and Lucid are effectively even at this point, but one major difference is that the Tesla Model S and the Genesis Electrified G80 feature dual-motor AWD layouts. The G80's smaller battery and range of 282 miles make it somewhat of an outlier in this trio, however.

    With so many full-size luxury electric sedans available at the moment, a price war amid waning demand was perhaps inevitable.

    But Lucid has the disadvantage of being the only player in this segment with a single model on offer at the moment. All of its competitors, especially Mercedes-Benz, offer plenty of other models and can afford to take a bit of hit on their flagships.

    In effect, Lucid now has to hang on until its electric SUV arrives to take some of the pressure off Air sales to keep things moving. That SUV, dubbed Gravity, is slated to enter production in 2024, and will also see a number of versions with varying ranges and performance attributes. However, the Gravity certainly won't be the sole model in this segment and will also see a large number of challengers, including from Team Germany.

    Lucid has positioned itself at the high end of the market, which may have been fine in the years of deep-pocketed early adopters. But the luxury EV maker club has expanded to a point where demand in this segment is now split among seven players, with more on the way.

    As such, it has to fight for an ever-shrinking piece of the EV sedan pie, even as adoption of electric vehicles slowly grows.

    Will demand for high-priced luxury EV sedans remain steady over the next few years, or are more EV buyers now interested in SUVs and smaller crossovers? Let us know what you think.

    Headshot of Jay Ramey

    Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum. Despite being followed around by French cars for the past decade, he has somehow been able to avoid Citroën ownership, judging them too commonplace, and is currently looking at cars from the former Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013. 

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