The new Lucid Air Sapphire wants to position itself at the top of the automotive food chain. She proves it at first face to face.
Lucid Air is the natural competitor to the Tesla Model S. But it’s not just a question of segmentation, as the two men behind the two entities have points to settle. While the Tesla Model S Plaid has just stepped up, the Lucid Air Sapphire is launching into the arena. Our colleagues from Hagerty arrange a first meeting.
Before the start, a brief reminder of the forces involved. The Tesla Model S Plaid is well known by our services with its three engines for a combined power of 1,020 hp in our metric system. Opposite is the Sapphire, Lucid’s new performance signature, with 1,216 hp also produced here by three engines. Or a more favorable previous weight/power ratio for the Lucid Air at 2.01kg/hp compared to 2.15kg/hp for the Plaid. Still, if the value hasn’t been communicated, the Sapphire would develop much more torque than its rival. And to better put the punch of these electric sedans into perspective, Hagerty decided to put a Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport on the starting grid, whose 16 bowls produce 1,500 hp (1.35 kg/hp).
A 400m DA in 9.1s for the Lucid Air Sapphire
From the start, the three cars react very differently. Lost in a slip on the four wheels and going through the response time of the mechanics, which seems to be an eternity compared to the two electric ones (you would never have dared to say that before), the Bugatti Chiron is nailed to the spot. Electric sedans, they are neck and neck, although in the way it sends power, the Tesla Model S Plaid takes a slight advantage. But as usual, she quickly loses her breath. This is not the case with the Lucid, as inexhaustible as the Grand Touring we tried, which puts the Model S into the wind just before the finish line.
Video test – Tesla Model S Plaid: accelerate or discuss, it will be necessary to choose!
In the end, the Lucid Air Sapphire wins in the “small” numbers game. The Newark sedan does 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 2.1 s and passes the 400 m mark in 9.1 s (at 251 km/h). The Tesla Model S Plaid is just behind with a time of 9.3 s (at 244 km/h), while the Bugatti Chiron manages to close the gap with a similar time (9.3 s at 251 km/h). And to highlight the performance level of this new Lucid Air Sapphire, Hagerty decided to oppose it with a Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 (0.91 kg/hp). Guess who wins?
A performance that serves everything but nothing
Everyone will appreciate the achievement or not, these small differences are as inscrutable as they are imperceptible to ordinary mortals. In any case, you won’t go faster with either of them to get the bread (although the Chiron is not as easy to use on a daily basis as the two electric sedans). But the skill is there.
Remember that the Tesla Model S Plaid is available from us at a price of €138,990. The Lucid Air Sapphire won’t see the light of day in its home countries until next year, priced at $249,000 (€235,000). That’s €100,000 more than its competitor, but ten times less than the Bugatti!