Michael SimariCar and Driver
- The Lucid Air Grand Touring achieved 410 miles of range in Car and Driver testing.
- That beats our previous champ, a 2021 Tesla Model S Long Range Plus, by 90 miles.
- The Lucid’s result is a new high-water mark for our highway range test, the first EV to get into the 400s.
More than any other metric, range is the most important performance factor in an electric vehicle. That’s why we test EV range in a real-world environment, at 75 mph on the interstate. Our testing recently revealed a new long-distance champ: the Lucid Air Grand Touring, which managed 410 miles.
The Lucid dethroned the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus, which did 320 miles, and is the first EV to exceed the 400-mile mark in our hands.
Yes, we’ll acknowledge that the Lucid’s performance fell well short of its EPA range estimate, which is 516 miles for the Grand Touring model on its standard 19-inch wheels and all-season, efficiency-minded Pirellis (which is how our test car was equipped). The larger 21-inch wheels and summer tires decrease the EPA number to 469 miles. The more powerful Grand Touring Performance, which we have not tested, has an EPA estimate of 446 miles, and the Dream Range, with slightly more battery capacity, actually boasts the best EPA figure in the lineup at 520 miles.
All of those EPA range numbers beat the Model S, which is rated at 405 miles in standard form, 396 miles for the more powerful Plaid version, and 348 miles for the Plaid with 21-inch wheels. (Note that our tested Model S Long Range Plus version is no longer offered.)
Factors Affecting Range
It’s typical for our highway test to result in lower range numbers than the EPA window sticker (although the Porsche Taycan was a notable exception). They’re conducted at higher speed and under real-world conditions, but we feel they provide a more realistic idea of how far an EV can travel, particularly on an extended road trip.
A big battery pack is the key factor in achieving a big range number, and the Air has that, its pack ranging from 112.0 kWh in the Grand Touring model we tested to 118.0 kWh in some other trim levels. (Less expensive Touring and Pure models that are set to join the lineup will have smaller battery packs.) But there’s more to the Air’s impressive performance than just a whole lot of cells. The Air also has a wind-cheating shape, which helps minimize the amount of energy necessary to push it down the road. Compared with the Tesla Model S, the Air requires 12 to 25 percent less power to maintain highway speeds.
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