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Lucid’s Air Pure – Affordably Green or Just a Dream?

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Lucid Motors got a lot of attention when the Air went on sale in 2021, garnering accolades like Motor Trend Car of the Year just months after its release. The California-based EV manufacturer positioned their first production vehicle to compete with higher-end options like the Tesla Model S, but for many drivers, that also meant paying a premium at the dealership.

The new Lucid Air Pure AWD sedan was launched as a lower-cost option in November 2020. At a substantially lower starting price and with many of the same features, many EV enthusiasts hoped this would be the car to make Lucid a household name. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the Air Pure’s pricing, what it offers, and whether it all amounts to a better offer. Let’s dive in.

The 2023 Lucid Air Pure: Design and Features

At launch, the Lucid Air Pure (rear-wheel-drive version) was billed as having a power output of 480 horsepower, or 360 kW, and a range of 406 miles. That places it slightly behind other Air packages for range, and slightly ahead of competing vehicles like the Tesla Model S Dual Motor or the Mercedes-Benz EQS. The Air Pure is also exceptionally fast, going from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds.

A range of useful features complete the package, from now-common lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control to spacious rear seats and dual-zone air conditioning. Beyond that, even Lucid’s least pricey model comes with the sleek, original interior design, which marks other Air packages as top-of-the-line luxury.

To keep costs down, Lucid designers subtracted a few features from the Air Pure compared to the Air Touring, next in line in the range. Pure purchasers won’t have the option of a glass roof or power opening and closing for the front trunk, nor will it have as many climate control or seat settings. Nevertheless, the new RWD Pure packs enough comfort and style to compete with any of Lucid’s other offerings or similar vehicles on the market.

Lucid Air Pure Pricing Explained

The 2023 Lucid Air Pure RWD starts at $77,400 before tax and incentives — about $15,000 less than the Air Pure AWD and almost $30,000 less than the Air Touring. At its current price, the Air Pure costs around the same as Tesla’s 2023 Model Y RWD or Rivian’s R1T or R1S, placing it firmly in the luxury market despite the company’s ambitions of affordability. In other words, the new EV stickers are at a comfortably lower price in comparison, but still far beyond what many drivers are willing to pay.

Complicating the picture is the ongoing EV price war. Starting in 2022, EV manufacturers began slashing prices on practically every model as dealerships competed to attract thousands of new buyers. Increasing demand for newer, more reliable EVs has pushed prices down, especially as new incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act made buying an EV a more realistic possibility for more people.

It’s also important to note that, as a startup, Lucid has to make each sale count for more than the competition. Declining EV prices industry-wide place pressure on the company to bring the MSRP for the Air Pure down, but there’s a limit to how much of a reduction they can bear if they want to stay profitable.

This has led commentators to wonder what Lucid’s strategy is. The company has promoted the rear-wheel-drive Air Pure as a more manageably-priced version of their flagship vehicle. But Lucid’s prices are still steep, and since the new Air Pure is unmistakably a luxury vehicle, it’s unclear whether the lower price will appeal to enough buyers to keep the manufacturer competitive.

The Verdict

The 2023 Lucid Air Pure offers plenty of originality, comfort, and style for the price, all qualities that captivated EV buyers when the original Air launched back in 2021. However, at nearly $80,000, even the full $7,500 IRA EV credit may not be enough to make it an affordable option for most.

Still, Lucid promises even less costly EVs to come, giving some hope that this is just the first of several price reductions, bringing the Air Pure and future Lucid models within reach of more drivers.

So, is the Lucid Air Pure the affordable dream car you’ve been waiting for? Looking at the price tag, not quite. What you do get is a high-performing, ultra-luxurious vehicle at a fraction of the cost of Lucid’s other models, but still at the higher end of the EV market.

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By evee Life Contributor

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