It was perhaps the most anticipated drag race competition within the electric vehicle community — pitting the Tesla Model S Plaid against the newly-launched Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance. And, as the name suggests, this is the performance variant of the Lucid Air luxury electric sedan.
Although both of these cars were designed to be luxury sedans, with the presence of immense power via an electric drivetrain and the ability to deliver instant torque, these two electric beasts are built for the dragstrip.
Since Lucid Air is also considered a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S, drag racing them against each other gives us some good information for comparative analysis.
Interestingly, when Lucid revealed the price of the base trim of the Air back in 2020, Tesla changed the price of the base Model S to $69,420. So, you could surmise that Tesla does take Lucid seriously (albeit niche) within the EV space.
|Above: Tesla Model S Plaid vs. Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance specs and price comparison (Data sources: Manufacturer specs. Compiled by Iqtidar Ali / TeslaOracle.com)|
Looking at the comparison table (see above) for these two electric cars, the Lucid Air does seem to have scored better than the Model S. But this comes at an additional price of $39,100, and that is definitely not small change.
That said, kudos to the Lucid team for achieving a great efficiency number that resulted in a more than enough 471 miles of range for the Air Dream Edition Performance variant.
Lucid also designed the Air with an amazing drag coefficient of 0.21 Cd, which is very close to the 0.208 Cd of the Tesla Model S. The lower the aerodynamic drag, the more an electric vehicle delivers range and performance. The Model S Plaid is also 408 lb lighter than the Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance. Lucid is substantially heavier because of its larger battery pack.
DragTimes host Brooks Weisblat reached out to Lucid to provide him with a test unit. However, the automaker refused. The reason? Lucid claims that they are marketing the car in terms of range and efficiency, not drag racing performance.
However, a person who owns both the Tesla Model S Plaid and the Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance cars brought them to the Hennessey Performance dragstrip in Houston, Texas, for the ultimate challenge.
In the 1st attempt, both cars started the race at 92% state-of-charge (SoC) and both used their launch controls (called Dragstrip Mode in the Plaid). Here, the Tesla Plaid totally outclassed the Lucid Air Performance.
In the 2nd round, the Model S Plaid had its launch control disabled while the Lucid Air used launch control — only then did the Lucid Performance win.
In the 3rd attempt, the Model S Plaid had Dragstrip Mode enabled and again it won this race with ease. The 4th and final rolling race at 25 mph also resulted in the Tesla Model S Plaid winning.
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