I drove the Lucid Air a few days ago. There is nothing else like it on the market. While many compare it to a Tesla Model S, it is distinctively different from the Model S (which I previously owned), and far more luxurious. From the interior design, to the massage seats, to the feel of the drivetrain, to the infotainment, Lucid is about one thing: luxe, luxe, luxe. The newly announced Lucid Gravity takes that to another level — the SUV level.
I’m sure the Gravity will share many key features and design elements with the Air, and I imagine I’d still prefer the sedan since I abhor driving large vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks, but this picture from Lucid’s press release about the Gravity certainly provides an element of awe and quickly makes me think that the Lucid Gravity will be the queen of luxury:
I drove around with the massager on in the driver’s seat (it was as good as I would have hoped), and I have to assume those reclining backseats in that picture will have the massage option as well. Frankly, in the class this is in and with seats like that, why not have a driver?
Touching back in with reality for a moment, Lucid’s vehicles are not in my price range and I recognize they aren’t for most people. In fact, I have previously skipped on the chance to write articles about Lucid since I have seen it as a niche luxury brand that won’t move the needle too much in the grand scheme of things. I’m not sure if my opinion on that has changed, but I was so impressed with the Air that I have apparently been inspired to cover and gawk in awe at more Lucid news now, like the Gravity teaser.
Also, the top of the market is a market influencer. Tesla has led in that top-of-market realm for a decade, driving change in the auto industry and inspiring many buyers to get the Model 3, Model Y, or even other non-Tesla electric vehicles. I now see how Lucid could potentially do the same. Tesla is the reigning premium class or premium tech leader in the auto industry, but Mercedes is still widely seen as the luxury market leader. Lucid, however, could conceivably steal that title from Mercedes. With the difficulty of transitioning smoothly from fossil-powered cars and SUVs to fully electric cars and SUVs, Mercedes is at a disadvantage compared to Lucid. The Air is a testament to how well you can design a luxury EV from the ground up and a startup environment, and the Gravity takes that to the next level. Indeed, Lucid’s leading line in its press release is: “Lucid’s next force of nature: A luxury electric SUV like none other.” And I believe it.
At the same time that Lucid is doing what it’s doing on interior design, materials, infotainment, and drive feel, it is also going above and beyond in other ways. The Gravity will apparently offer more range than any other non-Lucid EV. It will seat seven people but also offer “supercar levels of performance.” Buckle up over that tuxe.
Reservations for the Gravity open in 2023. Deliveries will start in 2024.
“Gravity builds upon everything we have achieved thus far, driving further advancements of our in-house technology to create a luxury performance SUV like none other,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Group. “Just as Lucid Air redefined the sedan category, so too will Gravity impact the world of luxury SUVs, setting new benchmarks across the board.”
The Lucid Gravity will be built in the company’s AMP-1 factory in Casa Grande, Arizona.
The seating options are where Lucid is really tailoring the Gravity to what individual customers want. You can choose between 5, 6, or 7 seats (all adult-sized seats) in 2-row or 3-row seat arrangements.
I’ve touched on the infotainment above, but I’ll just take a moment here to highlight that Lucid’s system really seemed top of the line from an aesthetic perspective. Again, it seemed very luxe and made my Model 3’s touchscreen look more like a basic tablet bolted into the middle of the car by a no-style engineer. I didn’t take the time to explore the touchscreen’s depths and edges (I’ll have to see if I can get a car to do that more extensively over the course of a week or month — cough cough), but from an initial perspective (sitting inside a Lucid Air a few weeks ago and driving one a few days ago), the Lucid infotainment system is like a chocolate-covered strawberry compared to a basic (but fine) strawberry. This is how Lucid describes the system for the upcoming Gravity SUV: “It will also feature the next-generation Glass Cockpit high-resolution displays, powered by the next generation of the intuitive and elegant Lucid UX software interface.” Sounds tantalizing.
Another Lucid executive also tells us how happy he is with the Gravity: “I’m so thrilled with the results we are seeing with Lucid Gravity, sparing no opportunity to build on everything we learned with Lucid Air to create something that warps the vehicle-class continuum,” said Derek Jenkins, Senior Vice President, Design, Lucid Group. “It is both a supercar in disguise and an SUV with flexible passenger and cargo space that seems impossibly big relative to the exterior size of the vehicle. And it does this all with Lucid’s distinctive post-luxury design, inspired by California.”
I’m not keen on the “supercar in disguise” claim, even though that’s a good way to highlight that it is powerful and quick, as I’m yet to find any SUV that drives anything like a supercar. SUVs are just big. That’s their selling point, but that also means they don’t feel like race cars. I don’t see Model Xs darting off the line, even Model X Plaids, whereas I see plenty of other Teslas and BMW i3s doing so. It’s a different feel, a different target market, and a different induced style of driving. Big SUVs are not for me. If I was a billionaire, I’d have an Air in my driveway, not a Gravity (well … unless I went that route of being driven around by someone). However, my area is full of large SUVs, including far too many Escalades and comparably sized luxury SUV beasts. I would love to see those replaced with a Lucid Gravity or two on every corner. And while that won’t mean they are volume leaders in the overall auto market, they’ll be doing their part and also inspiring more plebes in my tax bracket to consider electric cars as well. I look forward to seeing Lucid deliver on yet another top-of-the-line, drool-inducing luxury electric automobile.
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