What is it like on the inside?
A big part of the Air’s appeal is the receding roofline you see here. Alright, Lucid calls it a glass canopy. And sure, the Vauxhall Astra offered it as an option over a decade ago. But it’s a trend that we can only presume didn’t catch on because it made pesky winter windscreen chips gobsmackingly expensive to fix. Anyway, the sense of airiness it lends the cabin is welcome. It’s not available on base Airs, mind.
The overall ambience is one that’s lighter and less formal than all of its German rivals, and just a bit more ‘conventional car interior’ than a Tesla. In a very good way. While a large-ish portrait screen does much of the heavy lifting when it comes to controlling the Air’s chassis bits ‘n’ bobs, there are also – brace yourselves, Gen Zedders – actual buttons.
Yep, those of us whose lives have straddled the pre- and post-smartphone worlds will delight in how Lucid has melded the two worlds. You toggle drive modes through a screen, but the climate control is via buttons. The instruments are digital but placed right where you expect them – slap bang in the top crescent of the steering wheel. A wheel which is almost entirely circular, it’s worth adding. No try-hard squircles or confusing yokes here.
Then there are the materials. You can have full leather if you want, but Lucid is offering an animal-free alternative called PurLuxe, while you can trim the doors and dash in alpaca wool trim as demonstrated by this Dream Edition R. Not animal free, of course, but significantly more renewable and sustainable than a cow hide.
The interior’s big draw for us, though, besides its natty door release triggers and vigorous massage functions, is its sense of quiet. The Air may be uncommonly good to drive for something so portly, but that original target of whipping the S-Class into shape ensures the overriding feeling is one of calm. Typically, losing a petrol or diesel powertrain from a car just opens up your senses to all the other noise whipped up by travel. The Air is unfailingly whisper-quiet, even at a keen motorway cruise.
Any other business?
The rear quarters are generous in size, but although rear legroom sits somewhere between a Tesla Model S and Mercedes S-Class, taller folk might struggle tucking their feet beneath the front seats. Luggage space is strong, split between 458 litres in the rear (with the whole rear clam revealing it rather elegantly) and 280 litres up front. The latter is almost twice what you’ll find under the bonnet of a Porsche Cayman, though the space is much flatter and shallower here. Big stuff’s going in the back.
The car here is described as pre-production, though its only genuinely annoying niggle stemmed from a rear-view camera that lagged troublingly behind reality. Expect this to be rectified if you’re buying one. Or else making a turn in the road is going to be a worrisome experience indeed…