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First Uncamouflaged Drive

Adnillien

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I found the "Transport Evolved" ride along to be very interesting. I believe Nikki commented on production starting late in the year. It seems that what has moved from Q2 to second half of the year, is now the end of the year. I agree with hmp10, it is very late to still be showing what appears to be loose HVAC buttons, wind noise and power train noise. While the size of the roof rails was apparent in the Rawlinson teasers, David sits up a bit higher and it almost looks like the roof rails interefere with his vision out the side windows. I still like the look of the interior and I am very hopeful that the it will be top quality, but I am beginning to have some doubts. I also agree with WildRide47 about wanting to see and drive a car before buying it. Supposedly, the Scottsdale studio near me will open this spring and I can take a first hand look. Providing that the studios are not on the same moving schedule as production.
 

Alex

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Speaking of vision interference: One thing I find annoying is the the glued/attached window visor on the windshield. They boast about the large expanse of glass, but cover it up with the window visor. A solution similar to the Tesla Model X, where the visor is to the side and swings out, if needed, would be better. Also, the gap between the visor and A-Pillar would be something of an annoyance at best, with sunlight streaming through. Also, to cover the windows on the side would require swinging the visor to the side, which seems that, due to its placement, would not sufficiently cover the side window - plus it would be at an awkward angle.

It seems the studios are progressing quicker than the car production. I wouldn't be surprised if the Scottsdale studio opens quickly. But I would think they would put up a makeshift showroom at their assembly plant in Casa Grande, considering the cars would come off the assembly line right into the "showroom." A service center at the assembly plant would also make a lot of sense.

--As an aside, I do have the Dream Edition "on order". Or at least I have the $7500 deposit in place, so my comments do not reflect a lack of commitment to the brand.
 

Adnillien

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I like the idea of a showroom at the factory. It would be great to see if the quality out of factory is really good or more like Tesla. The Arizona service center is under construction a few miles south of the Scottsdale Fashion Square where their design studio will be. I am not sure why a service center is needed before customers have cars to drive.

Maybe I will do factory flyover this weekend and see if there is anything new down there.
 

hmp10

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While the size of the roof rails was apparent in the Rawlinson teasers, David sits up a bit higher and it almost looks like the roof rails interefere with his vision out the side windows.
Having sat in the cars at both the Miami and the West Palm Beach Design Studios, I can corroborate that the roof rails are massive. I noticed it immediately in getting into the cars, reaching to pull the doors closed, and getting out. In fact, I bumped my head on the roof rail getting out of the car in West Palm, and the sales associate said I was not the first one. In Miami, Zak Edson told me that Lucid was trying to figure out a way to reduce the size of at least the trim pieces (as the rail size is cast in stone).

On the other hand, once I made a point of paying attention, I noticed the rails on my Tesla Model S are pretty beefy, too. I can't remember if I found them intrusive when I first bought the car six years ago and just got used to them.

I certainly hope Rawlinson is right in claiming the car has achieved a vault-like feel. Otherwise, the massive roof rails are just going to be an annoyance without any offsetting advantage.

Speaking of vision interference: One thing I find annoying is the the glued/attached window visor on the windshield. They boast about the large expanse of glass, but cover it up with the window visor. A solution similar to the Tesla Model X, where the visor is to the side and swings out, if needed, would be better.
I, too, seriously dislike the "glued-on" and clunky look of those visors. I thought the wing design of the alpha car windshield looked far better.

However, I have test driven a Model X a couple of times and, although I like the stowed away position of its visors, I found them fairly puny in terms of how much protection they give you from sun glare -- something that is a real issue with the size of the overhead glass area. I have read numerous complaints on Tesla forums about their inadequacy.

These sweeping expanses of glass in the Model X and the Air create a real challenge for sun visors, as they have to cover far more glass area to battle sun glare than in metal-roofed cars or even cars such as the Model S or Rivian in which there is a substantial bar over the top of the windshield before the glass roof panel begins. One of the least-liked features of the Model X is that expansive glass extending over the driver's upper vision periphery. I have a feeling that, at least until technology for localized electrochromic darkening comes along, this feature will turn out to be a short-lived design conceit.
 
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hmp10

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I'm still (mostly) loving the Air, but as new EVs arrive on the market some of my pet peeves are growing.

A video just released by "The Verge" shows an EQS in which the rear passenger's feet easily slide under the front seat. Two weekends ago I went with a friend to test drive a VW ID.4 (great car, by the way). My feet slipped easily under the front seat. Even my Tesla Model S with its woebegone rear seating offers some toe room under the front seat. This is obviously quite easy to do, even with the fully motorized front seats these other vehicles have. Why Lucid cannot do something this simple to provide a little more stretch-out space in the rear is still beyond me.

Cars as modest as the VW and as aspirational as the EQS are now routinely giving drivers heads-up displays with very useful features such as navigation system projections of turns onto the actual turns on the roadway. Why not Lucid?

Mercedes and Rivian are following in Tesla's footsteps by displaying satellite images of surrounding terrain on their large displays, something which makes driving in unfamiliar terrain easier and sometimes even fascinating. Lucid is not feeling it.

The EQS has power-operated doors, as Tesla has now had for several years. Yet Lucid can't pull it off just yet.

The landscapes of the EV market are changing rapidly with this year's spate of new offerings from both new and legacy manufacturers. Lucid's prospect of splashing into the market with leading-edge efficiency, luxury, power, space, and features has faded to the point that, except perhaps in efficiency, there will be some contender that bests it in every one of these categories.

I'm convinced it's going to be a great car when it finally arrives . . . but it could have been astounding.
 

Lucken

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In the meantime I bought an Audi E-tron Sportback. It's probably the quietest most serene ride I've felt with a truly lovely interior. Car & Driver called the noise suppression superb and only bested by 1db from a $355,000 Rolls. Sure, not the power or range of the upcoming Lucid, but at my age I've had my fling with 0-60 times and I've grown to appreciate other aspects of motor vehicles. 99% of my trips will be under 100 miles, so it's not a drop dead requirement. Nice, but not drop dead. I'll keep my deposit here for now, but life is too short to be waiting forever.
 

hmp10

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I certainly can't argue with your rationale, and I suspect you won't be the last to make this decision as the wait for the Lucid Air drags on.

Porsche Taycan sales have outstripped sales of Tesla Model S globally, and the Taycan is even outselling the 911 in the U.S. I wonder how many of these buyers might have tried a Lucid on for size if it had been available last year as originally planned.

If the EQS really does hit the market ahead of the Air, this will be a serious bleed of potential buyers away from Lucid. Lucid is still not letting reviewers pilot the car themselves. I've been watching EQS videos the past few days, and Mercedes is already turning cars over to reviewers to drive, sometimes without Mercedes personnel even in the car. I watched a video yesterday of a journalist who was given an EQS for six hours with no Mercedes rep in the car, during which he drove the car from NYC to Philly and back. He was able to drive anywhere and any way he pleased, and the car blew him away.

However, he did do a timed acceleration run and found the car took 5.1 seconds from 0-60 mph in Sport mode, even though it was the top-powered 580 model. That's well off the mark of 4.3 seconds MB is claiming for 0-100 kph (0-62 mph). He also found that the remaining range indicator was dropping considerably faster than his actual road travel. He attributed this to his lead foot, though, noting that he uses up about 170 miles of indicated range for every 100 actual miles he drives his Tesla Model S on the highway at similar speeds (which he confessed was often around 85 mph).

It's very interesting that MB was taking this marketing approach a couple of weeks before its April 15 full reveal date. Lucid did its full reveal last September 9, and seven months later no journalists have yet been put behind the wheel.

If Peter Rawlinson can drive release-candidate cars in California and New York City and find nothing left to square away other than 0-2 mph roll-out behavior and slightly imprecise A/C toggle switches, maybe it's time to let some journalists get behind the wheel to punch up the volume on Lucid buzz as these other high-ticket luxury/performance EVs are racking up orders and deposits?
 

Alex

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Mercedes seems very sure of their UI on the EQS. Lucid, unfortunately, has shown very little of the UI and I fear it will not be feature complete and lacking when released. Maybe going to a showroom is the best solution to try out the (unfinished) UI? I'm worried that the Lucid UI will not really be finished when the car is released and we will have to wait years (like for Tesla) to have it fleshed out. I remember Peter Rawlinson briefly showing some massage seat function, when he drove it. I would like to see a more thorough walk through of the UI. This would be one of the first things I would do when test driving the car.

Hopefully, the first 500 Dream Edition owners will have priority access to the software team to help guide them to a better and complete UI. Maybe the Dream Edition owners can get the car early (and incomplete) in exchange for helping flesh out the vehicle. Personally I would be willing to participate in this and I would constantly be hammering on them for the powered doors.
 

hmp10

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The cars at both the Miami and West Palm Beach showrooms had upper screens that were only partially operational. The lower screens were completely non-operational.

I'm totally with you on the power-operated doors. The EQS videos all show power-operated doors even in public venues, so they're apparently road-ready. I'm still mystified why Lucid is having a problem getting them into production.

The voice activation in the EQS is amazing. One reviewer told it "I'm cold", and the temperature was automatically adjusted up 6 degrees and only for his seating position. He told the system "my back hurts", and his seat massager turned on. I've watched several reviewers use the voice activation and, as near as I can tell, they don't even have to push a microphone button. They just say, "hey, Mercedes", wait for an acknowledgement, and then state the command in common parlance.

Interestingly, though, some reviewers have found the Mercedes UI both balky and a bit primitive graphics-wise. As do you, I suspect Lucid will launch in an even less-developed state, this being their first rodeo.
 

Alex

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My feeling is that if I'm going to spend $169K to be a guinea pig for a few years, I think I need to have some reassurances that I have a voice into what the product will look like. I'm having a sense that this will be like Tesla, where some one at Lucid (like Elon at Tesla) decides what's best for us and then slowly implements things which they deem are worthy for our use, even though there may be many other things that are of more use to us. I've own/owned several Teslas since 2012 and still can't feel relaxed knowing that the next great thing is around the corner. Maybe that's how they hook you, but I have 3 Teslas that have the $10K Full Self Driving and still waiting for that to fully materialize.
 

hmp10

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My feeling is that if I'm going to spend $169K to be a guinea pig for a few years, I think I need to have some reassurances that I have a voice into what the product will look like.
My feelings exactly. The reason I post so darned much here is that I know someone from Lucid periodically checks this forum, and it's the only form of voice we can hope to have with Lucid.

I've bought Teslas for both myself and my brother, and I'm taking delivery on a Rivian R1S Launch Edition in (I hope) a few months. Like you, I just can't get enough of EVs.
 

Lucken

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The cars at both the Miami and West Palm Beach showrooms had upper screens that were only partially operational. The lower screens were completely non-operational.

I'm totally with you on the power-operated doors. The EQS videos all show power-operated doors even in public venues, so they're apparently road-ready. I'm still mystified why Lucid is having a problem getting them into production.

The voice activation in the EQS is amazing. One reviewer told it "I'm cold", and the temperature was automatically adjusted up 6 degrees and only for his seating position. He told the system "my back hurts", and his seat massager turned on. I've watched several reviewers use the voice activation and, as near as I can tell, they don't even have to push a microphone button. They just say, "hey, Mercedes", wait for an acknowledgement, and then state the command in common parlance.

Interestingly, though, some reviewers have found the Mercedes UI both balky and a bit primitive graphics-wise. As do you, I suspect Lucid will launch in an even less-developed state, this being their first rodeo.
Do you know the E-Tron has many of these same functions? This morning I told the Audi I was cold and it asked, ‘What temperature should I make it?’ If you say ‘I’m hungry’, the car responds, ‘Where would you like to eat?’. It’s an extremely accurate voice recognition. Overall, I’m far happier with this car than I was with my MS or I-Pace.

You can also get self-closing doors if that’s a hot point for you. I’d find it hard to believe the Lucid will ride any better or be any quieter. In fact, I was really unimpressed with the noise levels I heard in the Lucid test drive ride along by that female reviewer.

Honestly, I’m sure the Lucid will be a great car, but the more I see the more I feel I made the right decision. They’ve made, IMO, a serious mistake with these delays.
 

hmp10

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In fact, I was really unimpressed with the noise levels I heard in the Lucid test drive ride along by that female reviewer.
I think you're talking about the "Transport Evolved" video with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield. I, too, thought the car sounded a bit noisy until I heard two things: (1) this was an earlier beta version car with later versions having modified the exterior elements that were the source of the wind noise, and (2) the microphone normally used for these tests failed, so they had to use the sound recorded by the GoPro cameras which contributed to the noise heard in the video. Nikki commented at the end of the video that the car was considerably quieter than one would think from the sounds in the video.

They’ve made, IMO, a serious mistake with these delays.
I don't know if the delays were avoidable, but they are certainly going to turn out to be unfortunate.

Tesla became an icon almost overnight, with its image shooting to the moon when "Car & Driver" named it Car of the Year in 2012. Lucid is entering a market populated by Porsche Taycans, Audi E-Trons, and Mercedes EQS's. Also, the $100K price cap for Car of the Year contenders puts that crown out of reach, no matter how well the auto press receives the Air.
 

hmp10

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Lucken, a couple of questions about your E-Tron:

1. How's the back seat, especially in terms of knee position?

2. Does it have any level of one-pedal driving, or does regenerative braking engage only by pushing the brake pedal? (I know Porsche opted for the latter approach, but a friend and I just test drove a VW ID.4 and, while its default setting required brake pedal engagement, it did allow the driver to select throttle lift-off regeneration -- a choice I'm mystified the Taycan doesn't offer.)
 

Lucken

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I'm only 5'7", so not the best person to ask about rear seating position. In my standard rear seat testing prior to purchasing the car, it seemed to be better than my MS and probably on par with the I-Pace, but more leg room. Since the car is only a few days old, I haven't had the opportunity to have someone of a taller stature sit in the rear. I will report back when that occurs, but subjectively, to me, it was very comfortable with a normal leg position. I should mention I have the Sportback variant of the E-Tron.

There are a number of regenerative braking configurations. The first is 'automatic', not my preferred setting but many seem to like it. In this setting, the car determines the following distance of your vehicle to the vehicle in front of you and applies increasing levels of regenerative braking as your distance to the car narrows. You can, at any time, override that automatic setting with paddle 'shifters' that control several levels of manual regenerative braking.

Finally, there is a manual setting to which you can apply several levels of regenerative braking that will occur with each lift off of the accelerator. The strongest is quite good, but it's just short of one pedal driving. I find it's actually quite good, and similar to the level I had with the I-Pace. The I-Pace didn't quite bring the car to a full stop, but was quite close.

Thus far, I far prefer the E-tron to either my MS (the level of quality & construction is in an entirely different league) and my I-Pace. In the case of the I-Pace, although the ride is sportier, I find I'm much preferring the smooth silky ride of the E-Tron. My area has quite a number of road irregularities/potholes and driving the E-Tron it's as if the roads have undergone repair. That together with the incredibly low noise levels (both road & wind noise), makes for a very serene driving experience. The I-Pace had very little wind noise, but quite a bit of road noise intruded into the cabin. Losing a second in 0-60 times between my I-pace/MS (both about 4.5 seconds) is of no consequence to me. 5.5 seconds is fine for me, I'm not in my teens anymore...the years march on, don't they.
 

hmp10

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I'm only 5'7", so not the best person to ask about rear seating position.
Oddly enough, I'm only 5'7", too. Even at that, I found that my knees were jacked up in the back of the Air as much as in the backseat of my Model S. What was different, though, was that the Air had considerably more room to stretch the legs forward, thus reducing the angle of the knee somewhat.

There are a number of regenerative braking configurations. The first is 'automatic', not my preferred setting but many seem to like it. In this setting, the car determines the following distance of your vehicle to the vehicle in front of you and applies increasing levels of regenerative braking as your distance to the car narrows. You can, at any time, override that automatic setting with paddle 'shifters' that control several levels of manual regenerative braking.
Interesting. This is the same setup as in the EQS. Must be a German thing.

The strongest is quite good, but it's just short of one pedal driving.
Same thing in the VW ID.4 when you engage the option for off-throttle braking. The VW's regenerative braking will bring the car down to 2 mph, but a full stop requires hitting the brake pedal. Actually, that's pretty much the way my Tesla works, when I think about it.

Losing a second in 0-60 times between my I-pace/MS (both about 4.5 seconds) is of no consequence to me. 5.5 seconds is fine for me, I'm not in my teens anymore...the years march on, don't they.
I wish I could say the same. I'll be 70 by the time my Dream Edition arrives, and it's that massive power output that has me on the hook. While I drive carefully in a line of traffic, always maintaining safe following distances and signaling lane changes, etc., I cannot shake my addiction to jackrabbit starts when conditions allow. I like nothing better than having pole position at a red light with a clear road ahead, and that happens a lot where I live. Unfortunately, I only get 8-10,000 miles on a set of summer tires on my P90D.

I've pretty much given up my hope that the Air would be a good car for ferrying my aged friends around in an EV instead of in my Honda minivan. That's why I'm sticking with my reservation for a Rivian R1S. It'll accommodate the oldsters in the back seat while it's 3-second 0-60 time will still give me the jackrabbit starts my crotchety soul craves. (I guess I'll soon know for sure which of my friends wear wigs or toupeés.)
 
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Draw007

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There's a soon to be released elephant in the room: Audi e-tron GT. It certainly is playing in the same sandbox as the Air but also comes with a VAG dealer network (for better or worse depending on where you live). For me, the Air's design elements are on-point and actually captivating, contrasting canopy not withstanding. The mixed interior materials are a beautiful blend of shades and textures not found on the German offerings, including the GT and Taycan.

That said, and full transparency, while it's a striking feature, I am concerned with how much the expansive front glass that will inevitably get cracked and need to be replaced will cost. I'm also curious how serviceable the battery packs are as they seem to be sandwiched between the floorpan and cabin. (NEVER do things go back together in the manner they were initially assembled, i.e., flat rate.)

Lastly, and I'll get off my soapbox, here are a few wishes for optional content:

- Darker shaded carpeted flooring. Every one of Lucid's offerings are on the lighter shade. Automobile interior flooring is subjected to conditions nearly worse than the exterior of the vehicle. Charcoal or comparable shaded carpeting isn't going to interfere with any of the interior color palettes currently offered.
- A couple more exterior color choices. With all of the California-infused inspiration Lucid designers claimed in their videos and are proud their palettes counter the typical German rainbow of silver, gray, black and white, they missed the mark - especially considering they pilfered from Jaguar/Land Rover's headcount. Something comparable to JLR's metallic British Racing Green and/or Hakuba Silver would immensely fit the interior schemes currently offered.

Cheers.

R
 
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hmp10

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I, too, think the Lucid interior is the classiest of the new batch of EV's. In fact, I think the EQS, with its quilting, brightwork, and shiny black plastic, is a little too pimp-my-ride-ish.

As for carpeting, the Mojave interior palette does have dark carpeting, but then you have to take a much darker full interior to get it.
 
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hmp10

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"Transport Evolved" just published a follow-up video to the ride-along Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield did the other day:


It was done to respond to many of the critiques/questions the original video got. In the follow-up, she went into considerable detail as to why the GoPro cameras made the car sound considerably noisier than it actually was to a passenger.

The most interesting thing, however, is that she said the ride was originally intended to last about an hour, which was the battery life of the GoPro cameras. The ride actually lasted almost two hours, and it was in the off-camera segment that they took the car onto backroads and into twisty mountain passes. She said that, at least from a passenger perspective, the car's handling seemed incredibly taut and responsive. She said the car took turns much faster than could be done in a Tesla. In fact, she said the nearest dynamic feel to the Air she has encountered was when she tested a Porsche Taycan.
 

WildRide47

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As for color options, I wish they would offer a nice medium blue or gray-blue. I think that would go nicely with the polished metal roof.
 
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