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Johnny Lieberman (Motor Trend) Drove Lucid Air Dream Edition from Beverly Hills to San Francisco

hmp10

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I think some information can be gleaned from between the lines of what has been revealed about the Dream Edition over the past two days. Now don't get me wrong; I welcome the choice of two versions of the Dream Edition, especially since one of them unleashes more of the motors' potential for a relatively small range penalty.

However, I have been perplexed why the EPA tests that were reportedly begun more than a month ago had not yet resulted in a triumphant announcement from Lucid that its range claims had been made official. I was equally perplexed that teases from a couple of months ago about the cars soon being in the hands of the auto press had not yet come to pass.

I think this split into two versions reveals the answers: the original version of the Dream Edition with 1,080 hp did not break the 500-mile mark in EPA testing that Lucid had publicly touted. In order to meet that promise, Lucid had to detune the car a bit to get over the 500-mile barrier in EPA testing. With that range pressure then relieved, they were free to tune a performance version of the Dream Edition up closer to the full potential of the motors, hence reaching 1,111 hp.

I think that the time needed to regroup after the initial road bumps with EPA testing is why the EPA test results, the auto press test drives, and the ultimate release of the Dream Edition have all been delayed.

Frankly, I don't put much stock in EPA range ratings, anyway. I'm always more interested in the range reliable journalists attain in real-world driving. Whether 450, 475, 503, or 517 miles, I'm damned impressed that Jonny Lieberman and other journalists before him in ride-alongs and convoy tests got as close as they did to any of those figures.

For my part, I'm resolved on the Performance version, less for its ultimate power output than for the fact that in the middle "Swift" mode it produces 804 hp instead of the 670 hp at the same setting in the Range version. As I've already learned with our new Tesla Plaid, making use of 1,000 hp on public roads is a fool's enterprise -- and not a particularly pleasant one, either. However, for quick bursts of acceleration within sane driving speeds, the difference between 670 and 804 will be discernible, though relatively minor. As both the Range and Performance versions dial their outputs down to 670 hp in "Smooth" mode, I'm guessing that using that mode on long highway trips will result in essentially the same range between the two versions given the same wheel/tire combo.
 

hmp10

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Two more reviews came up this morning on internet auto review sites, and both misread the "Motor Trend" review to arrive at the false conclusion that the difference in range Rawlinson and Lieberman attained on the drive to San Francisco was because one was in the R version and the other was driving the P version. Lieberman was clear in the review: they were both driving R versions on that trip, and the mileage difference was due solely to different driving techniques.

I get more depressed by the day at how dodgy a source the internet can be for reliable information.
 

Lucken

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I actually don’t know where you get accurate information on anything these days. It’s hard to trust any source, internet-based or otherwise.

Do you have a link to those other ‘reviews’? I assume those are simply takes on Lieberman’s initial review since I gather others haven’t driven the car.
 

hmp10

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These are the two that came up in the past 24 hours. There were several more yesterday that were similarly confused:


 

hmp10

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I'm surprised that the Lucid website as of this morning is still not updated to reflect the splitting of the Dream Edition into two versions. The website is still showing the 1,080 hp figure, and the order configurator has not made the adjustment.

I would have thought that the website administrators at Lucid would have been working behind the scenes to have the website ready to update with the public announcement of the new versions. This suggests to me that the decision to split into two versions was made quickly and very recently and is probably the reason we won't see deliveries until the fourth quarter.
 

Lucken

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These are the two that came up in the past 24 hours. There were several more yesterday that were similarly confused:


If you watched Lieberman’s interior review video, at the very end Rawlinson pulls alongside and looks in a bit nervously. At least that was my take. :)
 

hmp10

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I haven't come across that but would like to watch it. Can you give the link?
 

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Here is a rehash of the Lieberman review from BMWBlog, and they got the R vs P issue right:
It’s hard to read Lieberman’s review of the Lucid Air Dream Edition and not come away with a ton of excitement for the brand. It’s not just the power, specs, and incredible range. It’s the fact that it combines all of those things in a great looking package, with an absolutely fantastic interior, and surprisingly good handling. If you’re even slightly interested in cars, check out this review because the Ludic Air Dream Edition is an absolute game changer.
 

hmp10

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Yes, I saw that one [the year-old video in Post #28] at the time. Actually it left me a little worried that Lieberman wasn't either analytical or probing enough about the car. He just let Derek Jenkins present the company line virtually unhindered.
 

hmp10

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Here is a rehash of the Lieberman review from BMWBlog, and they got the R vs P issue right . . . .
They did, but I wish they had not kept referring to it as the Ludic Air. ;)
 

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So much for great press reviews pulling Lucid stock out of the doldrums. On the heels of the glowing Motor Trend review, the stock has only lengthened its 9-day losing streak while Tesla has trended upward throughout the period.

Rather than focusing on how good Lieberman reported the car to be, is the market more focused on the split into two versions signaling that Lucid failed in its range claims for the original single version?
 

Lucken

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I’d be surprised if that’s the rationale for the stock’s behavior. I think once they see a delivered product, things will change.
 

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I just noticed that the upper housing of the outside rearview mirrors in the Motor Trend photos were painted the gold body color instead of matching the roof rails as they do on the Lucid website and in the order configurator. I hope they will match the roof rails in the production version, as I think that looks much sharper. I wonder why the difference?

Update: I called Lucid Sales to ask about the mirrors, but they didn't have an answer other than all photos from either source are of preproduction cars. They said they wouldn't know for sure until salespeople can see the production validation cars that are not yet on the road but will be actual final production versions. That led me to ask if the production validation cars were already built, and I was told they were. The salesperson then added that executives and test personnel did already have them on the road.

I would think that for ease of production it would be better to do the mirror tops in the brushed aluminum of the roof rails, as any mirror could be used on any color car.

Part of my reason for preferring the brushed aluminum is that, in the last few months I owned the 2015 Tesla, large paint flakes flew off both mirrors, and I had to get them repainted before I traded the car. Of course, I'm assuming (praying?) that the Lucid will have a better paint job than any Tesla has yet managed.
 
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Alex

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I just noticed that the upper housing of the outside rearview mirrors in the Motor Trend photos were painted the gold body color instead of matching the roof rails as they do on the Lucid website and in the order configurator. I hope they will match the roof rails in the production version, as I think that looks much sharper. I wonder why the difference?


I liked the brush aluminum too - since it was different than other cars. And it blended in better.
 

hmp10

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I got a call early this evening from two sales reps at Lucid, responding to my question about the range difference in the R and the P versions. While I understand the range in overall driving will be higher in the R version, my question was this:

In the "smooth" setting, both the R and the P will limit power output to 670 hp. If a P is in this setting and driving at steady speed on an interstate, would it consume any more battery power than an R in this situation?

Neither guy knew the answer but will try to check it out. They did tell me, though, that they have been told there will be a hardware difference between the P and the R, not just a tuning difference in the software. However, they don't know what that hardware difference entails. They speculated that the hardware difference could make a difference in the demand on the battery even in the above scenario about which I inquired, but they weren't sure. They're going to get back to me with an answer if they get one that can be publicly divulged.

Neither one had an answer about the mirror finish.
 

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I would not put too much stock in in what the sales associates tell you. I had two associates tell me that the steering wheel did not adjust on the "pre-production" car in Scottsdale and then Alex adjusted the steering wheel the next day. I am thinking like Alex that the differences in the Dream versions are software and not hardware. I certainly could be wrong.

As for the mirror color, this is a big don't care for me. Besides, I actually prefer the body colored mirror. I will be very happy with either.

Neil
 
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