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Lucid Air Features and Configuration Questions

hmp10

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Several things are already reasonably clear about the Lucid Air: it will be fast; it will have 400+ miles of highway range; it will be roomy; it will handle well; the dual-motor version will be expensive ($100K+)..

That leaves a lot of questions for people who might be seriously interested in the car. Here are mine . . . and I hope others will add theirs. My first three questions have to do with whether Lucid will offer three of my favorite features on the Tesla Model S:

1. Will the regenerative braking be programmed for one-pedal driving (as opposed to being activated only when the brake pedal is pressed)?

2. What are the angle and resolution of the rearview camera?

3. Will a Google Earth satellite view be displayed on the lower screen?

4. How will the batteries tolerate frequent fast charging and frequent charging to 100%?

5. Will the initial production run have the Mobileye EyeQ5 chip?

6. What will be the level of autonomous driving at introduction?

7. Will the glass canopy have electrochromic glass?

8. Now that the 130 kWh battery pack has been dropped in favor of a smaller pack, will all versions have the recessed rear footwells?

9. Will the rear bench seat be adjustable (such as slight back recline)?

10. Will the executive rear seating be available in early production cars?

11. What wheel and tire options will be available?

12. What entertainment media will be available?

13 . . . . .
 

hmp10

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Car & Driver just ran an article on the Air's wind tunnel testing:


The key take away is that the 0.21 Cd figure was attained with aerodynamic 19" wheels which will not be available until after the car launches. The 19" wheels will wear 245/45R-19 all season tires. (These are the same tire sizes on a Tesla Model S with 19" wheels.) However, the Pirelli tires have a compound and construction specific to the Air.

Dream Edition will launch with 21" wheels, with no tire size given yet. (A Tesla wears the same width tires whether with 19" of 21" wheels, just with a lower profile.) This means that the Dream Edition will not be quite as slippery as the test car. However, Lucid CEO Rawlinson did say that the car is still undergoing development, and the shutlines may be narrowed in the production version, further lowering aerodynamic drag.

Here's a test car with aero wheels. They look to be 21-inchers, but I can't be sure. They are similar to a wheel option on the Mercedes S-Class, and I actually think they look better than the wheels on all the Lucid Air show cars. I suspect they're pretty heavy, though.

AeroWheels.png
 

Hawk

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I was unaware that the 0.21 Cd was attained with the 19" aero wheels. Wonder what the actual Dream Edition Cd figure will be?
 

hmp10

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The Tesla Model S has a Cd of 0.24 without aero wheels. Lucid hired the lead aerodynamicist from Formula One racing to hone the design of the Air for low drag, so I expect the Dream Edition will at least match the Model S.

Tesla sells an ugly aero cap for Model 3 wheels. Though they do reduce drag measurably, they still only add 10-15 miles of range to the car. I suspect the differences in Cd with the 19" aero and 21" non-aero wheels will have little practical consequences for the Air's range.

A European firm has developed a very handsome forged 21" aero wheel specifically for the Tesla Model S. The wheel has only been certified for Europe at this point, so I don't know whether it could be shipped to the U.S. I also don't know whether its bolt pattern (5 x 120 mm) or offsets (+40 mm) would work with a Lucid.

A photo of the wheel is too large a file to attach here, but it can be seen at:



P.S. I should note that the aero wheels on the car photo in my post above do not appear to be the same aero wheels used in the wind tunnel, which appeared to be spoked wheels to the extent one can tell from the dark, blurry shot of them.
 
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hmp10

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I'm a tire freak who actually enjoys reading tire tests in auto magazines and on sellers' websites (with Tire Rack being the best). I did a little digging into the "new" tires the C&D article said the test car at Windshear was wearing: Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus. The article also said this tire was "developed specifically for the Air."

This tire is not listed on the Pirelli website. However, it is shown on the Tire Rack website. But Tire Rack tested that tire in September 2017, meaning it is hardly a "new" tire. In fact, its absence on the Pirelli website suggests it might be a discontinued tire that Tire Rack still has in stock. I'm wondering if this was a tire that Lucid has been using on its cars since the early development days of 2016/17 when the tire was, in fact, new.

In any case, at Tire Rack the tire is not available in a 21" wheel size meaning, I suppose, that the Dream Edition will wear a different tire. There are few all-season or winter tires available for 21" wheel diameters, particularly in the narrower widths typical of EVs. I'm wondering if putting all-season or winter tires on a Lucid with 21" wheels will require a smaller wheel for winter use, as is the case with many luxury cars with large wheels.

This claim about something being developed specifically for Lucid is similar to the claim that both Samsung and LG Chem worked with Lucid to "co-develop" a special chemistry for the batteries that will go into the Air. I have been unable find anything to corroborate either of these claims about special chemistry just for the Lucid Air. LG Chem's most advanced battery chemistry is NCM811, which it is just now introducing to the market . . . but those batteries are available to all customers.

It's great fun to pore over sources to ferret out information about the Lucid Air, but I constantly have to remind myself how much marketing guff makes it into the mix.
 

hmp10

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This Car & Driver article gives more background information about "DreamDrive" than is in the Lucid website article. If it is accurate, it confirms that Lucid is not planning to go beyond Level 3 autonomy in its first generation of cars . . . and that even Level 3 will only arrive about three years after production introduction:


I think Lucid is being a lot more honest about where autonomous driving is right now than Tesla, which is putting out nonsense about Level 5 being just around the corner with a camera-only system.
 

Hawk

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This Car & Driver article gives more background information about "DreamDrive" than is in the Lucid website article. If it is accurate, it confirms that Lucid is not planning to go beyond Level 3 autonomy in its first generation of cars . . . and that even Level 3 will only arrive about three years after production introduction:


I think Lucid is being a lot more honest about where autonomous driving is right now than Tesla, which is putting out nonsense about Level 5 being just around the corner with a camera-only system.
Yes I agree. My Lucid contact has always emphasized that Peter Rawlinson is a realist and will only announce what he knows can and will be delivered.
 

hmp10

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Just found this article:


It says that Lucid is no longer using the Mobileye ADAS system and has gone down a more independent path, although some components are still being outsourced. I wonder what happened there? Did Eugene Lee's arrival at Lucid put them on a different course?

The article also says that Lucid will get its maps from HERE. I never heard of this company, but I just checked to find that HERE supplies the electronic maps used in the newest ADAS systems from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.
 
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Hawk

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Just found this article:


It says that Lucid is no longer using the Mobileye ADAS system and has gone down a more independent path, although some components are still being outsourced. I wonder what happened there? Did Eugene Lee's arrival at Lucid put them on a different course?

The article also says that Lucid will get its maps from HERE. I never heard of this company, but I just checked to find that HERE supplies the electronic maps used in the newest ADAS systems from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.
I noticed that they are no longer using Mobileye as well. Sounds like Eugene Lee may have brought all software development in house to give them a competitive advantage?
 
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hmp10

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Could be. I'm also wondering whether Intel's current problems with getting chips to market are bleeding over into Mobileye, which is a subsidiary.
 

Hawk

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Could be. I'm also wondering whether Intel's current problems with getting chips to market are bleeding over into Mobileye, which is a subsidiary.
Intel is in for a really tough time. Will be interesting to watch with shakeup of the executive team including the firing of chief engineering officer, Murthy Renduchintala.
 

hmp10

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I think the AR HUD is a great feature. Volkswagen is also including it in some versions of their ID series of EVs, I believe. I was hoping Lucid would use it, too, but I've seen no mention. Using AR to put navigation prompts for turns on the HUD would make using a nav system much more convenient and less prone to aural interference.

My impression from yesterday's Lucid press release and the follow-on articles fleshing it out is that Lucid is taking a very conservative approach to ADAS. Even with the most-advanced sensor suite of any car yet on or nearing the market, Rawlinson is saying that array cannot take them beyond Level 3 autonomy. Yet other carmakers are talking Level 4 autonomy with such a suite, or even less. At the extreme (where Elon Musk often sits with his claims), Tesla is claiming it will reach Level 5 using only cameras and radar sensors.

Frankly, I think Lucid is wise to be so cautious. The landscape is littered with debunked claims of ADAS capability, either in terms of technology failures or mis-reading how humans will react to such systems. Google reached Level 3 autonomy in 2012 but decided not to go to market with it, as it found that human test users put too much faith in the system and were thus too slow to take over operating the car when necessary, even when prompted. I think this is one of the reasons Lucid is going to use a driver monitoring camera, something that Tesla has felt unnecessary to do. And I suspect the driver monitoring system will be fairly aggressive in bringing a distracted driver back to full attention . . . but just a guess.
 

hmp10

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Having driven a Tesla Model S for five years and spent some time driving my brother's Model 3, I have developed some likes and dislikes based on actual experience. A lot of these likes have already been addressed in what's been published about the Lucid Air. For those about which the information is still murky, I've prioritized them into a list of the features I most hope the Lucid will have (in descending order of importance).

Lucid, I hope you're listening:

Electrochromic Dimming of Glass Canopy

This is a must-have in south Florida. When the sun is overhead in a position that cannot be blocked by a visor, the glare through even tinted glass roofs can be brutal. If it's anywhere close to your line of sight, as it is in a Tesla Model X with its high-rise windshield, it makes you want to flee the car.

This is less a "hot-glass" issue, which even an electrochromically-dimmed roof will experience. In driving Teslas with glass roofs, I have found that the airflow across the roof keeps the glass from becoming too hot when the car is moving. The speed at which it heats up, though, when stopped even as briefly as at a red light (if you can call red light holds down here "brief") is surprising; but the roof cools off just as quickly when the car resumes motion.

Lucid Sales has said the Air will have this feature but hasn't been able to confirm it will be ready for the first production units.

One-Pedal Driving

Within an hour of getting my Tesla, I became a huge fan of its one-pedal driving, by which regenerative braking commences when you lift your foot off the accelerator. It made going over the countless speed bumps in Florida's gated communities and strip malls considerably less annoying, and it greatly reduced the number of times I had to get on and off the brake pedal as traffic ebbed and flowed on the roadways. Before long, I found the need to keep my foot on the brake pedal at a stop light in my ICE cars highly aggravating -- something about which I had never thought twice before.

I was toying with the idea of getting a Porsche Taycan but dropped it when I found they opted to require the pressing of the brake pedal to engage regenerative braking. It's that important a feature to me.

In a 2017 interview, Lucid engineers told "Electrek" that they were considering whether or not to endow the Air with one-pedal driving. Please, please, Lucid, pretty please . . . .

Google Earth Map on Tablet Display

I was surprised by how much I have come to like this feature. I love driving around to look at construction or to roam into the unknown. The ability to see not only roads but also the buildings, waterways, and other topological features around them is addictive, especially when roaming unfamiliar territory. Tesla automatically switches the Google Earth image to a grayed-out conventional roadway map at night, but I am so addicted to the aerial images that I manually revert to the Google Earth views even at night. There is just something very comforting about having a clear image of exactly where you are and what is around you at all times.

Lucid Sales has said the Air will have this feature, but I've yet to see it on the lower tablet display in any of the photographs I've seen of the interior. Here's hoping . . . .

Wide-Angle Rearview Camera

By a country mile, Tesla has the best rearview cameras I have ever seen on a car. When preparing to back out of a parking space the ability to see if anything is coming from either direction -- and with virtually no distortion -- still amazes me. My Tesla is a 2015 model, and the rearview cameras in my later model ICE cars don't come close in terms of angle of view, lack of distortion, and clarity of image in low-light conditions. I have found nothing in the press about Lucid's rearview camera, but surely they can at least match what Tesla was doing five years ago.
 
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Hawk

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Having driven a Tesla Model S for five years and spent some time driving my brother's Model 3, I have developed some likes and dislikes based on actual experience. A lot of these likes have already been addressed in what's been published about the Lucid Air. For those about which the information is still murky, I've prioritized them into a list of the features I most hope the Lucid will have (in descending order of importance).

Lucid, I hope you're listening:

Electrochromic Dimming of Glass Canopy

This is a must-have in south Florida. When the sun is overhead in a position that cannot be blocked by a visor, the glare through even tinted glass roofs can be brutal. If it's anywhere close to your line of sight, as it is in a Tesla Model X with its high-rise windshield, it makes you want to flee the car.

This is less a "hot-glass" issue, which even an electrochromically-dimmed roof will experience. In driving Teslas with glass roofs, I have found that the airflow across the roof keeps the glass from becoming too hot when the car is moving. The speed at which it heats up, though, when stopped even as briefly as at a red light (if you can call red light holds down here "brief") is surprising; but the roof cools off just as quickly when the car resumes motion.

Lucid Sales has said the Air will have this feature but hasn't been able to confirm it will be ready for the first production units.

One-Pedal Driving

Within an hour of getting my Tesla, I became a huge fan of its one-pedal driving, by which regenerative braking commences when you lift your foot off the accelerator. It made going over the countless speed bumps in Florida's gated communities and strip malls considerably less annoying, and it greatly reduced the number of times I had to get on and off the brake pedal as traffic ebbed and flowed on the roadways. Before long, I found the need to keep my foot on the brake pedal at a stop lightin my ICE cars highly aggravating -- something about which I had never thought twice before.

I was toying with the idea of getting a Porsche Taycan but dropped it when I found they opted to require the pressing of the brake pedal to engage regenerative braking. It's that important a feature to me.

In a 2017 interview, Lucid engineers told "Electrek" that they were considering whether or not to endow the Air with one-pedal driving. Please, please, Lucid, pretty please . . . .

Google Earth Map on Tablet Display

I was surprised by how much I have come to like this feature. I love driving around to look at construction or to roam into the unknown. The ability to see not only roads but also the buildings, waterways, and other topological features around them is addictive, especially when roaming unfamiliar territory. Tesla automatically switches the Google Earth image to a grayed-out conventional roadway map at night, but I am so addicted to the aerial images that I manually revert to the Google Earth views even at night. There is just something very comforting about having a clear image of exactly where you are and what is around you at all times.

Lucid Sales has said the Air will have this feature, but I've yet to see it on the lower tablet display in any of the photographs I've seen of the interior. Here's hoping . . . .

Wide-Angle Rearview Camera

By a country mile, Tesla has the best rearview cameras I have ever seen on a car. When preparing to back out of a parking space the ability to see if anything is coming from either direction -- and with virtually no distortion -- still amazes me. My Tesla is a 2015 model, and the rearview cameras in my later model ICE cars don't come close in terms of angle of view, lack of distortion, and clarity of image in low-light conditions. I have found nothing in the press about Lucid's rearview camera, but surely they can at least match what Tesla was doing five years ago.
Also being from South Florida, I wholeheartedly agree with your prioritized list of features that I hope Lucid incorporates into the "Dream Edition" at launch.

In addition, I would also add the AR HUD as a very desirable feature to have in the first production units.

The info obtained from the September 9th reveal and subsequent discussions with Lucid representatives about these features will determine if I proceed with my Dream Edition order.
 

hmp10

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Absolutely agree about AR HUD. Since I don't already have it, I forgot to put it on the list. From what I've seen of it in video demos, it looks be a very cool feature that has real utility, especially in following navigation prompts.

At this point, I have pretty much decided that the only lack that would definitely cause me not to take the Dream Edition is the electrochromic dimming. In that case, I would wait for it to arrive in later glass canopies or wait for the metal-roofed model to enter production.

However, lack of one-pedal driving might put me back on the fence about sticking with Lucid. I cannot imagine why they would not at least make it a screen menu-selectable option. But then, I don't understand why Tesla's $100+ models still don't have door storage pockets or drop-down rear center armrests.
 

hmp10

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Lucid posted another video of test ride excerpts today:


At long last, we catch several glimpses of the rear seat center armrest that has been lacking in all the floor models in the Design Studios.

Screen Shot 2021-05-13 at 10.41.36 PM.png


Can anyone discern what the three black things are at the top of the armrest cavity? Is that a latch hook flanked by two bump stops? If so, it's not a very elegant look.

Screen Shot 2021-05-13 at 10.44.13 PM.png
 
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hmp10

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I watched a new video this morning on the Lucid Air. It was one of those videos with an annoying computer-generated voice track, but I stuck with it because it was not riddled with the misinformation and confusion between Air versions that plagues so many YouTube videos. (It did, however, say that the Air Pure would have 600 "New Mexico" of torque, which I thought was interesting, as the car is being built in Arizona . . . .:D)


Lucid has said repeatedly that its batteries were co-developed with Samsung and later with LG Chem using "proprietary technology", but they've never released any details. This video said the batteries were formulated to tolerate repeated fast charging with less degradation and not to lose as much energy during prolonged periods of non use.

Has anyone run into more specific information from any other source?
 

hmp10

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We made a second visit today to the Miami Design Studio and got a few more tidbits about the car.

- The air suspension was scrapped because of problems with the vendor. The coil sprung car will ride a bit higher than the air suspension cars in the showrooms. (The sales associate said he could tell because his cell phone could not stand upright under the showroom car but could under a newer car with spring suspension.) There will be no ride height adjustment.

- The production delay will still not give Lucid time to address the absence of power-operated doors in the early production cars. Power operation remains slated for later introduction. (I had four guests with me. We all tried closing the doors from the front and rear seats, and everyone had to contort their necks uncomfortably to reach the door pulls without bumping their heads on the very thick roof rails. The ease of access facilitated by the 90-degree-opening rear doors was completely negated by the difficulty in then reaching the door to pull it closed.)

- The front and rear seats have undergone some redesign since some of the show cars were built. Foam has been softened, and the front seats will have an extendable thigh support. The bottoms of the front seats will not be cupped out to allow more toe room for backseat passengers due to the ventilation and massage mechanicals under the seat. I pointed out that the MB EQS has those features and still has cupped out bottoms to allow toe room.

- The only way to open the glovebox will be with an icon on the lower Pilot Screen panel. I was told that if the Pilot Screen is in stowed position it will have to be lowered to open the glovebox. I pointed out inconspicuous but convenient places to put a release button on the lower dash or on the lid itself, but they said they wanted to keep the interior as visually clean as possible, the philosophy about user-friendliness apparently notwithstanding.

- The sun visor was missing from the driver's side of the car, but the mounts were still there. The horizontal spine of the passenger visor was bent, making the visor come loose again when I snapped it back into the mount. I don't know the cause of these issues, and I know these cars are prototypes that see a lot of traffic, but it appears there is need to make the visors more robust.

I'm still looking with anticipation to getting my Dream Edition to experience its drivetrain, but it was not the most heartening visit I've ever had to a car showroom. In fact, I'm starting to suspect getting the Lucid will be a lot like getting my Tesla: an instant and enduring love affair with the drivetrain, and a list of annoying nits with other aspects of the car that just never goes away.
 
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