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Visit to West Palm Beach Design Studio

hmp10

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Joined
Mar 7, 2020
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390
Two friends and I visited the West Palm Beach Design Studio today, several weeks after visiting the Miami studio on its crowded opening day. Although Zak Edson, the head of Lucid Retail Operations, spent a lot of very helpful time with us in Miami answering a barrage of questions, the studio was so busy that it was difficult really to focus on the physical car. We had a private appointment in West Palm and much more time to examine the car in more detail. Other than colors, the main difference in the cars at the two studios was that the Miami car had the larger battery pack and had been built later than the West Palm car and thus had a few more operable features on the digital displays. My real reason, though, for making the additional trip was to see the Eureka Gold car in West Palm to make a final color decision.

My observations:

Colors

Although a completely subjective judgment, the Eureka Gold is more attractive in the flesh than in any of the innumerable photos I've seen of it. The yellowish-orange tint in some photos is less prominent, with brown-bronze undertones dominating. However, the color is unusually sensitive to lighting conditions. We had the staff turn off the studio lights and open two large glass doors to put the car under natural light, and that was when it appeared at its best. When comparing patches of the paint that were in direct sunlight to patches in shadow or reflecting surrounding surfaces, it almost seemed the car was painted different colors. You always get this effect to some degree with any color, but it seemed more pronounced with the Eureka Gold. Bottom line: it is a nicer color than I thought but still short of wowing us. We're probably going with the black and will deal with the cleaning issues of a black car in their time. (If the Quantum Gray we saw in Miami were available on the Dream Edition, we'd jump on it without a second thought.)

The West Palm car also had the Santa Monica interior instead of the Tahoe interior in Miami. When I first saw pictures of the Santa Monica palette I thought it looked a bit washed out. This was reinforced when I saw a video in which both Peter Rawlinson and Alex Guberman of "E for Electric" said their favorite interior was the Santa Cruz (the other light-toned interior on offer). However, upon actually viewing the Santa Monica interior, I find it my favorite of the five. What looked washed out in some photos was actually a subtlety across a range of gray-brown tones that worked very well. (At the same time, there was something jarring about the Santa Monica interior's contrast with the Eureka Gold. I think that interior is much better suited to a black or white exterior . . . and would be even more so to the Quantum Gray of my dreams. Unfortunately, since the Santa Monica interior is exclusive to the Dream Edition on which the gray exterior will not be available, ne'er the twain shall meet.)

Rear Seating

I'm almost sorry I tried out the rear seat of the car in West Palm with the smaller battery pack. Now THAT was a backseat that can truly compete with a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series in comfort. Sadly, much of the space magic disappears when the floorboard rises over 3" with the larger battery pack's underfloor modules. You're back to some of the Tesla Model S rear seat woes, albeit with considerably more longitudinal leg room. For a brief moment, I considered switching my reservation to a car with the smaller battery pack. But as I absorbed the fact that the price would be 460 less horsepower -- and faced into the fact that I am a speed demon reprobate -- I decided I'd just have to keep using my minivan for long day trips with aging friends. I know, I know . . . it's a first-world problem to a disgusting degree.

An Unexpected Issue

I had largely gotten over my pique that the Dream Edition will not have the power-operated doors that will come later in production, as I had been thinking that would primarily be a problem for rear seat passengers whose doors open a full 90 degrees. However, being able to spend some real time behind the wheel in this private showing, I decided to reach out to close the front door to get a real sense for how the pilot seat felt. I promptly banged my head on the low, massive roof rail. After I recoiled to try again, I had real difficulty bending my head low enough to allow me to reach the armrest door handle of the fully-extended door . . . and I'm all of 5'7" tall on a hot day. The sales associate said not to worry, as all I had to do was push an icon on the screen to close the door. I reminded him that the Dream Edition would not have power-close doors. As we discussed the matter, he said that there were widespread complaints from people who bumped their heads getting into and out of the cars and that Lucid was trying to make some late-stage alterations to the trim piece over the roof rail to alleviate the problem to some extent. I hope they can, but I'm sure it's too late to re-engineer the rail itself, so I suspect there is very little room for improvement here.

Other Bits and Bobs

Just out of curiosity, I asked about the curb weight of the car. Lucid is holding off on publishing that specification as they're hoping still to shave a few pounds. With the larger battery pack, though, the car tops 5,000 pounds. Given that the Tesla Model S with a considerably smaller battery pack weighs over 4,700 pounds, that's not really a shocker. And the fact that the weight is so low in the chassis makes it considerably more manageable from a handling perspective. But still, that's damn heavy. On the other hand, as I learned with my Tesla, regenerative braking takes a lot of load off the friction brakes, and the weight of the car helps with tire traction on these monstrously torquey cars. So, all in all, the 5,000+ pounds aren't perhaps as freaky as they sound.

The 21" aero wheels on the Dream Edition aren't my favorite wheels, but they are the best-looking aero wheels I've seen thus far in the U.S. The best-looking aero wheels by far that I've seen anywhere come from a Swedish company that has its wheels forged in Italy (thenewaero.com). They developed a range of aero wheels specifically for the Tesla model line-up. The wheels have been certified in Europe but not in the U.S., so I don't know if they could be shipped here. I asked the West Palm staff about the wheel offsets and bolt patterns of the Lucid Air to see if the New Aero wheels would fit, but that information is not yet available. In the final analysis, though, the Lucid wheels look good enough to avoid all this bother.

There is still no answer to whether the lower screen on the Lucid Air will display a Google satellite image as Tesla does. That joined regenerative braking as my two big surprise delights when I bought the Tesla. Whether for tracking a navigation route or for seeing what lies ahead and to the sides, yet out of view, of the road you're traveling this feature has become addictive. It gives an amazing and highly-orienting sense of placement in your larger surroundings that you simply can't get through any other means. Come on Lucid . . . pretty, pretty please.

Conclusion

I can't wait to get our new Dream Edition. Probably in black.
 
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WildRide47

New Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
25
Two friends and I visited the West Palm Beach Design Studio today, several weeks after visiting the Miami studio on its crowded opening day. Although Zak Edson, the head of Lucid Retail Operations, spent a lot of very helpful time with us in Miami answering a barrage of questions, the studio was so busy that it was difficult really to focus on the physical car. We had a private appointment in West Palm and much more time to examine the car in more detail. Other than colors, the main difference in the cars at the two studios was that the Miami car had the larger battery pack and had been built later than the West Palm car and thus had a few more operable features on the digital displays. My real reason, though, for making the additional trip was to see the Eureka Gold car in West Palm to make a final color decision.

My observations:

Colors

Although a completely subjective judgment, the Eureka Gold is more attractive in the flesh than in any of the innumerable photos I've seen of it. The yellowish-orange tint in some photos is less prominent, with brown-bronze undertones dominating. However, the color is unusually sensitive to lighting conditions. We had the staff turn off the studio lights and open two large glass doors to put the car under natural light, and that was when it appeared at its best. When comparing patches of the paint that were in direct sunlight to patches in shadow or reflecting surrounding surfaces, it almost seemed the car was painted different colors. You always get this effect in some degree with any color, but it seemed more pronounced with the Eureka Gold. Bottom line: it is a nicer color than I thought but still short of wowing us. We're probably going with the black and will deal with the cleaning issues of a black car in their time. (If the Quantum Gray we saw in Miami were available on the Dream Edition, we'd jump on it without a second thought.)

The West Palm car also had the Santa Monica interior instead of the Tahoe interior in Miami. When I first saw pictures of the Santa Monica palette I thought it looked a bit washed out. This was reinforced when I saw a video in which both Peter Rawlinson and Alex Guberman of "E for Electric" said their favorite interior was the Santa Cruz (the other light-toned interior on offer). However, upon actually viewing the Santa Monica interior, I find it my favorite of the five. What looked washed out in some photos was actually a subtlety across a range of gray-brown tones that worked very well. (At the same time, there was something jarring about the Santa Monica interior's contrast with the Eureka Gold. I think that interior is much better suited to a black or white exterior . . . and would be even more so to the Quantum Gray of my dreams. Unfortunately, since the Santa Monica interior is exclusive to the Dream Edition on which the gray exterior will not be available, ne'er the twain shall meet.)

Rear Seating

I'm almost sorry I tried out the rear seat of the car in West Palm with the smaller battery pack. Now THAT was a backseat that can truly compete with a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series in comfort. Sadly, much of the space magic disappears when the floorboard rises over 3" with the larger battery pack's underfloor modules. You're back to some of the Tesla Model S rear seat woes, albeit with considerably more longitudinal leg room. For a brief moment, I considered switching my reservation to a car with the smaller battery pack. But as I absorbed the fact that the price would be 460 less horsepower -- and faced into the fact that I am a speed demon reprobate -- I decided I'd just have to keep using my minivan for long day trips with aging friends. I know, I know . . . it's a first-world problem to a disgusting degree.

An Unexpected Issue

I had largely gotten over my pique that the Dream Edition will not have the power-operated doors that will come later in production, as I had been thinking that would primarily be a problem for rear seat passengers whose doors open a full 90 degrees. However, being able to spend some real time behind the wheel in this private showing, I decided to reach out to close the front door to get a real sense for how the pilot seat felt. I promptly banged my head on the low, massive roof rail. After I recoiled to try again, I had real difficulty bending my head low enough to allow me to reach the armrest door handle of the fully-extended door . . . and I'm all of 5'7" tall on a hot day. The sales associate said not to worry, as all I had to do was push an icon on the screen to close the door. I reminded him that the Dream Edition would not have power-close doors. As we discussed the matter, he said that there were widespread complaints from people who bumped their heads getting into and out of the cars and that Lucid was trying to make some late-stage alterations to the trim piece over the roof rail to alleviate the problem to some extent. I hope they can, but I'm sure it's too late to re-engineer the rail itself, so I suspect there is very little room for improvement here.

Other Bits and Bobs

Just out of curiosity, I asked about the curb weight of the car. Lucid is holding off on publishing that specification as they're hoping still to shave a few pounds. With the larger battery pack, though, the car tops 5,000 pounds. Given that the Tesla Model S with a considerably smaller battery pack weighs over 4,700 pounds, that's not really a shocker. And the fact that the weight is so low in the chassis makes it considerably more manageable from a handling perspective. But still, that's damn heavy. On the other hand, as I learned with my Tesla, regenerative braking takes a lot of load off the friction brakes, and the weight of the car helps with tire traction on these monstrously torquey cars. So, all in all, the 5,000+ pounds aren't perhaps as freaky as they sound.

The 21" aero wheels on the Dream Edition aren't my favorite wheels, but they are the best-looking aero wheels I've seen thus far in the U.S. The best-looking aero wheels by far that I've seen anywhere come from a Swedish company that has its wheels forged in Italy (thenewaero.com). They developed a range of aero wheels specifically for the Tesla model line-up. The wheels have been certified in Europe but not in the U.S., so I don't know if they could be shipped here. I asked the West Palm staff about the wheel offsets and bolt patterns of the Lucid Air to see if the New Aero wheels would fit, but that information is not yet available. In the final analysis, though, the Lucid wheels look good enough to avoid all this bother.

There is still no answer to whether the lower screen on the Lucid Air will display a Google satellite image as Tesla does. That joined regenerative braking as my two big surprise delights when I bought the Tesla. Whether for tracking a navigation route or for seeing what lies ahead and to the sides, yet out of view, of the road you're traveling has become addictive. It gives an amazing and highly-orienting sense of placement in your larger surroundings that you simply can't get through any other means. Come on Lucid . . . pretty, pretty please.

Conclusion

I can't wait to get our new Dream Edition. Probably in black.
 

WildRide47

New Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
25
Thank you hmp10 for your detailed impressions. They are very helpful.

I also do not understand why if you wish to order the Dream Edition you are so restricted on color and wheels. It seems to me if you are willing to spend more money for the top trim, you should be able to order both the color of your choice as well as wheels. This seems backward to me in that those that spend less money on the Pure, Touring and Grand Touring have more choice than those who are willing to spend 170K on the Dream Edition.

It seems to me that I should be able to order a Dream Edition with the Quantum Gray exterior paint(like your preference) along with the 21 inch wheels of the Grand Touring edition. Why is this restriction in place?
 

hmp10

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
390
I asked Zak Edson about this during our visit to the Miami Studio. He said changing paint colors in an automotive paint facility is a complicated and expensive exercise. Consequently, manufacturers run large batches of one color at a time and then warehouse the bodies until needed on the production line. After so many delays for so many reasons (funding, Covid, etc.) Lucid wants to get the Air to market as soon as possible. They plan to build only Dream Editions at the outset and then end that limited run, as its rear motor and interior are unique to that line. It would disrupt that plan if they had to delay the introduction of the Dream Edition and then drag out its production until all six colors were warehoused. So, in order to get the Dream Edition delivered sooner and ended quickly, they're going to limit the colors.

The 21" wheels of the Grand Touring will be available for separate purchase if you really want them for a Dream Edition. However, I'm sure that will be a significant added cost. My guess (and I emphasize that it's just a guess) is that Lucid had to commit to a purchase from a wheel supplier well ahead of production, so it was easier to base the purchase on the number of Dream reservations rather than add the complicating factor of guessing how many of each wheel style would be chosen by buyers. This problem, if it is the reason I'm surmising, could be alleviated by ordering Dream wheels to match reservations and then making both styles available on both the Dream Edition and Grand Touring as long as the Dream wheels lasted. But then you'd be losing the caché of making the Dream Edition more special and readily identifiable to the cognoscenti.

What I'm wondering is how big the reserve supply of Dream Edition 21" wheels will be as customers begin to damage them in potholes, curb scrapes, and accidents.

This brings up another point from today's visit. When I mentioned that I was told in Miami that all the Lucid wheel styles would be forged, one of the associates in West Palm said, "that's right, they're flow forged." I've noticed recently that the term "flow forging" is showing up in sales pitches and other settings across the industry. There's actually no such thing as far as I'm aware. There is a technique of "flow casting" or "flow forming" that imparts some of the strength of true forging to cast wheels. But true forged wheels are still stronger per weight than flow formed wheels. As the Lucid website shows only the Dream Edition 21" wheels as forged wheels, my guess is that they are the only true forged wheels in the lineup. The rest are probably flow formed.
 
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Adnillien

New Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Phoenix
I decided to reach out to close the front door to get a real sense for how the pilot seat felt. I promptly banged my head on the low, massive roof rail.
How is getting into and out of the front seats with this massive roof rail?
 

WildRide47

New Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
25
I asked Zak Edson about this during our visit to the Miami Studio. He said changing paint colors in an automotive paint facility is a complicated and expensive exercise. Consequently, manufacturers run large batches of one color at a time and then warehouse the bodies until needed on the production line. After so many delays for so many reasons (funding, Covid, etc.) Lucid wants to get the Air to market as soon as possible. They plan to build only Dream Editions at the outset and then end that limited run, as its rear motor and interior are unique to that line. It would disrupt that plan if they had to delay the introduction of the Dream Edition and then drag out its production until all six colors were warehoused. So, in order to get the Dream Edition delivered sooner and ended quickly, they're going to limit the colors.

The 21" wheels of the Grand Touring will be available for separate purchase if you really want them for a Dream Edition. However, I'm sure that will be a significant added cost. My guess (and I emphasize that it's just a guess) is that Lucid had to commit to a purchase from a wheel supplier well ahead of production, so it was easier to base the purchase on the number of Dream reservations rather than add the complicating factor of guessing how many of each wheel style would be chosen by buyers. This problem, if it is the reason I'm surmising, could be alleviated by ordering Dream wheels to match reservations and then making both styles available on both the Dream Edition and Grand Touring as long as the Dream wheels lasted. But then you'd be losing the caché of making the Dream Edition more special and readily identifiable to the cognoscenti. .

What I'm wondering is how big the reserve supply of Dream Edition 21" wheels will be as customers begin to damage them in potholes, curb scrapes, and accidents.

This brings up another point from today's visit. When I mentioned that I was told in Miami that all the Lucid wheel styles would be forged, one of the associates in West Palm said, "that's right, they're flow forged." I've noticed recently that the term "flow forging" is showing up in sales pitches and other settings across the industry. There's actually no such thing as far as I'm aware. There is a technique of "flow casting" or "flow forming" that imparts some of the strength of true forging to cast wheels. But true forged wheels are still stronger per weight than flow formed wheels. As the Lucid website shows only the Dream Edition 21" wheels as forged wheels, my guess is that they are the only true forged wheels in the lineup. The rest are probably flow formed.
 

WildRide47

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Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
25
Thank you hmp10 for that explanation which answers my questions.

When the Dream Edition ends it limited run, then I assume that the Grand Touring edition will now be the top trim(assuming the tri-motor is far enough in the future).

With the restrictions in color selection I would order the Dream Edition in white(unsure of gold, too much trouble keeping my last black Carrera 911 S clean).

The problem is there is no studio or repair facility planned for the Portland Oregon area for all of 2021, which puts everything on hold for me.
 

hmp10

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Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
390
How is getting into and out of the front seats with this massive roof rail?
It's the most intrusive rail I've ever encountered in a sedan. You really have to make an effort to duck your head. The sales associate told me that there have been many incidents of showroom viewers bumping their heads.

I think it's something that regular passengers would get used to and form a motor memory to avoid the rail. I did not bump my head getting into the car in West Palm because I had formed enough of a motor memory from trying out the seating in the Miami Studio. However, I was concentrating on the digital display as I reached out to pull the driver door closed for the first time and gave my head a pretty good whack.

The roof rail is also very visually prominent when sitting in the rear seat. The effect is somewhat relieved by the expansive glass canopy, but I think the metal-roofed version of the car might feel somewhat claustrophobic.
 

hmp10

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
390
When the Dream Edition ends it limited run, then I assume that the Grand Touring edition will now be the top trim(assuming the tri-motor is far enough in the future).

With the restrictions in color selection I would order the Dream Edition in white(unsure of gold, too much trouble keeping my last black Carrera 911 S clean).

The problem is there is no studio or repair facility planned for the Portland Oregon area for all of 2021, which puts everything on hold for me.
Yes, the Grand Touring is going to be the top trim until the tri-motor comes along. However, the Grand Touring with the larger battery pack will have 800 hp and hit 60 mph in 3 seconds. That ain't shabby. (The Grand Touring will later have an option for the smaller battery pack, but that will dial power down to 620 hp.)

Unfortunately, I think Dream Edition production will end before a Lucid facility opens in Portland. However, Lucid is going to have mobile service in a lot of areas. If you call them, they might be able to tell you whether Portland will. I was in the same situation the first three years after I bought my Tesla, but mobile service worked just fine -- more convenient, in fact, than taking the car in to a local service center (which we now have). I had one major repair on the Tesla that couldn't be handled with mobile service, and Tesla picked the car up at my house, flat-bedded it to a repair facility, and returned it to my driveway. I was without the car for a couple of extra days due to transport time, but I never had to leave the house. I think Lucid will operate the same way.

As for trying the car out before you purchase, they told me yesterday that test drivers will become available to potential customers sometime in March at all the open Design Studios. They also said that Lucid is considering putting some on a road circuit so that people in certain areas without studios can have an opportunity to try out the car. Portland is a pretty big market. It would be worthwhile to let Lucid know of your interest so that they have a gauge on which cities to choose if they do the road circuit.
 
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Adnillien

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Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Phoenix
Thank you for all of the detailed information. It is very helpful for those of us that have not seen the car in person. I really need to see this car in person. Hopefully in Q2 we will get a design studio in Phoenix so that I do not have to drive to LA to see it. I am not contemplating the Dream edition so I have a bit more time to decide.
 
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