Are you in the market for a long-range electric car? Then perhaps you have already thought about comparing the Lucid Air Dream vs. Tesla Model S Plaid.
Tesla’s brand recognition has long been the driving force behind the company’s year-on-year success.
However, the Lucid Air Dream Edition has gained popularity in the last couple of months, particularly in the United States, Norway, and Canada.
So, Lucid Vs. Tesla, which of the two companies’ vehicles should you choose?
In this article, we’ll put the Lucid Air Dream Edition up against the Tesla Model S Plaid by comparing their price, performance, and battery charging capabilities.
Lucid Air Dream Edition Vs. Tesla Model S Plaid (Comparison Table)
Lucid Air Dream Vs. Tesla Model S Plaid (Visual Comparison)
Lucid Air Dream
Credit: Teslarati, Inside EVs, The Car Connection, Forbes
Tesla Model S Plaid
Credit: Tesla, Inverse, Top Gear
Lucid Air Dream Edition
Let’s start this Lucid vs. Tesla comparison by looking at the Air Dream Edition.
From the get-go, you can tell that Lucid is making a strong statement with the Air Dream’s exterior.
The edgy design shows the company’s desire to transport the classic Sedan into the future.
The Air Dream edition comes in black, white, and Eureka Gold. What’s more, each car comes with a sleek and distinctive silver-painted piece that stretches across the car’s glass roof.
The Lucid Air Dream’s futuristic feel begins at the front of the car. From an exterior point of view, this is where it feels most prominent.
A single light bar along with the brand name (lit up) illuminates the front of the EV — both draw your attention to what is a very polished and distinctive bonnet.
Credit: Doug DeMuro, Lucid
And on either side of the front bumper, you’ll find rather unorthodox yet eye-catching vertical turn signals. Additionally, you’ll notice air inlets next to the turn signals and above the headlights, both of which serve to enhance the aerodynamics of the EV.
Last but not least, you have a charging port that you can find on the car’s driver’s side.
Lucid has decided to include a reasonably large front trunk that is both wide and flat.
Much like the rear trunk, you can lift up a leather handle to reveal a hidden compartment. We must take a second here to note that this is one of the largest EV trunks currently on the market.
The rear of the Air Dream consists of a large, unbroken tail light that wraps around the back of the car.
You’ll notice that the lights are particularly thin, with no separations or slits present throughout the design.
Lucid’s decision to veer away from a hatchback-style EV has resulted in a car with a little more “junk in the trunk”.
The trunk has a very wide opening, stretching almost the entire width of the car, so you won’t have any trouble with fitting wide items into the car.
However, the trunk isn’t particularly deep. To counteract this, Lucid added storage compartments underneath the trunk, even including separate storage space for charging cables (see the left side of the trunk space in the photo).
The Lucid Air Dream’s wheels have a flat profile for improved aerodynamics. They also come with removable black panels — rather odd if you ask us.
Now, this was a surprise — a pleasant one at that!
On each corner of the giant glass panel that makes up this EVs roof is removable panels for roof rack placement. So, should you find yourself needing to transport equipment of any kind, you can contact Lucid to purchase their roof rack add-ons.
Let’s start with materials, shall we?
The Santa Monica beach-inspired 2-tone interior (see photos) is decked out with Nappa full-grain leather complemented by Silvered Eucalyptus wood and bright Platinum metal trim.
For those of you looking for a more animal-free option, you’ll be pleased to know Lucid offers an alternative called Purluxe along with alpaca wool trim doors and dash — not entirely animal-free but a lot more sustainable than cow-hide.
Interior room — this is where the car’s interior really shines. The Air Dream is only as long as the BMW 5-Series but the interior space is longer than in a Mercedes S-Class. In short, there’s an enormous amount of room in the back.
This is thanks to packaging – an electric car doesn’t have a giant engine upfront, so the powertrain doesn’t require much space.
Lucid has made other advancements in its powertrain system to make them smaller and therefore maximize interior space.
On to one of the Lucid Dream’s biggest quirks — an uninterrupted glass windshield that spans from the top of the hood to the front seats.
This gives the car a very open, airy feel.
While the glass above you cannot be shaded, it is heavily tinted and comes with UV protection. Additionally, there is a metallic coating on the outside that prevents too much sun and heat from getting in.
The screen layout and interface are a tech-junkies dream.
You have three separate screens mounted on a pod-like structure that seemingly floats above the dashboard, followed by a center console.
On the far left dashboard screen, you’ll find basic vehicle functions and controls – lock/unlock button, wiper controls, headlight controls, defroster, etc.
In the center, right in front of you, you have a gauge cluster, which gives the basics such as your speed, current charge percentage, trip odometer, warning lights, headlights, parking bright lights, etc.
What’ll really catch your attention, though, are the screens in the center of the vehicle (to the right of the steering wheel). These include the dashboard’s third screen and the center console screen.
What’s fascinating about these screens is that they work together. Apps like Spotify and maps can be opened and operated using both screens, benefiting both the driver and the passenger.
The center console also comes with additional features — you can change between driving modes and lighting screens, adjust your seats, mirrors, and steering wheel, and even access the vehicle’s 3D camera system!
Those of you who enjoy “old-school” touches will appreciate Lucid adding physical buttons to the interior of the car. Here, you’ll be able to access climate control settings.
Finally, if you hold down the base of the center console, it’ll retract and reveal a nifty storage compartment.
The steering wheel comes with some physical, albeit unorthodox controls.
On the left-hand side, you have your turn signals, wiper controls, and dream drive (cruise control-related system).
The odd-looking dial on the top adjusts your following distance from the car in front of you when you’re using the dream drive system.
On the right-hand side, you have audio controls, your gear selector, and a dial to adjust your volume.
Moving to the back of the interior, you’ll find a center console that opens to reveal a storage compartment with charge points for devices.
There is a screen to provide sunshade as well as various temperature controls.
As for the seats themselves, they’re different in color from the front seats. The front seats are darker while the rear seats are lighter. Lucid chose this design option because they wanted to give the front a more focused, sportier look while giving the back a more lounge-type feel.
Final quirks include trigger-type interior door handles, a microphone embedded in the center of the roof, and images of bears hidden throughout the interior.
The bear is the unofficial mascot for the car and Lucid in general. It’s modeled after the bear on the California flag where lucid has its headquarters.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Dream Edition Range is capable of an estimated 520 miles on a single charge.
The car delivers 4.4 miles per kWh. Only the Lucid Air Grand Touring surpasses this with a 112kWh battery pack and achieves 4.6 miles per kWh.
|Motors||2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC|
|Combined Power||1111 hp|
|Combined Torque||1025 lb-ft|
|Battery Pack||liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 118.0 kWh|
|Onboard Charger||19.2 kW|
Price & Delivery ETA
The price for the Performance and Range editions of the 2022 Lucid Air Dream 19″ is $169,000.
While we’d love to be able to provide you with a definitive answer, there doesn’t seem to be one; not even from Lucid themselves.
Only once you place an order and are assigned a Delivery Advisor will you be able to determine your specific delivery time.
Tesla Model S Plaid
It doesn’t take a skilled eye to recognize how similar the Model S Plaid is to the outgoing Model S. But, while that is the case, the car’s exterior does still come with some distinct differences.
The Model S Plaid features wider tires and is, therefore, a little wider than the regular Model S.
What was also chrome on the previous car is now black, including the surround for the windows and trim on the car’s rear.
Moving to the side of the car, you’ll find flush door handles a little pod where the side view camera is housed.
The front is where you’ll notice the biggest design difference between the Model S Plaid and Model S – the Model S Plaid is sleeker and more aggressive, from the lights to the bonnet itself.
Credit: Doug DeMuro, CarWow, Drive2
The front trunk, or “frunk” as Tesla likes to call it, can be opened with the key or via the infotainment screen.
The cargo space itself is small, so don’t expect to store anything substantial in there — consider it a space for excess baggage or smaller items.
The rear is incredibly similar to the standard Model S, although it’s a bit wider and more muscular looking.
There is however the addition of a boot lip spoiler that comes with black trimming.
The rear trunk in the Model S Plaid is rather large. According to Tesla, it’s possible to fit an entire bicycle in the back without removing a wheel.
Still not happy with the trunk size? Simply lift the floor cargo panel to reveal additional cargo space!
Better yet, unlatch the seats using the two little buttons for the seats on either side of the back so that you can fold them over — unfortunately, you will have to fold them over manually.
Tesla has decided to give Plaid wider tires than the regular Model S.
Wheel sizes start at 19 inches but you can pay more to go up to 21 inches.
The charging port has been seamlessly integrated into the taillights. More specifically, the rear reflector on the driver’s side. Simply tap the reflector and it’ll open.
So, what has the Model S Plaid done differently? Well, the interior has gone through a full redesign, with the exception of the seat rails.
Fortunately, the interior quality hasn’t suffered in the process. In fact, the Model S Plaid has taken a big step forward with improved materials — the carpet and faux leather areas are softer and more comfortable, and the seats come with better quality stitching.
Trim-wise, the presence of carbon fiber and aluminum is elegant and distinctly Tesla.
Tesla’s redesign for the Model S Plaid has yielded a much more spacious interior in comparison to the outgoing Model S.
The backseat area in particular is far roomier and includes a welcome addition — a third seat.
For starters, the Model S Plaid includes a gauge cluster screen with all the usual suspects.
These include range, outside temperature, speed, autopilot features, etc.
Then there’s the main attraction — the center screen. The overhauled system feels distinctly tablet-like — it’s more intuitive than ever before and it’s designed to be easily customizable for both the driver and passenger.
The minimalistic nature of Tesla’s design means you’ll be able to find everything you need via the main screen — from climate controls and seating options to navigation and some pretty incredible entertainment features. You can even play games on the center screen and use the steering wheel as a controller!
There is however a bit of an overreliance on the digital interface for what should be simple actions, such as opening or closing the glove compartment. Adding a simple and discreet handle to the compartment would have been a much better move and still in line with Tesla’s minimalistic design.
This is where the real controversy kicks in. Tesla decided to fit the Model S Plaid with a very unconventional yoke steering wheel.
Some might enjoy this race car-esque addition, while others will view it as nothing more than an annoying gimmick that tarnishes an otherwise fantastic interior. Either way, it’s certainly a talking point.
Look at the steering column, and you’ll see no stalks for turn signals or windshield wipers. Instead, these functions (among others) have all been integrated into the yoke or the center screen in the form of buttons and multiple-purpose dials.
As previously mentioned, the backseat passenger compartment has a third seat and is generally nice and spacious.
If there’s no third passenger, you can unfold the middle seat to reveal a big armrest with cup holders, more storage space, and additional charging pads.
Rear seat occupants can use a third touch screen that includes climate controls, seat heating options, and entertainment apps such as Netflix, Youtube, and Twitch.
If you’re willing to spend a little extra, you can splash out on a dedicated Tesla handhold control that allows your passengers to play some games while on the move.
In an effort to declutter, Tesla has introduced several distinctive elements to the Model S Plaid.
For starters, they’ve hidden the climate vents. You’ll find them above and below the gauge cluster screen if you look closely. On the passenger side, you’ll find them hidden within the trim of the dashboard.
The center console also carries no additional controls and is incredibly minimalistic. However, there is a little surprise further up from the hazard lights – a velvet pad that acts as two phone charging pads.
But it gets even more interesting. If you look around the yoke, you’ll notice that there’s no gear selector; there aren’t even any buttons in the center.
So how does it work? Well, the gear system is predictive — the car will predict the gear you want to be in and automatically select it.
For instance, if you step into the car while it’s stationary and there is an obstruction in front of the vehicle, the car’s system will prompt you to put your foot on the break to put it into reverse.
Pretty impressive stuff!
If the thought of a predictive gear system makes you feel uneasy, don’t worry! You can easily override this predictive gear selector on the central console.
But what if the screen fails and you can’t get the car into gear?
Should this happen, there’s another backup gear selector. In the center console — next to the hazard lights — you can faintly see the letters “P, R, N, D.”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimate on Tesla’s website, the Model S Plaid can travel 396 miles on a single charge.
|Motor||3 permanent-magnet synchronous AC|
|Combined Power||1020 hp|
|Combined Torque||1050 lb-ft|
|Battery Pack||liquid-cooled lithium-ion|
Price & Delivery ETA
The official price for the Model S Plaid is $129,990.
If you were to pay that hefty sum right now, you could expect an estimated delivery period around June – July 2022.
There you have it, Lucid Air Dream vs. Tesla Model S Plaid — two of the finest EVs out there, laid bare for you to compare!
Before you start picking sides, take some time to appreciate these two marvels of engineering:
Lucid has done a solid job as a relative newcomer to the EV market — the Air Dream Edition is both edgy and luxurious.
It caters to those who desire more in terms of space and practicality — its roof racking capability coupled with its exceedingly long 520-mile range make it a road-trip enthusiast’s best friend!
While Tesla continues to impress as they always do, the Model S Plaid significantly improves upon its predecessor. Its redesigned interior with improved materials, easy-to-use infotainment system, and blistering speed make it a minimalist/speed demons dream!
In the end, whichever EV you end up leaning towards, we’re confident that you won’t regret your decision!