The new Lucid Air Sapphire wants to put itself at the very top of the automotive food chain. She proves it in a first face to face.
The Lucid Air is the natural competitor of the Tesla Model S. But it’s not just a question of segmentation, since the two men behind the two entities have scores to settle. While the Tesla Model S Plaid has just gone up a notch, Lucid is launching the Air Sapphire into the arena. Our colleagues from Hagerty are organizing a first meeting.
Before the start, a brief reminder of the forces present. The Tesla Model S Plaid is well known to our services, with its three engines for a total power of 1,020 hp in our metric system. Opposite is the Sapphire, Lucid’s new performance signature, with 1,216 hp produced here too by three engines. Or a more favorable prior weight/power ratio for the Lucid Air with 2.01 kg/hp compared to 2.15 kg/hp for the Plaid. Still, if the value has not been communicated, the sapphire would develop much more torque than its rival. And to better put the strike force of these electric sedans into perspective, Hagerty decided to put a Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport on the starting grid, whose 16 bowls deliver 1,500 hp (1.35 kg / hp).
A 400 m DA in 9.1 s for the Lucid Air Sapphire
From the start, the three cars react very differently. Lost in a slip of the four wheels and undergoing the time of the mechanics of the mechanics which seems to be an eternity vis-a-vis the two electric ones (one would never have dared to say that, before), the Bugatti Chiron is nailed on the spot. Electric sedans, they are neck and neck, even if in its way of sending power, the Tesla Model S Plaid takes a slight advantage. But, as usual, she quickly loses her breath. This is not the case with the Lucid, as inexhaustible as the Grand Touring that we tried, which met the Model S in the wind just before the finish line.
Video test – Tesla Model S Plaid: accelerate or discuss, it will be necessary to choose!
In the end, it is the Lucid Air Sapphire that wins the “small numbers” game. The Newark sedan does 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 2.1 s and passes the 400 m mark in 9.1 s (at 251 km/h). The Tesla Model S Plaid is just behind with a time of 9.3 s (at 244 km/h), while the Bugatti Chiron manages to close the gap with a similar time (9.3 s at 251 km/h ). And to highlight the level of performance of this new Lucid Air Sapphire, Hagerty decided to oppose it with a Ducati Panigale V4 SP2 (0.91 kg/hp). Guess who wins?
A performance that serves everything, except nothing
Everyone will appreciate the performance or not, these small deviations being as unexplorable as they are imperceptible for ordinary mortals. In any case, you won’t go any faster with either to get the bread (although the Chiron isn’t as easily usable on a daily basis as the two electric sedans). But the prowess is there. And it’s this seemingly childish game that drives technology forward and fuels automotive passion.
Remember that the Tesla Model S Plaid is available from us at a price of €138,990. The Lucid Air Sapphire won’t see the light of day in its native lands until next year, priced at $249,000 (€235,000). That is €100,000 more than its competitor, but ten times less than the Bugatti!