2021 Lucid Air vs. Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan: Performance EVs compared

The new Lucid Air should be in dealerships in the spring of 2021.


Lucid Motors

The all-electric sport sedan wars are heating up. Tesla may have been the original disruptor, but Porsche came to bat with the gorgeous Taycan and now Lucid is throwing the Air into the mix as well. Making its debut Wednesday, the new Lucid Air offers plenty of power and some incredible performance numbers.

For this comparison we’ll discuss the Tesla Model S Long Range, Model S Performance, Porsche Taycan 4S, Taycan 4S with the Performance Battery Pack (PBP) option, Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. We’ll bring the top three trims of the Lucid Air on board when we talk about power, performance and price, since each is pretty distinct, and we’ll leave the base Lucid Air model out as specs are not currently available.


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2021 Lucid Air packs 1,080 hp punch, 517-mile range



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Dimensions

The Lucid’s size compares nicely to the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S. It looks to be a smidge longer overall, a bit narrower and sits in between the Porsche and the Tesla in terms of height. Lucid hasn’t provided any interior dimensions, either, but did say the Air has “the largest frunk of any electric car to date and incredible bi-level storage capabilities in both front and rear compartments.”

Exterior Dimensions

Length Width Height
Lucid Air 195.9 in 76.3 in 55.9 in
Porsche Taycan 195.4 in 77.4 in 54.3 in
Tesla Model S 195.7 in 77.3 in 56.9 in

Powertrain

All three of these EVs are pushing out an incredible amount of range and the Lucid is the first car to break the 500-mile barrier in Grand Touring trim. That makes the 402 miles of the Tesla Model S Long Range seem like small potatoes. The Porsche gets an EPA-estimated range of right around 200 miles, depending on trim, but many journalists, including Roadshow’s own Steven Ewing, report the Taycan can go much further. Ewing estimates a real-world range of around 250 miles for the Taycan Turbo.

Comparing charge times can be a little difficult as manufacturers opt to describe the parameters differently. Since charging times aren’t linear, it’s tough to just “do the math” to make all parameters equal. Lucid says the Air can get 300 miles of range in 20 minutes of charging. The Model S gets 80% of a charge in 30 minutes, while the Porsche Taycan can go from 5% to 80% capacity in 22.5 minutes.

Battery and Range

Battery size Maximum range
Lucid Air Touring NA 406 miles
Lucid Air Grand Touring 113.0 kWh 517 miles
Lucid Air Dream Edition 113.0 kWh 503 miles
Porsche Taycan 4S 79.0 kWh NA
Porsche Taycan 4S PBP 93.4 kWh 203 miles
Porsche Taycan Turbo 93.4 kWh 201 miles
Porsche Taycan Turbo S 93.4 kWh 192 miles
Tesla Model S Long Range 100.0 kWh 402 miles
Tesla Model S Performance 100.0 kWh 348 miles

Performance

With a quarter-mile time of 9.9 seconds, the Lucid claims the Air Dream Edition is the quickest production EV to that marker. Porsche and Tesla don’t give out official times for the quarter-mile, but MotorTrend tested the Taycan Turbo S at 10.47 seconds, Car and Driver had it at 10.5 seconds. In MotorTrend testing the Model S ran the quarter mile in 10.51 seconds while electrek.co reports a Model S with the Cheetah Stance update did it in 10.45 seconds. 

However, it looks like the Lucid can’t match the Model S Performance from 0-60, lagging behind by .2 seconds. It is, however, just a smidge quicker than the Taycan Turbo S.

Lucid did not release torque numbers for the Air, but it certainly wins the horsepower game with an available 1,080 ponies from its electric motors. Combine gobs of horsepower with the lowest coefficient of drag and the Lucid has the best top speed of the group as well.

Performance

Power Torque 0-60 mph Top speed Drag coefficient
Lucid Air Touring 620 hp NA 3.5 sec 155 mph 0.21
Lucid Air Grand Touring 800 hp NA 3.0 sec 168 mph 0.21
Lucid Air Dream Edition 1,080 hp NA 2.3 sec 168 mph 0.21
Porsche Taycan 4S 522 hp (overboost) 472 lb-ft (overboost) 3.8 sec 155 mph 0.22
Porsche Taycan 4S PBP 562 hp (overboost) 479 lb-ft (overboost) 3.8 sec 155 mph 0.22
Porsche Taycan Turbo 670 hp (overboost) 626 lb-ft (overboost) 3.0 sec 161 mph 0.22
Porsche Taycan Turbo S 750 hp (overboost) 774 lb-ft (overboost) 2.6 sec 161 mph 0.25
Tesla Model S Long Range 417 hp (est.) 485 lb-ft (est.) 3.7 sec 155 mph 0.23
Tesla Model S Performance 762 hp (est.) 723 lb-ft (est.) 2.3 sec 155 mph 0.23

Tech

We haven’t had a chance to drive the new Lucid Air, but the company claims the top trim will have Level 3 driver-assistance tech. That means the Lucid will be able to take full control when certain conditions are met. It’s a hands-off system but the driver must still remain vigilant.

Tesla’s Autopilot is still very much a hands-on system, despite what the name suggests. It may guide drivers around curves in the road, but they must keep their hands on the wheel and remain alert at all times. Porsche, meanwhile, will offer its InnoDrive tech for the 2021 Taycan, which bundles adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist, just like the Tesla.

Price

Lucid wants $72,000 of your hard-earned dollars for the base Air — the one we don’t have any numbers for — and the company has yet to reveal its destination charge. That number goes up — way up — for the Dream Edition, which comes in at a whopping $169,000. The Taycan 4S starts at $105,150 including $1,350 for destination, going up to $186,350 for the Taycan Turbo S. At $96,190 including $1,200 for destination, the Model S Performance is a veritable bargain. 

Pricing

Base price Destination charge
Lucid Air $80,000 NA
Lucid Air Touring $95,000 NA
Lucid Air Grand Touring $139,000 NA
Lucid Air Dream Edition $169,000 NA
Porsche Taycan 4S $103,800 $1,350
Porsche Taycan 4S PBP $112,900 $1,350
Porsche Taycan Turbo $150,900 $1,350
Porsche Taycan Turbo S $185,000 $1,350
Tesla Model S Long Range $74,990 $1,200
Tesla Model S Performance $94,990 $1,200

The Lucid Air is available to reserve now for a $1,000 refundable deposit. However, if you want the top-dollar Lucid Air Dream Edition, you’ll need to pony up a $7,500 refundable deposit. The company expects to deliver the Dream Edition in the Spring of 2021 with the Grand Touring and Touring following later that year. The base Air comes online in 2022. Lucid plans to open 20 showrooms and service centers in North America by the end of 2021.

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