It was perhaps the most anticipated drag race competition by the electric vehicle community, putting our favorite Tesla Model S Plaid against the newly-launched Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance. As the name suggests, this is the performance variant of the Lucid Air luxury electric sedan.
Although both of these cars were basically created as luxury segment sedans, with the presence of immense power of the electric drivetrain and the ability to deliver instant torque, these should be tested on the dragstrip.
Since Lucid Air is also a mass-production electric car like the Tesla Model S, drag racing them against each other gives us some good information for comparative analysis.
Interestingly, when Lucid revealed the price of the base trim of Air back in 2020, Tesla changed the price of the base Model S to $69,420. So, Tesla does take Lucid seriously and thinks of them as a serious competitor in the industry.
Tesla Model S Plaid vs. Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance Specs Comparison
|Tesla Model S Plaid||Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance|
|Drivetrain||Tri-Motor (AC permanent magnet synchronous motor, carbon-fiber-wrapped carbon-fiber-wrapped rotor, liquid-cooled, with variable frequency drive (2x motors in the rear)||Dual-Motor ActiveCore|
|Transmission||Front (Single speed fixed gear, 7.5:1. Enhanced lubrication), Rear (Independent single speed fixed gear, 7.5:1. Dry sump lubrication)||1 speed fixed gear|
|0-60 mph||1.99 seconds||2.5 seconds|
|Power||1,020 hp||1,111 hp|
|Torque||1,050 lb-ft (Motor Trend)||774 lb-ft|
|Co-efficient of Drag||0.208 Cd||0.21 Cd|
|Weight||4,828 lbs||5,236 lbs|
|Top Speed||155 mph* (250 km/h), 175 mph (281 km/h) with Track Mode||168 mph (270 km/h)|
|Battery Pack||~100 kWh||~118 kWh|
|Range (EPA estimated)||348 miles (560 km) with 21″ wheels, 396 miles (637 km) with 19″ wheels||471 miles (758 km) with 19″ wheels|
|Efficiency (combined)||101 MPGe (116 MPGe with 19″ wheels)||116 MPGe|
|Starting Price (USD)||$129,990||$169,000|
Looking at the above comparison table between these two cars, Lucid Air does seem to have scored better than the Model S. But this comes at an additional price of $39,100 and this is not a small price difference.
However, kudos to the Lucid team for achieving a great efficiency number that resulted in a more than enough 471 miles of range for the Air Dream Edition Performance variant.
Lucid also designed the Air with an amazing drag coefficient of 0.21 Cd, this is very close to the Tesla Model S’ 0.208 Cd. Lower the aerodynamic drag, more an electric vehicle delivers range and performance. Model S Plaid is also 408 lbs lighter than the Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance, Lucid is basically heavy because of its larger battery pack.
The Drag Racing
DragTimes host when reached out to Lucid for providing him with a test unit, the automaker refused by saying that they are marketing the car in terms of range and efficiency, not drag racing performance.
However, a person who owns both the Tesla Model S Plaid and the Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance cars brought them to the Hennessey Performance dragstrip in Houston, Texas for the ultimate challenge.
In the 1st attempt, both cars started the race at 92% state-of-charge (SoC) and both used their launch controls (called Dragstrip Mode in the Plaid). Here, Tesla Plaid totally outclassed the Lucid Air Performance.
In the 2nd round, Model S Plaid had its launch control disabled while Lucid Air used launch control, only then the Lucid Performance was able to win this round.
In the 3rd attempt, Model S Plaid had the Dragstrip Mode enabled again it won this race again with ease. The 4th and final rolling race at 25 mph also resulted in the win of the Tesla Model S Plaid.