Tesla has impressed the world with its highest-power creation, the Model S Plaid. But now that it has an honest-to-goodness competitor, can it hang on to its quarter-mile crown?
That competitor is, of course, the Lucid Air. Also a four-door sedan focused on having excellent road manners, both happen to have quadruple-digit power figures in their top grades thanks to chunky electric motors.
Seen here in flagship Dream Edition trim, the Lucid Air makes 1,111 hp (1,126 PS/828 kW). That’s more than the Model S Plaid, which makes a claimed 1,020 hp (1,035 PS/761 kW), but it also weighs more than the Tesla. Tipping the scales at 5,236 lbs (2,375 kg), the Air’s name is kind of ironic when compared to the 4,833 lbs (2,192 kg) Model S Plaid.
Both cars are on pretty sticky rubber for this race with the Tesla on Michelin Pilot 4S tires, whereas the Air is on Pirelli P Zero HL tires. The test, though, does take place on a rather cold 48°F day (9°C). Although the Tesla has a preconditioning setting to warm up the battery in preparation for racing that the Lucid does not, the video’s host says they didn’t allow the Model S to do that in order to keep the racing as close as possible.
In the end, it didn’t really matter, as the Model S Plaid was able to beat the Air with relative ease. In a previous test on the channel, the Lucid managed to set a quarter-mile time of 10 seconds flat, which is impressive by any measure but not quite enough to beat a Model S on a drag strip, as history has shown.
Between that video and this one, Lucid got in touch with the channel to give it some tips on how best to launch the Air but it wasn’t enough to improve the drag time and the best it could manage during this test was another 10-flat.
The Model S Plaid, meanwhile, managed a best time of 9.6 seconds through the quarter-mile. Neither was setting its best times in the cold weather and the high winds but it’s clear from these drag races (and the roll race) that the Tesla has more high-end grunt than the Air.
Losing to a Model S Plaid is nothing to be ashamed of and the Lucid Air is clearly a very fast car, but this may serve as a point of pride for Tesla fans.