Lucid Motors’ first car, a $169,000 electric sedan, is MotorTrend’s Car of the Year

Lucid Air, an electric luxury sedan.
The Lucid Air. Lucid Motors
  • The 2022 Lucid Air is MotorTrend’s Car of the Year.
  • It’s the first time a carmaker has won the award with their very first model.
  • Electric-car startup Lucid began shipping the Air sedan last month.

The Air sedan, the first model from electric-car startup Lucid Motors, won MotorTrend’s coveted Car of the Year award on Monday.

It’s a major vote of confidence for one of the most promising up-and-coming challengers to Tesla. It also marks the first time that MotorTrend has given the title to a carmaker’s inaugural product.

Lucid Air Dream Editions
Air Dream Editions. Lucid

Lucid, founded in 2007 and run by former Tesla chief engineer Peter Rawlinson, began delivering the Air to customers in late October. It’s a luxurious, high-tech sedan with industry-topping range. It’s primed to become a formidable rival to the Tesla Model S, provided Lucid can rapidly scale up production and roll out cheaper versions of the Air, including a $US77,400 ($AU105,183) base model.

The debut version of the Air, the $US169,000 ($AU229,662) Dream Edition, impressed MotorTrend’s panelists across six criteria: engineering excellence, efficiency, advancement in design, performance of intended function, safety, and value.

“With the longest driving range of any electric vehicle on the market, an EPA-estimated 520 miles (837km), and over 1,100 horsepower available, the Lucid Air is a technological tour de force,” MotorTrend Group’s head of editorial, Ed Loh, said. “The sleek futuristic Lucid Air sedan looks like nothing else on the road, while its gorgeous, smartly-packaged interior sets the standard for the next generation of luxury cars.”

Lucid Air Dream Editions interior
The Air Dream Edition interior. Lucid

The Air is the third electric vehicle to win Car of the Year. The Model S won in 2012, but that was Tesla’s second model after the Roadster sports car. The Chevrolet Bolt EV nabbed the title in 2016.

The Air beat out six other finalists: the 2022 Honda Civic, 2021 Hyundai Elantra, 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS, 2021 Porsche Taycan, and 2022 Toyota GR 86. To qualify, models must be either brand new or significantly updated. Motortrend has separate awards for SUVs and pickup trucks.