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Lucid Motors CEO takes Air out for public test drive without camo

Lucid Motors just released a video of CEO Peter Rawlinson taking the upcoming Air sedan for a test drive. It was the first time the Air appeared in public without camouflage. The test drive Air is a release candidate EV built at Lucid’s AMP-1 facility in Arizona. Rawlinson test drives the Lucid Air around the San Fransisco area to validate its dynamics before it begins full production.

Lucid Motors’ Air sedan will be the first electric vehicle to debut from the automaker. The Lucid Air Dream Edition is the first of four upcoming trims that will deliver this year and into 2022. Previously, the Dream Edition was scheduled to begin production this spring. However, that target has since been revised to the second half of 2021.

SPAC merger and production delays

The delay came just days after the announcement of a merger with SPAC Churchill Capital Corp IV ($CCIV). In a statement on Lucid’s website, CEO Peter Rawlinson explained the delays:

We continue to make final refinements, and, largely due to COVID-imposed delays, are now tracking toward a start of production as early as we can in the second half of 2021. Between now and then we’ll be sharing more details and video from our testing and validation, so you can closely follow the progress. We’re pushing hard to build a Lucid Air that truly delivers on every level to elevate the electric vehicle.

Today’s video is one of the updates Rawlinson was referring to in terms of testing and validation. While it may sting for customers who reserved the Air Dream Edition, the delay gives the automaker more time to work out any last kinks before production ramps up.

In the video posted by Lucid, Rawlinson is candid about his test drive, and what improvements can still be made. Nevertheless, the fact that Lucid is road testing release candidates means it’s on the cusp of a production green light.

Lucid Air test drive
Lucid’s release candidate Air being test driven by CEO Peter Rawlinson

The Lucid Air test drive video

In the video from Lucid, Peter Rawlinson test drives a release candidate Air. He sits solo, surrounded by multiple GoPro cams and a camera crew in front of him. From inside the EV, we see multiple angles of Rawlinson as he gives commentary on how the Air drives.

For the most part, Lucid’s CEO seems very pleased with the release candidate. This is a good sign for those looking to drive an Air themselves this year. Rawlinson takes the Lucid Air West, over the San Francisco Bay. He is looking for some winding roads that he calls “a perfect proving ground for vehicle dynamics.” Rawlinson is initially impressed the the “regen,” or regenerative braking, on the Air. He reveals Lucid upped it from .25 g to .3 g in sport mode.

Rawlinson admits to being happy with the overall pitch of the Lucid Air during the test drive. He calls the Air an isolated ride, compact and agile. He says, “This car is as much a sports car as it is a sedan.” Next, Rawlinson mentions a bit of jitter, and says they will have to work on the modulation of the torque. He admits, “We can improve on that.” This comes off as refreshing, showing the video this isn’t just a fluff piece. There are some constructive criticisms from the Lucid chief.

What’s especially genuine is when Peter Rawlinson admits that even in “driving country,” he’s still stuck in heavy traffic. He remains unable to “unleash” the capability of the Lucid Air during his test drive. Gotta love that California traffic. You can view the full Air test drive video from Lucid here:

Electrek’s Take

It’s always exciting when an EV automaker offers the public an update on its progress, especially on an electric vehicle as anticipated and the upcoming Air sedan. Many were thrown off by the delays announced by Lucid after its merger news, particularly since the automaker’s CEO spoke just days before about how things were on schedule .

Regardless, the production punt gives Lucid extra time to perform additional tests. These tests can help ensure that whenever the Air does deliver, it will have reached its full potential. Or so we all hope. Sure, Rawlinson is the CEO of Lucid, so his opinion will understandably remain somewhat biased. But he seemed genuinely impressed by the release candidate Air during his test drive.

Rawlinson’s interaction with onlookers while parked was also interesting. He explains to them that they’re some of the first to see the Lucid Air out on a test drive without camouflage. The passersby seem quite impressed, too. One person even asked where to buy one.

From a marketing standpoint, this was a great way to appease the masses, chomping for a Lucid Air test drive of their own. It also helps the automaker stay on the top of consumers’ minds, particularly as it works to deliver its first EV to market “some time in the second half of 2021.”

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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