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From the March/April issue of Car and Driver.

Medieval alchemy practitioners theorized that the right combination of earth, air, fire, and water would create a fifth element: the philosopher’s stone. They believed that the stone, described as brilliant blue, could turn lead into gold and allow the holder to defy earthly limitations. We aren’t saying that Lucid has discovered the secrets to the quintessence, but the 2024 Air Sapphire has alchemy right in the name and comes only in a brilliant metallic blue paint. Even more convincing, this 5345-pound four-door accelerates like a chemical reaction and pivots with the precision of planetary orbit. It sure feels like a transmutation of base metals into precious ones.

Lucid’s Air sedans feel more magical, quicker, and more nimble than their big luxury-car dimensions should allow. Even the entry-level rear-wheel-drive Air Pure can trip a quarter-mile timer in 12.7 seconds and circle our skidpad with 0.94 g. All the Air trims are solid, well-equipped cruisers with impressive range and powerful electric drivetrains. But the Sapphire outdoes them all with barely believable performance numbers and design cues that imbue it with elegant menace. To make the Sapphire stand out from the already-impressive 819-hp Air Grand Touring, the alchemists, er, engineers at Lucid added a second electric motor in the rear for a triumvirate making a frankly ridiculous 1234 horsepower and 1430 pound-feet of torque.

It was pouring rain when the Lucid arrived, which only made it more incredible that nary a single horse kicked the rear end out without request, even when fording a flooded intersection that had us wondering about the 118.0-kWh battery pack’s waterproofing (it was fine). The Air has a stable platform to start, with a wide stance and a long 116.5-inch wheelbase. The Sapphire hunkers down on 20- and 21-inch wheels and Pilot Sport 4S tires that Michelin developed just for this trim, with stiffer rubber along the center tread and a stickier outside shoulder to deliver the best rolling resistance while pointed straight and sporty corner grip when leaned on.

HIGHS: Magic-carpet quick, handling to match, range for days.

While the Sapphire’s suspension is stiffer and tuned for the additional horsepower, most of the car’s secrets run through its wiring. Its four drive modes—Smooth, Swift, Sapphire, and Track—do more than alter accelerator sensitivity. They also bring noticeable handling changes as the software sends more or less torque to the rear tires to offer the relaxed responses of a ’70s Cadillac or the dartiness of a smaller sporty machine. Additional options within Track mode can disable traction control or limit horsepower for a longer track session. There’s also a Hot Lap setting that gives you everything for one glorious go (we like to think of it as the Lightning Lap button; check out how it performed at our 2024 event).

Making all of these dance moves possible is an in-house-designed torque-vectoring and traction-control system that can recognize and react to tire slip in a single millisecond. For context, a lightning strike takes 30 milliseconds. A human blink takes 100. So while you’re blinking, the Sapphire could make 100 tiny adjustments to all four corners. The result is an unbothered romp through puddles or, on a nicer day, like the one we had for testing, a lap around the skidpad pulling 1.04 g’s without a hint of push, a quarter-mile time of 9.3 seconds at 153 mph, and a sprint to 60 mph in 2.1 seconds. Talk about the blink of an eye. On a prepped track surface, the Sapphire is even quicker. Technical editor Dan Edmunds saw 60 mph in 1.9 seconds when he drove it at Sonoma Raceway’s sticky drag strip. Perhaps more important is the bravura braking. The 16.5-inch carbon-ceramic rotors with 10-piston calipers in the front and 15.4-inch rotors with four-piston calipers in the rear bring the car to a halt from 70 mph in 151 feet. On the street, you rarely have to touch them, as the Sapphire makes use of heavy regenerative braking, with no option to coast.

LOWS: No coasting mode, quarter-million price, you better like blue.

When you do come to a stop, prepare for a conversation with everyone in the vicinity. That’s not because the Sapphire is flashy—its dark-blue paint has an understated glow, it saves weight by dropping the showy glass canopy roof of the Grand Touring and Dream variants, and it has just a tiny splitter and rear ducktail spoiler. But people can sense that it’s special. The Sapphire turned heads of all ages, from a little kid leaning out a window for a better look to an exec in a business suit stepping out of a Mercedes to come over and ask about it. If you measure a car’s value in compliments given, the Sapphire’s $250,500 price might seem about right.

What that money gets you, aside from the possibility of cleaning up at the drag strip, is a Sapphire-exclusive interior in dark-gray Alcantara brightened with pops of blue stitching and Lucid’s California-bear logo on the headrests. Extra bolstering in the heated, ventilated, and massaging seats is a nod to track aspirations, but nothing else in the interior says race car. The Sapphire is meant for the street, and it offers all the comforts a commuter needs from a luxury car. We’re still waiting for someone to invent a built-in screen cleaner, though. Like many modern machines, the Sapphire relies heavily on touchscreen menus. And while Lucid’s user interface is easy to navigate, the surfaces quickly become coated in oily fingerprints.

As for charging and range, the Sapphire maintains its big-and-fast reputation with a 900-volt electrical architecture that enables 300-kW DC fast-charging. An EPA-estimated range of 427 miles means you could visit every racetrack in the Los Angeles area without stopping to top up the battery—if only the tracks weren’t all gravel pits and shopping malls now. There is something ironic about cruising Los Angeles in a car that dead stock can run a sub-10-second quarter-mile and accelerate midcorner without breaking traction, when all the places where you might have gapped and lapped the competition have succumbed to suburban sprawl. Too bad one of the magic drive modes in the Lucid Air Sapphire isn’t time travel.

VERDICT: It’ll make you a believer.

Arrow pointing down



2024 Lucid Air Sapphire

Vehicle Type: front- and dual rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan


Base/As Tested: $250,500/$250,500


Front Motor: permanent-magnet AC, 670 hp

Rear Motors: 2 permanent-magnet AC, 670 hp each

Combined Power: 1234 hp
Combined Torque: 1430 lb-ft

Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 118.0 kWh

Onboard Charger: 19.2 kW

Peak DC Fast-Charge Rate: 300 kW

Transmissions, F/R: direct-drive


Suspension, F/R: multilink/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 16.5-in vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc/15.4-in vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc

Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

F: 265/35ZR-20 (99Y) Extra Load LM1

R: 295/30ZR-21 (102Y) Extra Load LM1


Wheelbase: 116.5 in

Length: 197.5 in

Width: 78.5 in

Height: 55.4 in

Passenger Volume, F/R: 61/44 ft3

Trunk Volume, F/R: 10/22 ft3

Curb Weight: 5345 lb


60 mph: 2.1 sec

100 mph: 4.2 sec

130 mph: 6.7 sec

150 mph: 8.9 sec

1/4-Mile: 9.3 sec @ 153 mph

170 mph: 12.1 sec

Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 2.6 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 1.1 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 1.3 sec

Top Speed (gov ltd): 207 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 151 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 303 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.04 g


Observed: 76 MPGe


Combined/City/Highway: 105/108/101 MPGe

Range: 427 mi


Headshot of Elana Scherr

Like a sleeper agent activated late in the game, Elana Scherr didn’t know her calling at a young age. Like many girls, she planned to be a vet-astronaut-artist, and came closest to that last one by attending UCLA art school. She painted images of cars, but did not own one. Elana reluctantly got a driver’s license at age 21 and discovered that she not only loved cars and wanted to drive them, but that other people loved cars and wanted to read about them, which meant somebody had to write about them. Since receiving activation codes, Elana has written for numerous car magazines and websites, covering classics, car culture, technology, motorsports, and new-car reviews. In 2020, she received a Best Feature award from the Motor Press Guild for the C/D story “A Drive through Classic Americana in a Polestar 2.”  In 2023, her Car and Driver feature story “In Washington, D.C.’s Secret Carpool Cabal, It’s a Daily Slug Fest” was awarded 1st place in the 16th Annual National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards by the Los Angeles Press Club.

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