Now that the Lucid Air is a practical reality, there’s a looming question: how well does it fare in a drag race against the other well-known electric luxury sedan, Tesla’s Model S Plaid? You now have a better idea. DragTimes has shared a long-teased video of a quarter-mile faceoff between the Air and Model S Plaid, and the outcome is at once expected but still full of insights.
It won’t shock you to hear the Model S Plaid wins three of the four runs, including one with a rolling start. It has a shorter claimed 0-60MPH time (1.99 seconds versus 2.5), and its lighter curb weight (4,828lbs versus about 5,200lbs), helps offset the horsepower deficiency. The Tesla didn’t have its drag strip prep mode enabled, either. If you’re fortunate enough to cross-shop these EVs, the Model S is still your pick for raw acceleration.
The Lucid Air still holds up well, though, and it even won a race when the Model S Plaid’s launch mode wasn’t engaged. That added power still matters, to put it another way — and this is worth considering if you’re more interested in green light races (where a launch mode likely won’t be an option) than drag strips. Lucid also pointed out that you can precondition the Air for better straight-line performance, and that it’s currently focused more on “luxury and efficiency” than speed.
The conditions weren’t ideal between relatively chilly temperatures for the Houston-area strip and strong winds. You’ll likely see faster times elsewhere. Even so, the video is worthwhile as a rare chance to see how different electric car platforms manage in real conditions. It also shows just how far EVs have come — these are figures you’d have previously associated with higher-end supercars, not four-door people carriers.