Folks have been waiting for a Tesla-versus-Lucid matchup ever since the Air debuted last year, but with press vehicles at a premium and not many Lucid deliveries thus far, lining up against a Model S Plaid hasn't been easy. Until now.
Credit goes to DragTimes for finally pitting these two supersedans head-to-head on a drag strip, albeit not a traditional location for capturing timed data. The venue is Hennessey's facility in Texas, where timing equipment isn't used. As such, this matchup relies on telemetry and the surface isn't quite what you'd find at a normal quarter-mile drag strip. Still, it's an open stretch of road for these all-wheel-drive EV monsters to do their thing.
Gallery: 2021 Tesla Model S
On paper, it's a close matchup. The Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance dishes out no less than 1,111 horsepower (828 kilowatts) courtesy of two electric motors. It's enough to send the beefy sedan through a quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds according to the automaker's official stats. The Tesla Model S Plaid is also a sub-ten-second EV, actually getting well into the nines despite only having 1,020 hp (761 kW). In short, this should be a good showdown.
And it is, despite the Model S Plaid getting a clear jump on the Lucid in the first of four races. The Tesla charges ahead and holds the lead, returning a time of 9.83 seconds at just over 150 mph per the telemetry. The second race shows an even start, with the Air pulling in front by a car length and staying there, though the Tesla gains a bit of ground towards the end. However, the cars didn't make a full quarter-mile pass, slowing shortly before the mark. Still, it's a win for Lucid.
Gallery: 2022 Lucid Air: First Drive
Race three sees the Tesla grab another jump off the line, albeit a small one. Traction was better too, because the Plaid pulls in front and walks away from the Air. This time they do complete a quarter-mile, with the Tesla turning an impressive 9.67 at 146 mph. There was no data for the Lucid on any of the runs, and neither car offered data for the final pass as it was a roll race from 25 mph. Once again, the win goes to Tesla.
Traction off the line plays a major role in any drag race, but it's especially critical with high-powered EVs that make the most of instant-on torque. As such, it will be interesting to see a rematch between these electric titans on a proper drag strip with a prepped surface. Perhaps the Lucid's power advantage can be better utilized in such a situation but for now, it seems Tesla still holds bragging rights.