Over the years, we've become accustomed to seeing Tesla models being used for benchmark testing by automakers who are developing electric vehicles.
Obviously, Tesla also uses vehicles from other brands to benchmark its upcoming products against. For example, a Ram 1500 TRX was spotted last year at the Fremont Factory, likely as part of Tesla's Cybertruck development program.
Now, a fresh drone video from Tesla's California plant has captured a Lucid Air electric luxury sedan on the site's test track. This is interesting and quite flattering for Lucid Group, as this spotting suggests Tesla is taking the Air very seriously.
Why wouldn't it? After all, the Lucid Air is the production EV with the longest driving range in the world and that's not the only area where it trumps Tesla's Model S. It's also more efficient and arguably more luxurious inside, offering a more upscale experience for passengers.
Gallery: 2022 Lucid Air: First Drive
While we don't know what Tesla's goal is with this particular Lucid Air vehicle, it's safe to say the luxury EV will be thoroughly examined by its engineers. The company should get some interesting insights into the Lucid Air and use the findings to improve the Model S.
The Lucid Air will clearly become a competitor for the Model S in the coming years as the EV startup begins releasing more affordable trim levels of its electric luxury sedan. The $169,000 Dream Edition may not play in the same league as the Model S—it's some $30,000 more expensive than the range-topping Model S Plaid—but Lucid plans to launch the $77,400 Air Pure, $95,000 Air Touring, and $139,000 Air Grand Touring models in the future.
At that point, even though Lucid probably won't be able to maintain those prices, the Tesla Model S is bound to see some competition from the Lucid Air, which is probably why the Austin-based EV maker is taking the luxury EV so seriously.
Tesla is not the first automaker to benchmark its products against a Lucid Air. Earlier this year, one Air was spotted at Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan, facility posing next to a Mustang Mach-E.