There are many EV startups out there, but few reach the stage of actually having a functioning prototype, let alone start mass production.

Along with Rivian, Lucid Group is one of those who show a lot of promise, and this impression has just grown stronger as the California-based company has let a journalist test drive a pre-production prototype of the Air Dream Edition R.

This is a significant milestone as MotorTrend’s Jonny Lieberman is the first person outside Lucid Motors to get behind the wheel of an Air electric luxury sedan (you can read the exclusive first drive review in full on the magazine's website).

He got to drive the 933-hp Lucid Air Dream Edition R, where R stands for Range—there’s also a 1,111-hp Dream Edition P, for Performance. The R model promises a driving range of more than 500 miles (805 km) thanks to a 113-kWh battery, and Lieberman’s experience confirmed that to be very accurate.

Gallery: Lucid Air Dream Edition

Lieberman drove the Air Dream Edition R from Los Angeles to San Francisco without giving special consideration to preserving range. With a range readout of 503 miles at the start of the trip, the Air had covered 409 miles at the arrival and still had 69 miles of range remaining. That’s remarkably close to the target.

But the Lucid Air is more than just a comfortable and luxurious long-distance cruiser. Lieberman likens it to a “four-door, five-passenger luxury [Nissan] GT-R” that leaps and bounds out of corners. He says it’s shockingly fast, with quick, well-weighted steering, and it enjoys being manhandled through tight corners.

The harder I pushed, the better the Lucid Air got,” the reviewer notes, adding that the acceleration pedal unleashes a tsunami of thrust that the smart AWD system takes full advantage of.

So it has a longer range than any EV currently available and it’s a hoot to drive; do you need any other reason to give the Lucid Air a look? Well, Lieberman says it has “one of the nicest interiors in the car world” filled with “fantastic materials” like wood, leather, metal, Alcantara, quality plastics, and even linen-like fabric. Then again, it has a starting MSRP of $169,000…

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