Still, we had a plan, a route and a schedule so we headed downtown – and the traffic immediately slowed to a crawl as the skies above filled with news helicopters to capture Trump’s movements. Probably all the fault of the mainstream media, or something...
The slow start to the day allowed plenty of time to get to know the Air’s cabin, which, like the exterior, has a really refreshing feel to it. There’s an excellent mix of craftsmanship and technology, the former coming from trim and materials that include nappa leather, alpaca wool, Alcantara and carbon oak. Perceived quality is high, with none of the iffy panel gaps we found in the early-build car we drove last year.
There is also great distinction in the colour palette between the front and the rear, the former being sportier and darker, while the latter is lighter and even more luxurious feeling. It’s what Lucid calls the ‘Tahoe’ interior colour scheme, and it feels both concept car-like and coherent. It’s a resounding success.
While Tesla pushes for minimalism by seemingly compressing the entire interior of its cars onto a single touchscreen, and the German brands go for all-out showiness and technology, the Air sits somewhere between the two. Running across the dashboard is a slim, curved 32in ‘Glass Cockpit’, which is used for a driver display and infotainment screen, all in 5K resolution. This works with, and is largely controlled by, a lower centre console-mounted tablet-style touchscreen (with haptic feedback), which is able to disappear back into the console with a swipe for a bit of extra theatre. The graphics are slick, the layout is nice and it all works well, with none of the lag we experienced a year ago – although Apple CarPlay connectivity was intermittent. Pleasingly, physical buttons remain for the temperature and fan controls.
We make it through downtown and over the Brooklyn Bridge, again that panoramic roof coming in handy for taking in the surroundings. But as the day warms up, all of that skyward- facing glass has a greenhouse effect on the cabin, forcing the air conditioning to work a bit harder. It’s a shame, too, that the sun visors look almost like an afterthought, cheapening slightly what is otherwise a remarkable spectacle. (Yes, I know, we had a similar glass roof on the Citroën C4 Grand Picasso...)