Is Lucid Air's Vibe Steering Tech Worth the $250k Price Tag?

Is Lucid Air's Vibe Steering Tech Worth the $250k Price Tag?
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Taking Luxury Steering to New Heights with the Lucid Air Sapphire's Vibe Haptic Steering

When Lucid Motors unveiled their new limited-production Lucid Air Sapphire super sedan, all eyes turned to the vehicle’s incredible performance specs. Packing 1,200 horsepower into a slick electric luxury car is impressive enough, but Lucid took things even further by debuting a first-of-its-kind steering system - the vibe haptic steering handle.

How the Vibe Steering Handle Works

Most steering wheels simply turn the tires left or right to change direction. But Lucid’s vibe handle provides an extra sensory connection between human and machine via haptic vibration feedback. It may sound like a gimmick, but once experienced, it becomes clear that this steering innovation offers some real benefits.

Embedded actuators in the steering wheel rim can create slight vibrations or “vibes” to relay important information to the driver. These include alerts about traction loss, lane departures, accident avoidance, and more. This allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road instead of dash indicators.

The vibes are also programmable to deliver custom alerts tailored to driver preferences. You may set a gentle rumble to trigger when a certain speed is reached, for example. This tactile feedback channel opens many possibilities to improve safety and awareness.

Vibe Steering Elevates Driving to a Luxury Experience

While primarily aimed at function, the vibe system also boosts the luxury factor of the Lucid Air Sapphire. The haptic pulses lend a greater sense of connection between car and driver at all times. This allows the vehicle to feel like an extension of the driver’s body, responding to their inputs and road conditions instantly.

Beyond safety and luxury, the vibe steering also enables new forms of entertainment. The Sapphire’s steering pulses can sync with music for a more immersive listening experience. It can also potentially simulate the feeling of driving different vehicles via coded vibration patterns. This brings an exciting new dimension to the future of in-car entertainment.

Vibe vs Traditional Steering: Is It Worth the Investment?

Considering that the Lucid Air Sapphire costs over $249,000 USD, one might question whether the vibe handle is really worth such a premium. For comparison, you could buy two loaded Tesla Model S Plaids for this Sapphire’s sticker price and still have money leftover.

Yet for serious luxury EV connoisseurs, the Lamborghini-esque performance and game-changing steering tech make the Sapphire tempting, despite the shocking price tag. No other production car in the world offers a steering innovation quite like this.

On top of that, you get Lucid’s signature ultra-sleek styling paired with a beyond-premium interior dripping in luxury. From the seats to screens to materials, it’s clear no expense was spared in designing the Sapphire’s cabin as a private jet experience on four wheels.

The Future Looks Bright for Haptic Vehicle Tech

While the vibe system's practicality and value proposition could be debated, there’s no question that Lucid is pushing future-forward tech to new levels with this steering setup. As haptic feedback systems improve, we may see vibrating steering wheels, seats, and interiors become commonplace across most vehicle segments - not only ultra luxury EVs.

Already, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and other brands offer various forms of haptic feedback embedded in screens, buttons, and controls. This hints that Lucid’s vibe tech is only the beginning stage of broader haptic innovation in the auto industry.

And if vibes in the steering wheel provide dividends in safety, awareness and entertainment, we’ll likely see this unproven tech spread to volume family sedans and economy cars too. While initially viewed as a novelty, it might not be long before a vibrating steering wheel is viewed similarly as other once-controversial advances like Bluetooth, backup cameras and lane keeping assist.

So while the six-figure Lucid Air Sapphire will remain reachable to only the ultra wealthy, expect its unique vibe steering handle to influence steering systems across future vehicle lineups. This aptly demonstrates how today’s luxury car tech often becomes tomorrow’s widespread standard feature.


What is the vibe steering handle on the Lucid Air Sapphire?

The vibe steering handle refers to the Sapphire model's unique haptic feedback steering wheel system. It uses embedded actuators to make the steering wheel gently vibrate with various programmed pulse patterns. These vibes relay information to the driver, such as traction loss alerts, lane departure warnings, and accident avoidance alerts.

What benefits does vibe steering offer?

Key benefits of the vibe steering system include improved safety by allowing drivers to keep eyes on the road, enhanced luxury and connection through the haptic feedback, and new entertainment options via customizable pulse patterns synced to music or vehicle simulations.

How much does the Lucid Air Sapphire cost?

The new limited-production Lucid Air Sapphire starts at $249,000 USD. That's over double the price of top trims of other luxury competitors like the Mercedes EQS or Audi e-tron GT.

Is the vibe steering wheel worth the price?

At over $250,000 before options, the value proposition is questionable. But for serious luxury EV enthusiasts, the chance to own a vehicle with exotic supercar-rivaling performance and a revolutionary haptic steering wheel not found elsewhere could justify the extremely high cost.

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