Lucid Air Sapphire
I previously mentioned I was at Virginia International Raceway as part of Car and Driver’s annual Lightning Lap event. While my driving of fast, expensive cars was mostly limited to hauling them from one side of the track to another at no more than 30mph, I did manage to sneak in a hot lap as a passenger inside the Air Sapphire, a ridiculous EV made by Lucid.
I’ve loved fast cars all my life and have spent years shooting them trackside. But I haven’t gotten to ride in too many cars at high speed. Combine that with the fact I, until this event, had never ridden inside a fully electric vehicle, my breadth of experience is limited. That said, the Lucid Air Sapphire, at least at speed, was unlike any other car I’ve been in.
The amount of torque the Air Sapphire puts out on acceleration is incredible and taking high-speed turns felt like cutting through recently-Zamboni’d ice with a fresh pair of skates—on edge while still having just the right amount of grip. It’s clear why they named this vehicle the “Air.” No oversteer, no wheelspin—just pure speed and the grip to keep it all between the lines (with some help from our talented driver, Car and Driver Technical Editor, Dan Edmunds. Granted, you’d expect this from a $250,000 EV, but actually feeling it in action was an experience I won’t soon forget.
The above photo is one I snapped of the Air Sapphire as it sat after a hot lap around VIR’s Grand Course. It was shot on Kodak Gold 200 inside my Contax 645 with a 80mm F2 Zeiss lens and developed/scanned by Nice Film Club out of Brooklyn, NY. I’m not sure what magical elements all came together to get the exact look if I’m being honest, but the green tint to the glass, the soft purple shadows, and the colorful reflections instantly made me think of the iconic work of Saul Leiter, who photographed much of his color New York street photography on Kodachrome (his black and white work is incredible as well).
Leiter has always been a photographer whose work I’ve come back to time and time again and Kodachrome is a film stock I’ve always wished I’d had the opportunity to shoot with before it was declared dead, so to get this look with a modern film stock is a nice surprise.