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An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: The Lucid Air, the first model from California-based electric car start-up company Lucid Motors, has been named MotorTrend's 2022 Car of the Year. It's the first time any automaker has won the award with its first car. MotorTrend's panel of judges lauded the Lucid Air for its extraordinary range and efficiency -- some versions can go up to 520 miles on a single charge -- as well as its performance and luxurious interior. In its announcement, MotorTrend called the Air "the new [electric vehicle] benchmark." While the judges generally liked the Air's interior design, they did criticize what they saw as an over-reliance on touch screens for many basic controls. The judges praised the car's Lucid-designed stereo-system. It's not the first time a start-up automaker has won the award. The Tesla Model S won it in 2012. But the Model S was Tesla's second car, after the Tesla Roadster. The Air is Lucid's first car, and it only recently went into production. Despite its high cost, MotorTrend's judges thought the Lucid Air represented a strong value. They tested the Grand Touring version with a starting price around $140,000. Less expensive versions, with prices starting around $77,000, will be available later, but they won't have the driving range and power of the pricier cars. Lucid's CEO, Peter Rawlinson, once worked at Tesla and helped engineer the Model S. In creating the Lucid Air, he has said, efficiency has been a primary focus. The Lucid is actually the most energy efficient electric car sold in America, according to EPA estimates.