A crazy-looking electric supercar concept called the Faraday Future FFZERO1 was revealed at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show and people are going bonkers over it.
The mysterious startup company is making all sorts of seemingly far-fetched claims and is promising to change to the way we think about mobility. Here’s what you need to know.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
1. Faraday Future 101
The company behind this new car is called Faraday Future. Just 18 months old, it’s a new automaker, but it’s backed by some serious friends. Supported by a Chinese billionaire and with help from Nevada state officials, Faraday Future will begin making cars right here in the U.S.
The company is short-sighted, but in a good way; it plans to have cars on the road as soon as 2017. Even in the company’s infancy, it is being called a “Tesla-killer.”
2. This Concept Isn’t For Sale
The Faraday Future FFZERO1 sure looks cool, but be warned, this isn’t what the company is actually working on. So no, we’re not all going to be zooming around in self-driving, 1,000-hp sci-fi supercars. There’s still no word on the driving range, what kind of batteries it uses, or how long it would take to charge this vehicle. There are basically no hard facts about this car.
Instead, the concepts and technology used in the FFZERO1 are expected to trickle down to more realistic production cars in the near future. Its self-driving technology, steering wheel with a smartphone input, interior design and stand out exterior will all likely hit a production vehicle in some form or another.
So even though this concept supercar might be fanciful, the technology could be realistic and will be used in higher volume road-going cars that could actually compete with Tesla (because Tesla doesn’t make a ridiculous 1,000-hp supercar).
3. It’s All Electric
One thing is for sure, though: the FFZERO1 and all cars released by Faraday Future will be pure electric vehicles. In the FFZERO1 concept, each wheel is powered by a single motor, giving the vehicle a total output of 1,000 hp. That power supposedly helps the race car hit 60 mph in under three seconds and achieve a 200 mph top speed.
But what’s really cool about the FFZERO1 isn’t its motors, but its battery setup. Described as a string battery, they were likened to a set of Christmas lights. If one battery dies or malfunctions, the rest of them still work. Just the one battery in the string would need to be replaced, making the car more affordable to repair.
4. Variable Platform Architecture (VPA) is the Key Acronym
Another important production element that the FFZERO1 is showcasing is its underpinnings. The Variable Platform Architecture (VPA), is so versatile that it can be the base of this crazy concept and also underpin whatever production car Faraday Future is cooking up. Head of design Richard Kim suggested the VPA could underpin practically anything, including a pickup or crossover.
5. Modular Everything
This versatile architecture and flexible battery system will mean that Faraday Future will be able to scale up or scale down its vehicles quickly and easily. Bigger cars will be able to fit more batteries and get more range. Smaller cars can use fewer motors, allowing for front or rear-wheel drive. SUVs can sport all-wheel drive if needed. This fluidity will help the company pump out relevant cars quickly, which is its plan for quick domination in the EV market. The company believes its new platform will disrupt the market much like the iPhone did for smartphones.
Time will tell if things pan out for Faraday Future or if these plans are all dubious, but the company is moving quickly with little time for doubt. The company will break ground on its U.S. manufacturing facility soon and is expecting to employ 4,500 people.