Faraday Future's First Production Car Debuts Making Wild, Tesla-Beating Claims
At an overcrowded event in Las Vegas as part of the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the overly teased production vehicle from American EV upstart Faraday Future was officially revealed.
Many doubted that Faraday Future would be able to pull this reveal off, as news of the mysterious company’s financial problems have been dominating the headlines lately. And although this new debut is a big step forward for the company, many are still skeptical about its wild, Tesla-beating claims.
This production car, called the FF 91, is being billed by the automaker as a “new species” with its 130-kWh battery, the largest EV battery on a production car, that leads to a range of 378 miles, another class-leading number. By using multiple motors, the car makes a combined 1,050 horsepower.
The car can apparently accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.39 seconds. The automaker made sure to point out that this beats the previous benchmark of 2.6 seconds, set by the Tesla Model S P100D in Ludicrous Mode. The company did a demonstration during the car’s unveiling, with different variables such as weather and tires, and still, the FF 91 managed to do a 2.59-second sprint, which is still faster than the P100D.
In terms of charging, Faraday Future promises to support any standard and is capable of charging up to 200 kW, or 500 miles per hour.
Faraday Future says the FF 91 features autonomous driving capability that can adjust to changing driving conditions. The company says it has the most comprehensive sensor system in any car, with 10 cameras, 13 radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and one retractable LIDAR scanner that’s found on the center of the hood. When the car is in autonomous mode, it will be made apparent to passengers and other motorists because the scanner will be visible, while it will be hidden when the car is not in autonomous mode.
Using this array of sensors, the company tried to demonstrate a self-parking feature, where the car should be able to search for a parking spot and park itself, even without anyone in the car. The demonstration didn’t work at all during the press conference, but despite the hiccup, Faraday Future promises that drivers will never have to park again.
The automaker also says this the first truly connected car, using an open digital ecosystem that will be compatible with any device drivers own. The idea is to never lose data between devices, so drivers can plan something on their phone or computer, and it would transfer to the car seamlessly. The FF 91 will also be able to stream content, including full HD video on the screens in the car. The company says this is possible due to there being numerous modems in the vehicle, rather than just one. The car will also not use a key and will allow a driver’s smartphone’s Bluetooth connectivity and an app called FF ID to unlock the car and personalize the car to each user.
A sweptback profile that’s best described as something between a wagon and a crossover, the car sports a unique front end with a LED lighting signature that runs the entire width of the car. Aerodynamics are a major part of this car, with it featuring a 0.25 coefficient of drag, which is the same as a Toyota Prius. Ride height automatically adjusts for better performance and aerodynamics. Even the wheels feature shutters that help the car cut through the air more efficiently.
The car shuns traditional handles and instead has capacitive touch buttons to open the doors, which are suicide doors. The interior is spacious, packing 151 cubic feet of passenger space. According to the company, the car’s long wheelbase and size allows for it to feature rear seats that can recline more than a Mercedes-Maybach.
The automaker, backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, is taking reservations on its website, asking for a $5,000 refundable deposit for a car, which can be upgraded to an “FF 91 Alliance Edition” which is limited to 300 units. Otherwise, you can get a “standard reservation” with no money down and a non-priority spot through a simple form on the automaker’s website. The Faraday Future FF 91 is expected to arrive in 2018.
Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.
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