Faraday Future showed off their FF91 production vehicle at CES 2017 and in short, they have left crowds amazed. For those not “in the know”, Faraday Future is an American electric car company based in Los Angeles, California and backed by the Chinese consumer electronics giant – Le Eco. Faraday Future made it very clear what their target is. They want to completely revamp the automotive market by making connected electric vehicles the norm and have set their crosshairs directly at Tesla and other car manufacturers.
The FF91 received 64,124 reservations within 36 hours even though Faraday Future did not reveal its price. The car aims to bring to the market some very interesting concept car-like technology and pushes autonomous driving tech toward consumers, similar to Tesla.
By the numbers, the FF91 looks like an absolute beast. It has a 130kWh battery with an EPA range of 378 miles. The vehicle’s 1050 horsepower will allow it to go from 0 mph to 60 mph in a mind bending 2.39 seconds, which will make it the quickest (note: quickest refers to acceleration, not speed) production vehicle ever when it releases. The current title holder, Tesla’s Model S P100D, takes 2.6 seconds to reach the same speed but should be able to trim that time down to 2.4 seconds with an upcoming software update. The car will purportedly charge at a rate of 500 miles per hour using a 200kW DC charging system. On a traditional 15kW AC home charging system, it will take 4.5 hours to reach 50% charge.
Autonomous driving will come baked in with the FF91 but it is not completely clear what level of autonomy will be enabled out of the box due to driving regulations. A key feature demonstrated was the car’s ability to scan its environment, find a parking spot and then park completely autonomously. To achieve this, the FF91 uses an array of cameras and sensors and even has a super cool LIDAR sensor that pops up from the car’s hood quite a bit like the Rolls Royce Silver Lady. The car can then be summoned forth from where it was parked. All this is controlled via a smartphone app. The idea behind this is to save the driver’s time so that the driver does not need to worry about finding a parking spot.
A number of features of the FF91 are similar to what is found on Tesla vehicles such as a center touch screen, LTE antennas and keyless entry. The FF91 takes keyless entry to a different level entirely by leveraging cameras and facial recognition to allow entry into the vehicle. The side mirrors are aerodynamic and removable. Faraday Future designed the vehicle such that the mirrors can be swapped for more aerodynamic cameras when they become approved by regulators. The wheels pull off a few cool tricks too. They are 22 inches and transform their shape kinetically to increase aerodynamics at higher speeds. The rear wheels also turn ever so slightly with the front wheels and allow for a much smaller turning radius.
The interior of the car was designed with the comfort of the passengers in mind. The cabin has 150 cubic feet of space and super luxurious seats which come with adjustable upper back, lumbar and lower leg support along with heating, cooling and even massaging seats. The panoramic roof and the windows are made of dimming glass thus allowing passengers to make the glass opaque for privacy. The rear seats feature best in class reclining at 60 degrees compare to the dismal 43.5 degrees of a Maybach.
The FF91 looks like a car straight off of the sets of a sci-fi movie and the technology the company is touting seems rather intangible at this moment. Faraday Future claims that the car will begin production in 2018 and will be delivered soon after. The price has not yet been revealed but most analysts are expecting a figure north of $130,000. We are used to fascinating concept cars at auto shows that show of unreal aesthetics and technology that could one day make it to the market but the FF91 is different. This car, in the shape we see it today, is more or less what will be available to customers. All the technology is not science fiction, it is real technology that is being used to promote the FF91. If this vehicle makes it to the market on time, we can very well expect the entire automotive industry to try and one up the company.