Faraday Future (FF), the intriguing EV startup that employs several alumni of Tesla and other automotive and tech giants, revealed its first production vehicle, called FF 91, at a press event prior to the recent CES trade show.
FF 91 features a monocoque vehicle structure that integrates the chassis and body, and a multi-motor setup that enables real-time torque vectoring and optional all-wheel drive. Peak power is 783 kW (1,050 hp), and 0-60 time is said to be 2.39 seconds.
FF engineered the 130 kWh battery in partnership with LG Chem. Estimated range is 378 miles (EPA). The company says the vehicle will be able to charge “at more than 500 miles per hour.” The included Level 2 home charger can charge to 50 percent in under 4.5 hours.
Connectivity features, developed in partnership with China-based conglomerate LeEco, are integrated into an “EcoSystem” that “integrates users’ digital lives into FF 91, giving access to apps and content, while learning user’s preferences over time to create a smarter, more personalized experience.”
Facial recognition technology allows drivers and passengers to unlock the car without a key, and enables other features as well. “FF 91 can not only recognize faces, but also facial expressions and moods it uses to auto-prompt an experience to match, using music, temperature, scent, content, massage and more.”
Autonomy features are supported by retractable 3D lidar, 10 high-definition cameras, 13 long- and short-range radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors. An intelligent self-parking system lets drivers park and summon the vehicle remotely using a smartphone app (for now, only in private parking lots).
The announced specs and features of FF 91 are impressive indeed, but some doubt the company will be able to deliver (such skepticism is of course a given for any auto industry startup). FF broke ground on a $1-billion, 3-million-square-foot manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas in November, but work on the site has apparently stopped due to a dispute about unpaid bills.
Many in the press have gushed about the over 64,000 advance reservations the company has received for FF 91, but no deposit is required to make a reservation, so while that number does show a high level of general interest in the company, it gives no indication of actual future demand for the car.
Faraday says production of FF 91 is planned to start in 2018, but has offered no information about pricing.