Mysterious startup carmaker Faraday Future has now revealed the FFZERO1 concept, a supercar built to demonstrate the flexibility of its modular electric-car architecture.
The Variable Platform Architecture, or VPA, is essentially a skateboard design with a flat battery pack, a motor on one or both axles, and crash structures front and rear.
Faraday plans to build its first production car using VPA within two years.
But what form that car may take was not discussed in the presentation, nor were any details provided about the new business models the company plans to use to "transform" mobility and vehicles.
The event was the hot ticket on Monday night among media, industry analysts, and investors the evening before Press Day at the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Afterward, attendees walked away with what can best be described as mixed impressions.
Faraday Future Variable Platform ArchitectureEnlarge Photo
For a company with a supposed billion-dollar commitment from Jia Yueting, the founder of Chinese internet group LeTV, there was much discussion about what Faraday intends to do but no hard details beyond the platform architecture.
And although Faraday calls itself a tech company, not a carmaker, it missed an opportunity by not having the chassis itself on display.
When Tesla Motors showed the body-in-white for its Model S electric luxury sedan at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, the visible evidence of its technical skills silenced critics who said it would never be capable of designing "a real car."
Instead, Faraday's exercise in all-out supercar fantasy is meant to show some of the design language that future Faraday vehicles will share.
That includes a so-called UFO Line that runs around the center of the vehicle, according to head of global design Richard Kim, that's "intended to give the sense that this vehicle is not completely of this world."
Kim called the concept "an amplified version of the design and engineering philosophies informing FF's forthcoming production vehicles."
Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept, unveiled at 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, Las VegasEnlarge Photo
The car itself--somewhat resembling a Batmobile--is meant to demonstrate what a high-performance electric track car could be.
One motor per wheel, totaling more than 1000 horsepower, will provide 0-to-60-mph acceleration in less than 3 seconds and a top speed of more than 200 miles per hour.
The concept also has "aero tunnels" that run through the vehicle from front to back, reducing lift and cooling the batteries--something Kim said aerodynamicists have always wanted but no maker has been able to provide.
The FFZERO1 has a smartphone in the center of the steering wheel for its single occupant, which customizes its performance to the driver's preferences, but can also drive itself when desired.
"Conceptually," the company said, "this setup could enable the smartphone to serve as the interface between the vehicle and the driver in – and outside – of the car."
It also appears to preclude the fitting of an airbag in the center of the wheel, its usual location for the driver's seat. But, no matter, it's a concept.