Faraday Future unveiled its FF 91 electric car on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The battery-powered 1,050-horsepower vehicle is intended to rival (or perhaps best) anything Tesla Motors may have up its sleeve.
As an upright crossover, it appears to be designed to rival the Tesla Model X—and perhaps the future Model 3's rumored SUV sibling, the Model Y.
If Faraday actually delivers on its promise, the FF 91's features will far exceed those announced for Tesla so far.
But it's a big promise, and many observers remain skeptical that the new electric car from a new company with big ambitions will arrive sometime next year, as Faraday promises.
The company says it anticipates a 378-mile range from the FF 91's 130-kilowatt-hour battery.
Perhaps more impressive, the all-wheel-drive FF91 is said to boast a 0-to-60-mph sprint time of less than 2.4 seconds, which would best the 2.5 seconds of the current Model S 100D when optioned with Ludicrous mode.
Facial, iris scanning to unlock
The FF 91 has been designed to accommodate future 200-kilowatt fast charging, as well as the standard 240-volt Level 2 and 120-volt home current.
A Level 2 home charger is to be included with each FF 91, which the company says will provide a 50-percent charge in 4.5 hours.
Among other high-tech features, Faraday claims that the FF 91 will feature facial and iris recognition to unlock its doors when a registered user approaches.
That's unparalleled security, which looks and feels more like that of a high-tech laptop than a motor vehicle.
Intended for autonomy
Although Faraday suggests that the FF 91 will boast solid driving dynamics, the mysterious company says its first production car was designed with autonomy in mind.
To that end, the FF 91 features more than 30 cameras, both radar and lidar sensors, and an intelligent self-parking system that lets drivers park the vehicle from a smartphone app even when they're not inside.
The vehicle's livestream-based infotainment system feeds weather, traffic, and road condition data directly to the drive system, allowing it to adapt to any potential situation it might encounter.
A "puck" rises to the occasion from the FF 91's hood when it is being driven autonomously.
Although it's a rather inelegant solution, it does provide an especially wide-angle view for the vehicle's complex cameras, radar, and lidar sensors to be able to detect any potential obstacles.
Faraday Future says interested shoppers can now put down a $5,000 deposit on its website for Alliance Edition models—the first 300 produced.
The very first of those will be auctioned off in March.
Although the company has announced information about deposits, as well as some specifications of its propulsion system, there's still no hint about a base price.
Those specs are impressive, but the actual debut in Las Vegas was quite the opposite.
The prototype FF 91 shown to members of the media at an invitation-only debut event was unable to park itself when directed by engineering chief Nick Sampson—although it had been able to do so earlier in the evening.
Faraday blamed the issue on the debut venue's substantial steel structure, which apparently blocked some of the signals necessary for self-parking.
Most recently, two key executives departed the cloaked-in-mystery firm.
While it appears the firm is following elements of Tesla's playbook—from a high-performance all-electric luxury vehicle to a U.S. assembly line—its future remains very much up in the air.