Faraday Future’s car gets a face and a name: FF 91 – USA TODAY
Richard Kim, Faraday Future head of design, tells USA TODAY’s Marco della Cava what’s behind the company’s much anticipated electric car.
Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY
LAS VEGAS â A year after puzzling auto analysts and enthusiasts with aÂ prototype racing car, Faraday Future returned to the Consumer Electronics Show here Tuesday to unveil its first passenger vehicle, named theÂ FF 91.
While the Gardena, Calif-based company finally put an automotive face to its proposed mass-market plans, details were scant. Officials said the sleek four-door would boast 1,000 horsepower produced by electric motors, and that it would begin taking $5,000 deposits on theÂ company website,Â FF.com.
In March, one FF 91 will be auctioned off for charity at an undisclosed event. The main production run is slated for 2018, company executives said.
As for price, Faraday representatives were mum, saying only thatÂ
the company aims “to deliver the value of an ultra-luxury car at the price of a premium sedan.” Most premium sedans, vehicles such as a BMW 7-Series, can cost upwards of $80,000 to $100,000.
Over the past year, “we have moved from the idea of a company to a company with fully functioning beta vehicles,” said Nick Sampson, Faraday’s senior vice president of R&D and engineering. “We have to flip the automotive industry back on its head, break it down and build it up the way it should have been in the first place, independent of fossil fuels.”
The FF 91’s battery not only gives the vehicle that staggering horsepower number, but also a range of 378 miles. Both figures best a range of top end vehicles. Only million-dollar machines such as a Ferrari LaFerrari can summon 1,000 horsepower, while Tesla’s top electric sedans provide a 300-mile range.
To demonstrate the FF 91’s superior 0-to-60 miles per hour capability, Faraday exec Peter Savagian ushered in vehicles from Tesla, Bentley and Ferrari and let each speed past the bleachers full of media and other attendees in a giant hanger in downtown Las Vegas.
Faraday’s FF 91 set a new record of 2.39 seconds in the trial, he said.Â “It outruns gravity,” said Savagian, the company’s vice president of propulsion engineering.
While FF 91 may be faster than a Tesla, it would have a rival in the newly announced Lucid Air, the product of another California-based electric car startup.Â Lucid Motors recently began taking $2,500 deposits for its cars, which are due later this year and will cost as much as $160,000. Lucid says its car can be upgraded to provide a 400-mile range on electric power.
Lucid Air will have sensors for autonomous driving, as will Faraday’s FF 91. Tesla also is currently producing Model S and Model X sedans that are packed with self-driving sensors that will gradually be activated via software updates as the technology is proven.
The crowd at the Faraday event responded encouragingly to the speed tests, as well as a demonstration of the vehicle parking itself after the driver left it. However, many grumbled at the lack of information about how much the vehicle would cost.
In an apparent response to recent reports suggesting Faraday Future has hit some rough spots â an investigation by Buzzfeed cited an employee exodus, unpaid bills and plant production setbacks âÂ Sampson finished the event by saying thatÂ “despite all the naysayers … we will carry on to make the impossible possible.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.