Faraday Future, the car company that has existed in the ether of the near future since 2014, has just materialized into the present with the unveil of its FFZERO1 concept vehicle at CES 2016. And if its walk is as good as its talk (its go as good as its show?) then car manufacturers from both Silicon Valley and Detroit have some new, serious competition to think about.
Those who haven’t heard of Faraday Future could be forgiven easily, as the company has chosen to stay in stealth mode essentially since its inception. What is known is that it is backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the founder of LeTV, which is a company that does everything from create and stream content (like Netflix), to launch cell phones (like Apple), to conduct e-commerce (like Amazon). In other words, Yueting and LeTV are about pursuing big-game markets in the world of hardcore tech. A perfect fit for the burgeoning self-driving electric car market.
Although Faraday has held its hand close to its chest up until now, with the unveil of the FFZERO1 (it sounds like a nod to Formula One Racing, or a diet soda you’re looking for in a library) Faraday has laid its cards out on the table.
According to the stats, which include 1000 horsepower coming from four motors and a sub 3.0 second 0-60mph sprint, the FFZERO1 is quite a beast. For reference, a Tesla Model S P90D equipped with “ludicrous mode” develops 762 horsepower from its four electric motors, and with a claimed 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds, sounds like it’s exactly on par with the FFZERO1 in terms of acceleration. The Model S P90D also costs $140,000.
With the FFZERO1, Faraday doesn’t only seem to be aiming to take a slice of the créme de la créme electric car market, but also attempting to revolutionize the car industry in general (that seems to be happening a lot these days). The FFZERO1 is a single-seater sports car with a body like a futuristic Batmobile or a speeding mackerel. But that isn’t its only body. Included in the unveil of the car was the announcement of “variable platform architecture” that allows the body built on top of the vehicle’s core platform to be switched, allowing for a totally different vehicle configuration. There’s a nod to this in the last few seconds of the teaser video below.
Also included in the unveil was the promise that Faraday will provide its vehicles on a subscription basis. Although this is still a murky idea, it’s likely to involve some kind of fully autonomous ridesharing. There’s also a cell phone that comes built into the steering wheel, so what that could be used for (advertisements while you’re kicking back as the car drives you around?) is anybody’s guess.
Now that Faraday has established the concept for its product, it’s time to see if it can do the hard part: deliver. But, with a $1 billion dollar investment already dedicated toward building a factory in Nevada, it looks like the team at Faraday is going to at least give their company a great start off the line.
Introducing the Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept. https://t.co/8ixzLtzVAj
— Faraday Future (@FaradayFuture) January 5, 2016
What do you think about the FFZERO1 and the idea of cars being available on a subscription basis? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image: Faraday Future