Tesla in for a shock as Faraday Future EV makes its debut

4 Jan 2017

The FF 91. Image: Faraday Future

With CES about to get underway in Las Vegas, the talk of the town has been the debut of the Faraday Future semi-autonomous electric vehicle, which logged a faster track time than Tesla’s fastest model.

Taking on the might of Tesla – which has established itself as the leading electric vehicle (EV)-only car manufacturer – Faraday Future is a much smaller operation, still firmly within the realms of a start-up.

But despite its small size in comparison with Elon Musk’s Tesla, the company’s first car – the FF 91 – did enough to impress an attending audience at its launch, despite one or two technical hiccups.

While only a demonstration model was present on the day, the company’s stats on the car would appear to reveal a very sophisticated machine with the equivalent of just over 1,000hp.

But perhaps crucially for potential EV owners who love speed and acceleration, the FF 91 is capable of accelerating from 0-100kph in a blistering 2.39 seconds, just surpassing the Tesla S P100D’s 2.5 seconds.

Fortunately for Faraday Future, it was able to demonstrate this ability in a drag race that included Tesla’s vehicle, as well as cars from Bentley and Ferrari.

According to The Guardian, Faraday Future’s senior vice-president, Nick Sampson, added that it would also feature a semi-autonomous driving system – referred to as a “driverless valet” – that would allow the car to park itself.

Nay to the naysayers

It would also include two “aerodynamic antennas” to allow it the fastest connectivity online as part of the wider internet of things.

Visually, the car is as futuristic as they come; with a sleek, curved look as well a bright, glowing light on the bonnet of the car.

However, technical problems on the day, which included the car failing to showcase its driverless valet system, raised a few questions as to whether or not the ambitious company can achieve its target of selling the car in 2018.

As things stand, Sampson said: “Despite all the naysayers and the sceptics, we will persist”, adding that as of now, interested customers can place a deposit on the FF 91 for $5,000.

Behind the scenes, much of the start-ups leadership roles remain in turmoil. In December, three of its executives decided to call it quits, including its acting global CEO, Ding Lei.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic