IS FARADAY DISRUPTING THE FUTURE OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY?
There’s a new car in town, although its arrival is a bit later than expected. Last month at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Faraday Future unveiled the FF91, a high performing fully electric vehicle. That’s right. I said “high performing, fully electric”. According to Peter Savagian, Faraday Future’s VP of Propulsion Engineering, the FF91 will outperform any other vehicle on the market, claiming an insane 1050 hp with instant torque. Savagian states all this power is generated from a fast charging battery that gives the FF91 a range of 378 miles per charge. In recent tests, the FF91 outperformed a Bentley Bentayga, Ferrari 488 GTB, and Tesla’s Model X and Model S (both in ludicrous mode). The FF 91 impressively beat all of these vehicles with an amazing 0-60 mph of 2.39 seconds. It’s closest competitor was the Tesla Model S with a time of 2.5 seconds.
The FF 91 is obviously fast, but without the ability to take it for a test drive, we can only speculate on how well it will perform on the track or in autocross. All of that horsepower could be wasted without a suspension that can handle it. As for “bells and whistles”, this car appears to have all of them. Self-driving with the ability to park itself, keyless entry via a facial recognition system, a dual antenna system to create a moving hotspot, and smart glass that converts to privacy mode with the tap of a finger are just a few of the high tech features of the FF 91. The one area I feel the FF 91 is lacking is style. Richard Kim, Faraday Future’s VP of Design, states that it “doesn’t draw attention to itself”, and he is right. The only thing fancy about the FF 91 is the tech inside of it. Anyone who truly enjoys the driving experience will want something more eye-catching. After all, part of the fun is having everyone admire how amazing your car looks.. The tech is also unproven, as seen when the FF 91 refused to park itself onstage during the live unveiling.
Although Faraday Future has yet to announce a starting price point, rumors are that it is somewhere around $160,000. It may have a longer battery life than the Tesla Model X, and it may have more horsepower, but the Tesla Model X is about half the price, has a similar visual appeal and still delivers a lot of bang for your buck.
Production of the FF91 is expected to begin in 2018, and you can reserve yours on the Faraday Future website. Risk takers can even place a $5000 refundable deposit to get their names ahead of those that place a reservation for free. However, I personally would not put down $5000 on an untested vehicle from a company that has already had major financial issues, production issues and top level executive changes, including the resignation of the Global CEO days before the unveiling. Faraday Future says they are disrupting the automotive industry, but until production begins and sold cars start rolling off the line, I will keep saving my pennies for a BMW i8.