By on January 4, 2017

ff_91_exterior_8

One year after Faraday Future (FF) revealed its futuristic and racy FFZERO1 concept, the company has pulled back the curtain on its first production car.

The FF 91 is cut from cloth similar to the recently revealed Lucid Air. Both cars are being built by California-based, Chinese-backed companies. And both are scheduled to follow Tesla into the EV Super Sedan market as Trump’s first term hits its midpoint.

FF 91 Reveal

The FF 91 will be built on FF’s proprietary Variable Platform Architecture (VPA). The VPA, with its integrated multi-motor powertrain, will enable FF to design vehicles of any style, size, or purpose. And by the numbers, the first car to use VPA will be a giant killer. According to Peter Savagian, VP of Propulsion Engineering, the car will offer the largest, most energy dense battery pack in the industry. The FF 91 will store 130 kilowatt-hours of energy and make up to 1,050 horsepower. It will best the Model S P100D, Tesla’s current range-topping sedan, meaning the FF 91 edges its better known rival in a 0-60 sprint by one-tenth of an unverified second.

In exchange for blistering straight-line performance, the FF 91 does not sacrifice range. FF claims 378 miles of EPA adjusted range, slightly ahead of the current Models S’ verified range and behind Lucid’s optional maximum range claim. The FF 91 features an open charging system that will accept any residential standard, including 110 and 240 volt AC at 1.5, 10, or 15 kilowatt levels. Not only that, but its class leading 200 kilowatt fast charging capability, as well as the prospect of wireless charging, will make the FF 91 easy to live with.

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The car is dimensionally similar to a long-wheelbase Mercedes S-Class, though the proportions could not be more different. The FF 91 pushes the greenhouse so far over the front wheels that its abbreviated hood flirts with rakish minivan territory and the roofline extends well over the top of the rear passengers.

The closest analog to the FF 91’s profile may be the defunct Mercedes R-Class. However, the FF 91’s rear glass has a far more gradual slope and terminates at the sharp rear arc of the UFO line — FF’s term for the character line circling the car. Whereas the Lucid Air hues closer to the prevailing industry design trend of providing hatchback-like rear functionality combined with a stealthy roofline that suggests a sedan, the FF 91 embraces its hybrid wagon/hatch form with a pronounced flying buttress D-pillar.

ff_91_exterior_6

Just how close to production is the design? FF representatives were reluctant to quantify, much less qualify an answer, but several details suggest some design elements may not make it to production.

For example, the B pillars look too broad. These blind-spot-inducing obstructions may be required to support the frameless glass in the doors and access buttons, but they lack elegance. And consistent with other manufacturers in the segment, passenger access is a focal point. FF has chosen to incorporate what we commonly call suicide doors, but the company prefers to refer to as an “entry system”. They point to the autonomous parking/retrieval capability as a practicality enabler, but suicide doors they remain and regulators may have something to say about them. Additional technical risks remain under the skin, where engineers are experiencing challenges getting all 45 computers to talk to each other.

Making the most connected car ever will not be easy.

FF 91 Reveal - Stage

The product reveal was again scheduled to coincide with the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and was well attended by the press. Approximately 500 media, VIPs, and employees gathered inside an expansive enclosure near the north end of Las Vegas Boulevard.

On stage, FF not only revealed its new car, but ran 0-60 mile times with their benchmark competitors. A Bentley, Ferrari, two Teslas, and finally the FF 91. But in spite of the showmanship and FF’s intricately executed PR teaser campaign, the spotlight was as much on the company as it was on the car. Recent departures of senior executives combined with rumored financial disagreements with vendors put a shadow over the event too big for MC Nick Sampson, EVP of Engineering, to ignore. And in closing he acknowledged as much when he said, “Despite all the nay sayers, the skeptics. We will persist. We will carry on to make the impossible possible.”

Whether FF brings the FF 91, or any car, to market remains to be seen. But they demonstrated live last night their willingness to take risks and keep pushing forward. At the very least, we now know Faraday Future has a real car.

[Images: Faraday Future]

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17 Comments on “Faraday Future’s FF 91: A Closer Look at the Biggest Question Mark in the Industry...”


  • avatar
    OldManPants

    This thing’s what… maybe 57″ tall? Fail.

    But it sure must weigh!

  • avatar
    gasser

    “Whereas the Lucid Air hues closer….
    No, “hews” is correct.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Didn’t I see one of these in “Demolition Man”?

    Be well…

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I like the unique look.

    But Faraday Future has zero chance of getting this vehicle to market in 2018, and a microscopic chance of doing so ever. Besides the infrastructure needed to source parts and actually build, sell, and service vehicles, the most important thing they lack is a credible visionary to see it through.

    Another observation: Tesla took the high-performance EV route at first because a) it’s easier, and b) it provided much-needed credibility to the EV market, which was littered with memories like the goofy EV1 and the Citicar. But frankly, I’m bored with high $$, high-performance EVs, since I can’t afford one, and it seems everybody with a PC and some prototyping skills can build one.

    What I really want to see is more of the sub-$40k EV that doesn’t look like a Renault Twigo, isn’t featured in endless drag race videos against ICE cars, but has usable cross-country driving range. The Model 3 will be that car, and Tesla’s entire viability rides on it.

    We also need regulation on charging standards. Worldwide – and in North America – it’s the Wild West in terms of charging standards. The lack of standardization is choking the proliferation of EVs. If I knew I could drive a Bolt across PA (or the US) while recharging all the way, I’d probably go shopping for one. But that isn’t possible. It *is* possible with Tesla’s Supercharging, but that remains a proprietary system. A little cooperation among competitors and regulators would go a very long way toward EV adoption.

  • avatar
    never_follow

    Don’t hate on the Twingo. (Vellum Venom on it would be sweet!)

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Aahh! You’re right; I meant the Twizy:

      http://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/news/twizy-registers-hefty-sales-but-renault-ze-range-still-struggling-51454_1.jpg

      The Twingo is fine – my apologies.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Right now I’m more interested in what Jaguar are up to. I happen to know an engineer who’s been working on the I Pace and let’s just say that their battery tech will recharge to a a much bigger range than Teslas and the recharge time is ground breaking.

    They are currently building a test factory environment to mass produce new batteries and I get the impression that Jag may go electric only before any other premium car brand simply because they think they have made a massive massive break through! I also get the impression they are going to resell the tech to Ford because they are rumoured to be part funding the factory in the U.K. That will make them. Something is going on because JLR are also demanding new power stations get built to support it…

  • avatar

    Why would you mention Trump in this article unless you want someone to point out that we’re already WINNING!?!?!?

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    The election was the winning phase what we’re seeing now is domination. To see Obama go to Capitol Hill with cup in hand begging to save his legacy is embarrassing. Lucky for all of us 1/20 is right around the corner.

  • avatar

    How likely is it that this behemoth will glide uninterruptedly through dense traffic in self-driving mode? Toyota might ‘retaliate’ by making its tiny, nimble i-Road self-driving and have it pass the FF from all sides.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    It looks…..French
    NTTAWWT


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