A year after it showed off a ludicrously unfeasible hypercar concept here, Faraday Future is back at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with a much more realistic car. Called the FF 91, it’s an all-electric crossover designed to take on the likes of the Tesla Model X.
Faraday Future is the newcomer electric-car company that has yet to build a car. Backed by Chinese conglomerate LeEco, it’s lead by former Lotus and Tesla engineer Nick Sampson, and now employs over 1,400 people. To hear Sampson tell it, though, FF is less about building a Tesla rival and more about some sort of social revolution.
“Disruption is what the world needs,” he said at the FF 91’s reveal event in Las Vegas. “A cleaner planet, a foreseeable future, and more fulfilling lives for all of us.”
The Faraday FF 91 is a futuristic-looking crossover (ground clearance, while not specified, is said to rival that of similar luxury SUVs) with a swept-back windshield and steeply angled rear window. At 206.7 inches long on a 126.0-inch wheelbase, it’s more than half a foot longer than the Model X. It’s not the most dramatic design ever to emerge from a car factory, but nor is it at all unpleasant to the eye.
All of the bodywork is said to have been designed with aerodynamics in mind first, resulting in a drag coefficient of just 0.25. (It’s worth noting that the Toyota Prius Prime and Tesla Model S manage 0.24.) In fact, Richard Kim, vice president of design, says that every body panel and part, including the BMW i8-like flying buttress pillars, was designed with aesthetics almost as a secondary concern.
“We make the aerodynamic design beautiful,” he said. “Nearly every aspect serves more than one role. Form follows multifunction.”
As an example, the twin antennae on the roof help with aerodynamics, while the rear-view camera is subtly hidden in the big rear spoiler. The 22-inch wheels (shod in 275/40 series rubber) automatically change their spokes to a more aerodynamic shape at speed. And the door mirrors are intended to be ultra-spindly arms with cameras attached. Yet because that’s not yet legal in the U.S., a full-size traditional mirror can easily be installed or removed.
Underneath, the FF 91 uses the company’s Variable Platform Architecture (VPA) chassis that consists of batteries in the floor and an electric motor at each end. Active suspension is at each corner, with rear-wheel steering helping improve handling.
The motors are claimed to make a combined 1,050 horsepower (783 kilowatts), easily outstripping any Tesla model. Torque is claimed to be a total of over 1,800 Newton-meters at the motor shafts, or 1,328 pound-feet. FF says that’s enough thrust for the car to sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 2.39 seconds – quicker than cars like the aforementioned Model X, a Ferrari 488 GTB, and so on.
Despite that incredible performance, Faraday Future promises 378 miles per charge on the EPA driving cycle, and more than 700 kilometers of range per charge in Europe’s NEDC rating system. That’s enabled partly by an absolutely enormous battery pack of 130 kilowatt-hours. The largest Tesla battery pack is 100 kWh. Faraday Future uses cylindrical lithium-ion cells from LG Chem; representatives were vague about whether LG Chem or FF would build the battery packs.
The downside to a large battery pack, of course, is a lengthier charging time. The FF 91 will come with a home-charging station that’s capable of 110- or 240-volt charging at 1.5, 10, or 15 kilowatts. On a 240-volt charge, FF says the car’s battery could be fully replenished in four and a half hours. The car is designed to be able to use “any” charging standard around the world.
The FF 91 will also have a fast-charge capability of up to 200 kW. That’s faster than pretty much any existing charging station; the Tesla Superchargers crank out about 120 kW. Unfortunately, admits Faraday Future Vice President of Propulsion Engineering Peter Savagian, there aren’t any such charging stations in the world just yet.
“The whole fast-charging thing has been growing and we just believe in an open and shared network, we’ll be part of that, we’ll help instigate that,” he said. As to whether the car would support plugging into Tesla’s charging ports? “You gotta ask Tesla.”
The FF 91’s party trick is its very advanced autonomous driving features. It has more sensors than Tesla’s Autopilot, with 10 cameras, 13 radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and one 3D LIDAR scanner. The last element emerges, looking like an Amazon Echo, from the car’s hood during automated driving. That, along with bizarre light patterns on the car’s rocker panels, is intended to help other motorists and pedestrians know when the FF 91 is driving itself.
The company showed a demonstration valet-parking mode, where the FF 91’s driver got out and the car automatically searched for and parked in an open spot by itself. The car will be able to drive itself in other situations, too.
A later valet-parking demo on the stage failed as the car didn't move at all. A few minutes later after some fiddling, the car did manage to drive itself forward a few feet on the stage.
Other gee-whiz high-tech features include FFID, a sort of online user account that allows the owner to open and start their FF 91 with their smartphone (there’s also facial recognition of drivers). Your FFID automatically downloads to each Faraday Future car so it can adjust the seating, presets, and all sorts of other features to each driver’s tastes.
Inside the car, there’s an 802.11ac wifi network powered by a pair of high-power modems. FF says that using dual modems allows the car to always have a high-speed data connection, and promises that you’ll be able to stream all sorts of media into the vehicle. It’s not clear exactly what that might entail, but given that LeEco is a media company, it’s likely that the car is intended to have you watch TV or movies while the FF 91 drive itself.
Other tech features include slim LED lighting elements, a panoramic sunroof that tints at the touch of a button, and what appears to be an enormous touchscreen, à la Tesla and Volvo, inside the car. Faraday Future didn’t show much of the interior besides a teaser video; from what we can tell so far, expect a “shifter” that rises from the center console, touch-capacitive controls throughout, NASA-inspired “zero-gravity” seats, and lots of lights and touchscreens. It’s said to be a roomy, “first class” interior with a back seat that reclines by an impressive 60 degrees.
Production of the FF 91 at Faraday Future’s three-million square-foot factory on a 930-acre plot of land in Nevada isn’t starting anytime soon. The first cars are expected to be delivered in 2018, or at least a year from now.
Nonetheless, interested buyers can now register at the company’s website, FF.com, and created the aforementioned FFID. Serious shoppers can even put down a $5,000 fully refundable deposit to have one of the first vehicles. The first 300 FF 91s sold will be a special Alliance Edition, with part of the proceeds donated to charity and unique colors, trim, and other features.
A price for the car, however, has yet to be confirmed. Executives wouldn’t even offer estimates; when prodded by reporters, Savagian said that, “It’s a luxury car” and noted that the Tesla Model X can easily top $100,000. Several earlier reports, however, pegged $150,000-$200,000 as the likely entry price.
Gallery: Faraday Future FF 91
Faraday Future (FF) has revealed FF 91 (“nine one”), its first production vehicle, at an exclusive event prior to the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Built upon the company’s Variable Platform Architecture (VPA), FF 91 represents a bold new breed of electric mobility that combines supercar performance, precise handling, the comfort of an ultra-luxury passenger vehicle, and a unique collection of intelligent internet features.
Starting now FF will start accepting reservations for FF 91 through the company’s newly redesigned website, FF.com. Reservations are $5,000 and are fully refundable. The first 300 orders will have the option to upgrade their reservation in March 2017 to join an exclusive launch series, the Alliance Edition.
THE NEW PERFORMANCE
FF’s proprietary VPA is a flexible powertrain system featuring a monocoque vehicle structure in which the chassis and body are a single form – providing measurable improvements in overall vehicle rigidity, safety and handling. An available All Wheel Drive system offers greater traction, control and precise power distribution. The VPA also houses class-leading battery technology, multiple motor and battery configurations, as well as the company’s first patent: the FF Echelon Inverter.
FF 91’s powertrain features a multi-motor setup, enabling real-time torque vectoring to the rear wheels. This technology delivers superior acceleration, safety while leveraging rear-wheel steering for agile cornering, allowing drivers to confidently execute maneuvers like merging onto freeways or accelerating out of dangerous scenarios. Peak motor power is 783 kW, equating to 1050 HP, delivering a record-breaking 0-60 mph time of 2.39 seconds.
FF 91’s battery technology doesn’t sacrifice range for performance. Outfitted with a 130 kWh battery, FF 91 achieves a range of 378 miles (EPA est.) and over 700 km (NEDC est.) from the world’s highest energy density battery, engineered in partnership with LG Chem. Similarly, the system’s compact design enables more cabin space for greater comfort and safety. FF 91 also has the fastest charge speed currently available, with the ability to charge at more than 500 miles per hour. The home charger, included with the vehicle, achieves 50 percent to full charge in under 4.5 hours at 240V.
DESIGN WITHOUT BOUNDARIES, FIRST CLASS COMFORT
FF 91’s design philosophy is driven by aerodynamics. The sleek, rounded front fascia and edgy, angular rear create a striking form that improves aerodynamic efficiency to increase range. The signature UFO line that runs around the mid-section of the vehicle provides FF 91 with a unique but simple, stabilizing design element. Similarly, the wide stance and long wheelbase deliver a spacious and luxurious interior environment.
FF 91’s gateway doors blend form and function by providing a stylish entry system with easier accessibility. Each door can open automatically and independently, allowing for quick and convenient passenger pick up. Sensors prevent the doors from opening too wide and making unwanted contact with the surrounding objects.
FF 91’s exterior lighting is focused on communication. The vehicle reimagines lighting systems by creating a deeper connection between car and driver. When users approach FF 91, the vehicle’s rocker panel illuminate with an owner confirmation sequence that brightens based on proximity – FF 91 recognizes and welcomes you.
The system uses intuitive patterns to communicate messages to its users like welcome sequences and charging states, as well as autonomous driving mode prompts. By design, the lighting system will improve safety by informing pedestrians and other drivers when FF 91 is driving autonomously.
Riding in FF 91, users will feel more rested and energized, even after being stuck in traffic for hours. The rear seats deliver industry-leading rear-seat reclining angles, putting passengers in the biomechanically and ergonomically optimal position for comfort. This first class rear seating experience provides lower leg, lumbar, and upper back adjustments and support. The seats also offer massage, heating, and ventilation for cooling.
FF 91’s panoramic roof includes smart dimming glass technology. The glass roof, rear and side windows all feature PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) glass, which is operated by users tapping on the glass, providing instant privacy and shade from the exterior environment.
NEXT-GENERATION CONNECTIVITY, SEAMLESS PERSONALIZATION
Through its strategic partnership with LeEco, a global Internet company that seamlessly blends devices, content, applications and distribution into a first-of-its kind ecosystem, FF 91 offers the ultimate in-car connectivity. FF EcoSystem integrates users’ digital
lives into FF 91, giving access to the apps and content, while learning user’s preferences over time to create a smarter, more personalized experience.
Creating a FFID account establishes a global profile that travels with users through the FF EcoSystem and remembers personal preferences, such as seating positions, favorite music and movies, ideal temperatures, and driving style settings to ensure users have a consistent experience across the FF EcoSystem powered by multiple in-car modems.
FF is also introducing advanced facial recognition technology – called Arrival Interface – allowing drivers and passengers to unlock the car without a key. A camera installed in the B-pillar between front and back seats can accurately identify the user’s face to grant vehicle entry. Similarly, interior cameras use this technology to recognize users and automatically adjust interior settings to their preferences. FF 91 can not only recognize faces, but also facial expressions and moods it uses to auto-prompt an experience to match, using music, temperature, scent, content, massage and more. Users’ facial recognition data is saved natively and securely in the vehicle.
In addition to adjusting interior preferences via facial recognition or mobile device connectivity, FF 91 is the first car where you don’t need a key. The keyless welcoming system recognizes users as they approach the vehicle, greets users by opening the door and proactively adjusting to customized FFID settings inside. Similarly, the FFCTRL app allows users to customize and control their in-vehicle experience, get real time vehicle status reports, summon your vehicle, and more.
FF 91 will be the first production vehicle to feature retractable 3D lidar, a critical component to FF’s multi-layer redundancy features for autonomous driving. Lidar is part of a complex sensor system including 10 high definition cameras, 13 long and short range radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors. FF 91 possesses significantly more sensors compared to other vehicles, and industry-leading computing power to quickly extract data from all those sensors and correct driving decisions.
The standard rearview mirror has been replaced by a high definition display that merges the live feed from the side mirrors and rearview camera into a single, seamless image. The camera’s strategic placement provides a much better vantage point of what’s surrounding the vehicle, virtually eliminating blind spots. Combined with the views from the exterior mirror cameras, the overall system improves safety by creating a wider exterior field of vision from inside FF 91.
The Driverless Valet parking feature enables FF 91 to park itself after the driver has exited the vehicle. Powered by the FFCTRL app, drivers can also summon the vehicle from its parking spot or schedule a pick up at a desired time and location. Today, the system is capable of parking FF 91 in private parking lots and roads. As legislation
advances to allow for public use of this technology, FF 91 will be able to park itself anywhere users go.
RESERVATIONS START NOW
FF will begin accepting reservations for FF 91 through the company’s newly redesigned website, FF.com.
The first 300 orders will have the opportunity to upgrade to an exclusive launch series, the Alliance Edition, in March 2017. A portion of the sales proceeds for each Alliance Edition sold will be donated towards an environmental fund which closely aligns with FF’s sustainability efforts. Additionally, the first unit of the FF 91 Alliance Edition will be auctioned at a gala in March. All proceeds from the first Alliance Edition’s auction will also be donated to the environmental fund.
The production of FF 91 is planned to start in 2018.
KEY SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 2.39 seconds
Power: 1050 HP
Range: 378 miles (EPA est.) and over 700 km (NEDC est.)
Charging Speed: More than 500 miles per hour
ADAS Sensor Suite: 13 long and short range radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 10 high definition cameras, 1 3D retractable lidar
Length: 206.7”/ 5250mm
Wheelbase: 126" / 3200mm
Width: 89.9" / 2283mm
Height 62.9” / 1598mm
Facial Recognition Technology
Driverless Valet Parking Feature: FF 91 can park itself
True Keyless Entry: first car where you don’t need a key
First class experience: NASA-inspired zero gravity seats offer industry leading rear seat reclining position
Best in class high-speed internet on the road
FFID: global user profile that travels with the user through the FF Ecosystem
ABOUT FARADAY FUTURE
Faraday Future is a user-centric, advanced mobility company with headquarters in Southern California. Our global team leverages the talents of leading thinkers and
passionate creators from the technology and automotive industries to bring premium, intuitive, and seamlessly connected electric vehicles to people worldwide.