Three months after its unveiling at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Faraday Future’s concept autonomous electric vehicle finally made an encore appearance this weekend. A beta version of the FF 91, the flagship vehicle from the California-based startup, was spotted by Motorworld Hype at a car show in Long Beach.
— MotorworldHype (@MotorworldHype) April 9, 2017
Faraday Future has been accepting reservations for the FF 91 since January, with the first 300 orders eligible for an exclusive launch upgrade called the Alliance Edition, though no word yet on what that would entail.
With the FF 91, Faraday Future seems to be hoping to emerge as a serious challenger to Tesla in the electric and autonomous vehicle markets. The company has even built its own megafactory right in Tesla’s backyard. The FF 91 does, though, warrant attention as its own entity. Not only is it a rather beautiful electric vehicle (EV) with autonomous capabilities, the FF 91 packs its own hefty punches in terms of specs.
The FF 91 was designed and built following Faraday Future’s so-called Variable Platform Architecture (VPA). According to the company, the vehicle’s 130 kWh battery is “the world’s highest energy density battery,” and it delivers an estimated range of 378 miles on the EPA cycle and over 700 km on the NEDC cycle. The FF 91 runs on a 1,050 horsepower electric propulsion system capable of zooming from zero to 96 kmh (zero to 60 mph) in just 2.39 seconds. (For its part, Tesla seems to have acknowledged the rather stealthy Faraday Future by topping that acceleration rate almost as soon as the new vehicle was unveiled and before it actually hit production.)
The FF 91 is impressive as an autonomous vehicle, too. It’s set to be the first vehicle to “feature retractable 3D lidar […], part of a complex sensor system including 10 high definition cameras, 13 long and short range radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors.” It’s topped with more sensors than any of its counterparts.
Clearly, the FF 91 is a formidable foe for both EVs and self-driving cars. All that’s left now is for Faraday Future to actually roll it out. Hopefully, that future event isn’t too far away.