CES 2017: Faraday Future’s FF 91 Car Debut Doesn’t Go Quite as Planned

Faraday Future unveils a luxury electric SUV FF 91 while the company’s financial sitiation is rather doubtful.

Electric vehicle start-up Faraday Future has presented a prototype of a vehicle FF 91 at the CES 2017. It is known that the vehicle is set for production next year. The company aims to win credibility in the crowded sector by unveiling the vehicle at the annual technology industry’s largest show.

“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”, says the company.

The FF 91 was developed by Richard Kim who describes the vehicle as “weird-pretty”. Indeed, it is a luxury electric SUV that is claimed to be the most technologically advanced on the market.

According to Faraday, the car’s modular architecture and flexible battery layout will allow for a faster rollout of future models. The car will have a range of about 378 miles (608 km) per charge. Its electric motors will generate a combined 1,050 horsepower.

The FF 91 has no handles. It simply doesn’t need them because doors open as a driver approaches. Holograms projected on the windshield will provide drivers with all necessary information. A number of sensors, including cameras, radar and lidar, are expected to enable self-driving capability at a future date.

The company starts accepting advance reservations for $5,000. Reservations are fully refundable. Faraday Future offers certain advantage for the first 300 orders – they will be able to upgrade their reservation in March 2017 to join an exclusive launch series, the Alliance Edition.

“You’re about to witness day one of a new era of mobility,” said Nick Sampson, senior vice president of engineering and research and development. “We’re going to show the first of a new species.”

However, things can’t be all that good. Recent cash shortages and a spate of executive departures have caused some distrust in the company’s prospects.

Faraday is funded and controlled by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the chief executive officer of China’s Leshi Holdings Co Ltd, also known as LeEco. Not only Jia Yueting is an investor in California-based Lucid Motors, a competing electric vehicle start-up attending CES this year, LeEco is presenting its own prototype electric car, the LeSee Pro, at CES.

Last year at the CES, Faraday unveiled a concept car not intended to be produced, which became a subject of multiple speculations about the company’s legitimacy and Jia’s overall strategy. Faraday’s financial situation turned out to become even more doubtful after a cash crunch at LeEco and Faraday’s missed payments to a contractor working on its $1 billion Nevada factory.

Faraday executives avoid questions about the company’s financials.

“We’re hoping to … convince people that we’re real, we are doing a real product, it’s not just a vaporware Batmobile to create attention, but we now have a serious product,” Sampson told reporters during a tour of Faraday’s headquarters in Gardena, California, in December.

The company makes the second try at the CES. We will see whether it will be a success.

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