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The Future of Faraday

With a surprise appearance at the 2017 Long Beach Grand Prix, Faraday Future’s FF91 SUV-sedan crossover continues to make headlines (and turn heads). Faraday’s presence at the Grand Prix clearly signifies that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, despite financial rumors and minor setbacks. After an impressive yet shaky start last January in Las Vegas for their CES reveal, Faraday Future returns to Long Beach again this year singing on as a title sponsor for the Formula E circuit.

Credit: Eric Blair
FF91 debut at CES 2017

The sleek and stylish FF91 boasts an astounding 1050hp power plant through its patented FF Echelon Inverter straddled over an all-wheel-drive, rear wheel steering chassis. And if 0-60 in 2.39 seconds isn’t enough to get you excited (and your attention) then nothing will. Their proprietary 130 kWh battery configuration claims to be the highest density battery in the world of electric car technology (compliments of LG Chem). It provides an estimated 378 miles per charge (289 EPA), which a bit more distance than the Tesla Model S.

Faraday’s FFID ‘Arrival Interface’ system enabling facial recognition functionality even without smart phone application, allows for a totally keyless experience. Cameras mounted on B-pillars, as well as inside the vehicle match up individual accounts to passenger faces and their facial expressions intuitively anticipating the passenger’s needs adjusting cabin climate, pre-configured seating and music preferences.

The fully autonomous capability of the FF91 is centered around LIDAR technology (Light Detection And Ranging) measuring distance through a pulsed laser light. This retractable 3D LIDAR feature works in unison with 12 ultrasonic sensors, 10 high-definition cameras and 13 long/short range radars creating a 360 degree hyper-detailed image of its surroundings at all times. A system ultimately rejected by Elon Musk due to potential rain and snow challenges, yet embraced by Cadillac’s Super Cruise platform for their new CTS model. The Driverless Valet feature is designed to drop off passengers and then park itself in the nearest available public parking spot until needed. The car can be requested to return for pickup via a personal smartphone app command.

The electric seamless suicide door entry system is inviting as well as space age. The cabin is spacious and luxurious with NASA inspired zero-gravity seating that reclines in a number of supine positions. With the absence of a conventional engine under the hood, the FF91 has room to spare designed to endure long road trips with ease and comfort. Full ceiling panoramic Eclipse Mode offers a complete view of the sky better than any other vehicle on the market. Tap the glass and instantly it darkens for shade and privacy as needed. Side windows can also be adjusted with the slight touch of your finger.

Future Faraday ‘new species’ in car design guarantees a disruptive standard in the next generation of autonomous vehicles, but can they deliver on the hype? With a $5000 USD fully refundable deposit you can be the first to own one of the 300 special edition models slated to roll out sometime in 2018. As far as production price, it’s still anyone’s guess. Speculation and a few hints from Nick Sampson, SVP of R&D and engineering, suggests a price tag somewhere between $100k and $200k. A quick look at their website with its impressive interaction will convince you that they mean business. Having come this far since 2014, one can only surmise that Faraday has big plans for the future.