Faraday Future’s 1,000-Hp Electric Concept Is Just The Start

Faraday Future’s 1,000-Hp Electric Concept Is Just The Start
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For a start-up company and Tesla Motors challenger that’s never built a car, Faraday Future has ambition to spare.
Vowing nothing short of a revolution in transportation, the Chinese-backed firm unveiled its first electric concept car Monday night, a 1,000-hp one-seat race machine dubbed the FFZERO1.
While the FFZERO1 was a flight of fancy that will never move under its own power, it served as a marker of Faraday’s strategy—move fast, think big and don’t worry about others.
“We are embarking on nothing less than a complete rethink of what mobility means,” said Nick Sampson, a former Tesla engineer who now oversees Faraday’s vehicle development.


Much of that dream tech was sprinkled into the carbon-fiber FFZERO1, from the smartphone embedded in the steering wheel to the heads-up display beamed onto a driver’s helmet. In theory, the 1,000-hp machine could use its four electric motors at each wheel to hit 60 mph in three seconds, but that performance will remain purely theoretical.
Even as it unveiled its first car, Faraday has already committed to building a $1 billion factory outside of Las Vegas (thanks in part to $335 million in incentives from the state) with a groundbreaking just weeks away. And it has some 750 working on its vehicle projects, including many recruited from traditional automakers and Silicon Valley.
The impetus behind all of this is a man who could be seen as China’s answer to Elon Musk. Jia Yueting, 42, has a net worth in the single-digit billions from founding Leshi TV, an online video conglomerate. As Sampson noted Monday, thanks to Yueting’s backing Faraday will attempt to leapfrog Tesla and other electric carmakers, jumping into mass production in under five years.
Teaser images of Faraday’s production prototypes.
While the sports car concept looks serious enough (and was designed by the stylist of the BMW i8), the real news was the chassis underneath. Dubbed the Variable Product Architecture, it’s Faraday’s way to build many models quickly. By using the same suspension setup and changing only the wheelbase and crumple zones, Faraday claims it will be able to rapidly roll out a variety of electric vehicles.
In his speech, Sampson compared other automakers to phone companies that kept trying to improve landlines while shortchanging wireless devices. Many companies have tried to revolutionize the auto industry and failed, often miserably. If Faraday’s execution can match even half its bravado, it may be the exception.
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