At what point, in the process of getting set to introduce an already radical idea like an autonomous electric vehicle, do you start to realise that a 1000PS is a bit much? Faraday Future, an American tech start-up has decided to take on the onerous task of upping Tesla with its flagship offering, FF91. The near production ready vehicle was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, and considering that the company is already taking registrations on its website, we’re pretty sure it’ll be taking on the Model S in the market head on.
So will the FF91 be the competitor Tesla deserves? Too early to tell. The self-driving tech equipped 1050PS, space-ship-like mammoth failed to park itself during a media demonstration at Las Vegas. In fact, LeEco CEO and Faraday Future financer Jia Yueting, and the company’s senior VP, R&D, Nick Sampson, staring helplessly at the car as it refuses to budge after pressing the ‘Driverless Valet’ button – on stage, no less – will go down in automotive history as 2017’s most cringe-worthy moment. Thankfully, in a demonstration outdoors, the self parking function proved its mettle by successfully performing a three-point turn and reversing into a parking space.
Source: On Demand News
Based on Faraday Future’s Variable Platform Architecture, the FF91 (nine-one) happens to look every bit the car of the future it aims to be. It ditches the conventional jelly-bean shape for flatter flying-saucer look with the front and rear window merging into the side profile forming one flat arch. It even has a “UFO line” running along the length of the middle – their words, not ours. The panoramic glass roof comes with a dimming function – capable to changing the tint of the ceiling.
But the prime draw of the FF91 and its one-uppance over Tesla’s offerings is the level of technology it comes packed with. Its self-driving capability (questionable, at this point) is enabled by a complex system comprising 3D lidar, 10 high definition cameras, 13 long and short range radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors.
The 1050PS of power however comes to good use to and looks really stellar on paper – with Faraday Future claiming it takes 2.39 seconds to 100km/h from standstill. The 130kWh battery is said to be the “world’s highest energy density battery” – which translates to the battery occupying less volume while still offering more power and range. The range exceeds 700 km, according to NEDC estimates. When using a regular 240V charging point at home, the battery can attain 50 per cent charge in less than 4 and a half hours. The rate at a fast-charging station is said to be over 804 kilometres per hour – meaning that in less than an hour, the car will be capable of offering full range. This FF91 is turning out to be such a tease – will it deliver? Elon Musk has yet to offer his comment on this development.