Here we are ! After several weeks of cleverly distilled buzz, the mysterious company Faraday Future unveils its plans to "revolutionize the automobile", and presents its first model, 100% electric.
Despite the “efforts” of historical manufacturers (advancing backwards towards the electric market), Faraday Future seems beautiful and willing to be the first real competitor of Tesla Motors.
For information: Faraday Future, whose name even seems to wink at Tesla, is only 18 months old but already has 750 employees. The vagueness of its origins and the source of its apparently unlimited funds led people to believe that Apple was hiding behind this newcomer, but it is in fact a Chinese billionaire, Jia Yueting, who is financing the project (founder of Netflix Chinese).
Here is what our colleagues from Clubic have taken away from the presentation of Faraday Future at CES 2016. See you at the end for our opinion on the subject.
You don't necessarily know Elon Musk, but his company Tesla, a pioneer in luxury electric cars, does. Tesla, which has sparked reactions from traditional car manufacturers throughout 2015, is now being attacked on its own soil by a Californian start-up (with Chinese capital): Faraday Future. The lion just out of its cage is called FFZero1, and it is a furious and promising concept car!
Despite all the lead that the pioneer Tesla has been able to accumulate in the design of high-end electric cars, the arrival like a hair in the soup of Faraday Future has everything to be taken seriously. Already, it should be immediately specified that at the head of Faraday Future, there are former employees of… Tesla and BMW. Nick Sampson, Vice President of R&D at Future Faraday but former Tesla Vehicle and Chassis Design Director. But also Dag Reckhorn, Alan Cherry or Tom Wessner, all of them held key positions at Tesla and now find themselves in the Faraday Future adventure. To whom do we owe the Batmobile design of the FFZero1? To Richard Kim, the person behind the i3 and i8 concepts at BMW.
All supported by Jia Yueting, Chinese billionaire founder of Leshi TV, the Netflix of the Middle Empire. The latter plans to invest $1.4 billion to bring a factory out of the ground not far from Las Vegas, with possibly 4,500 jobs. The offensive is immediately much more credible. But what is the brand's first car worth?
The FFZero1 is the vehicle of all superlatives, even for a concept car. The model presented aligns 1,000 horsepower, and must be able to reach 320 km / h. The 0 to 100? In less than 3 seconds... If it's hard to imagine going shopping at the supermarket with the FFZero1, we may be able to go there with future sedans or SUVs that will adopt the same chassis. The FFZero1 indeed introduces a platform whose key word is modularity: the number of battery blocks is varied to determine the power of the vehicle, and the four motors (one per wheel) drive it accordingly. This is what Faraday Future calls the VPA, Variable Platform Architecture.
100% electric and 100% digital since the concept car has a smartphone inside (in the steering wheel) which can be used to “adjust” your car, a bit like in a video game, but also to collect statistics and information. It now remains to be seen how this beautiful project will translate into practice and on a large scale. Faraday Future seems to believe more in renting than owning. In any case, it is neither the ideas, nor the ambitions (Nick Sampton declared to AFP that he wanted to see the first definitive cars arrive within two years), nor the means that the young start-up lacks.
Our opinion: competition is good! And we would really like to be able to read the future and see how the market will evolve with not one but two billionaires at the helm. The model presented is only a concept car, but on a modular chassis. And this is what makes the project very interesting because the variations in more classic models should see the light of day very quickly. The end of the decade therefore promises to be exciting with the official announcement next March of Tesla's Model 3, also planned for before 2020. However, Tesla is still well ahead of its new direct competitor thanks to two points: its Supercharger network, still essential despite the growing autonomy of batteries, and its future Gigafactory, which will allow it to produce them at a high and one for lower cost. It remains to be seen what Faraday Future's strategy will be on its points, and on many others. The mystery therefore remains complete on this new electrical project and curiosity is at its maximum. Of course you can discover these different models at Black Birds quickly!
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