In taking the wraps off super-fast EV, Faraday redefines car unveiling

Faraday says the FF 91 will be the world's fastest electric car and it showed footage of the model outracing rivals.

Photo credit: Bloomberg
Luca Ciferri is Editor of Automotive News Europe.
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Faraday Future has struggled to find enough funding to meet its big ambitions but the Chinese start up certainly has aggressive communication.

In unveiling the FF 91, its first production model, Faraday not only showed footage of how the electric SUV can go from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) on a race track faster than selected competitors, but it also gave a live demonstration.

Faraday had on stage a white Bentley Bentayga, a red Ferrari 488 GTB and a gray Tesla Model X during the FF 91’s unveiling at the CES in Las Vegas last week. The company demonstrated the cars' acceleration on a mock-up track which was longer than the 100 meters or so that the vehicles need to reach 60 mph.

I don’t remember any other car company placing the models it benchmarked in front of an audience to publicly show their lower performance.

Bearing in mind that automakers' data not externally audited should be treated with skepticism, these were the performance numbers that Faraday announced after a test on a race track in California: the FF91 took 2.39 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, beating the 2.5 seconds of another pure EV, the Model X P100 D. The internal combustion engine cars were considerably slower. The 488 GTB took 3 seconds and the Bentayga 4 seconds.

Faraday repeated the tests on the track and streamed the performances live to the audience at the FF 91's unveiling.

Does this open the door for other automakers to demonstrate comparative performances live?

I have some doubts because Faraday used a prototype to challenge cars that are already on the market. I would like to see Faraday repeat their bold performance statements after showing a production FF 91 against rivals on a real track.

The two-year old company is still something of a mystery. With a $5,000 (refundable) deposit, customers will be able to reserve a FF 91 starting in March, with deliveries planned in early 2018, without knowing yet how much the model will cost.

The FF 91’s technical specifications - not yet certified – are awe-inspiring: a huge 1050 hp and a 130 kWh battery pack that delivers an estimated 378 miles range in the U.S. EPA test cycle, while the more generous European NEDC cycle gives it an estimated 700 km range.

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