Last weekend, people at the Mother’s Car Wax show in Long Beach, California, were treated to an unexpected visitor — a fully functioning Faraday Future FF91 beta car in frozen black livery. Looking like a cross between a Jaguar I-Pace and a Toyota Matrix, the all-electric SUV claims to have a 130 kWh battery and 1,500 horsepower. Without providing details, the company says it has created “the world’s highest energy density battery.”
The FF91 is claimed to have a range of 378 in the EPA test cycle and a 0–60 time of 2.39 seconds. It is built on what the company calls its Variable Platform Architecture. In theory, instead of doing what all other car companies do, which is build a chassis and then designing several models to fit it, Faraday Future will have a flexible chassis architecture that can be stretched or shortened, widened or made narrower, as needed to meet market demands. In theory, that will enable the company to respond rapidly to changes in consumer demand.
The FF91 will “feature retractable 3D Lidar” as part of “a complex sensor system including 10 high definition cameras, 13 long and short range radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors.” The Lidar sensor is rather big and ugly, so it retracts when not needed in order to make the car more appealing from an appearance point of view.
Lidar is controversial. Elon Musk refused to use it for his cars because he says it doesn’t work well in rain or snow conditions. Cadillac is using Lidar for its new Super Cruise option in the CT6, but with a twist. Instead of fitting every car with a Lidar sensor, it will be equipping a fleet of cars with Lidar and use them to map US highways. (Super Cruise is only intended for use on limited access roadways.) It will then download the data gathered by the test fleet to actual customer cars via the cloud.
The Faraday Future FF91 may be a great car. But whether it ever goes into production is a matter of some conjecture. The company has run out of money and recently sold a parcel of land in Silicon Valley it was planning to use for its US headquarters. Construction of its factory in North Las Vegas ground to halt last fall and may never get started again. The FF91 you see here may become a true collector’s item — a one of a kind example of a car that never made it past the prototype stage.
Source: Futurism | Image credit: MotorworldHype via Twitter