The first Faraday Future is here — almost

The year is only four days old, but already, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk might be feeling an electric-car competitor catching up to him. And threatening to pass him, too.

That’s the promise that Faraday Future is making as the sort-of-mysterious startup showed off its first production model car at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Late Tuesday, Faraday put on a video of the FF91 going from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.39 seconds, and outracing a Tesla Model S P100D, which covered the same distance in “only” 2.5 seconds operating in its “Ludicrous” mode.

(And while the “FF” in FF 91 probably stands for “Faraday Future,” let’s be honest: When a vehicle can do zero to 60 in 2.39 seconds, “FF” really should mean “Freakin’ Fast.”)

So, what is the Faraday Future, anyway?

The company is the brainchild of Jia Yueting, a billionaire Chinese investor who is also the founder of tech company LeEco. You might remember LeEco as the company that bought consumer-electronics maker Vizio for $2 billion in July 2016 and wants to shake up Silicon Valley. For its part, Faraday wants to invest almost $2 billion to build a car-making factory in California, and the company also got the go-ahead last year to test self-driving cars in the state.

Faraday obviously believes in the “go big or go home” adage. During its CES presentation, the company said the FF 91 will have a 1,050-horsepower engine and be able to travel 378 miles when its batteries are fully charged. It also aims to be smart, as every car will have an interface that is personalized to its driver, and — in a move that could be a boon to mall shoppers and those attending popular sporting events and concerts — will have the capability of finding parking spaces. On its own.

What else is there to know about the FF 91? Well, the price tag, for one thing. Faraday didn’t disclose how much the car will cost, but you can reserve one for a $5,000 deposit.

And if you are one of the first 300 rich folks who do that, congratulations. You’ll get the option of upgrading your purchase to the FF 91 Alliance Edition. That vehicle doesn’t appear to be different from your regular FF 91, except that, according to Faraday, “a portion” of the Alliance Edition’s sales will be donated to an environmental fund “which closely aligns with FF’s sustainability efforts,” and the first such units will be auctioned off at a gala in March.

What the FF 91 doesn’t come with is patience. That’s something you’ll have to bring yourself because Faraday said production of the FF91 won’t begin until 2018.

Photo: The Faraday Future FF 91. (Courtesy Faraday Future)

 

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