Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept storms in at CES 2016

Published: 05 January 2016

► New all-electric FFZERO1 Concept revealed
► Claimed capable of 0-60mph in less than 3.0sec
► Faraday Future plans mainstream production model

Faraday Future, a new electric vehicle manufacturer based in California, has revealed its all-electric FFZERO1 Concept racecar.

The new single-seater concept was unveiled at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where both its looks and claimed performance raised a few eyebrows. “4 Quad Core Motors with over 1,000 horsepower,” stated the release. “Top speed: 200mph+. 0-60 in less than 3 seconds.”

Predictably, it also benefits from lightweight construction methods and materials, including a carbonfibre body, like many a concept that rolls along these days. It also packs a host of other advanced features, including a drag-reducing and battery-cooling aero tunnel design. And yes, it also looks like something that escaped from F-Zero X.

So what’s the point of this concept?

Outside of demonstrating what’s possible for electric performance cars, and generating a significant amount of buzz around Faraday Future, the FFZERO1 uses the company’s ‘Variable Platform Architecture.’

Effectively, Faraday Future’s modular platform is much like that you’d find under a Tesla Model S. The suspension, steering and drive assemblies are bolted to a chassis that features a battery pack mounted in the floor, keeping the centre of gravity low.

This also allows for a wide range of customisation. Faraday Future can stretch the centre section, increasing the available interior and battery space, or stretch the front and rear structures to allow for different body styles or increased luggage space.

Different drivetrain configurations are also shown in a promotional video about the platform. A front-wheel-drive car with a single motor is shown, as is a twin-motor four-wheel-drive example and a more powerful triple-motor setup.

Because of the modular and flexible design, coming up with several different cars from the one platform wouldn’t be a problem. Estates, small hatchbacks and a low-slung sports car are all previewed, suggesting a line-up of models could be offered in the future.

The company also plays heavily on its platform’s autonomous-ready nature, which really would pitch it directly against the likes of Tesla’s Model S.

Is Faraday Future a going concern?

Given that it’s effectively come out of nowhere, you might be a little suspicious. Faraday Future was only founded in 2014 but it’s already made some significant acquisitions. For example, it’s looking to invest £700 million in a design and production facility in Las Vegas, which will be staffed by 4500 people – a significant hike over its current staff count of around 500.

It’s not a list of unknowns on the current company roster, either. Nick Sampson is the company’s vice president of research and development; he previously held the position of vehicle and chassis engineering at Tesla. Several other ex-Tesla employees are also among the new brand’s ranks. Richard Kim, Faraday Future’s head of design, was the lead designer for the BMW i3 and i8. Some pretty heavy-hitters, then.

Setting up a company like this requires a hefty investment, but Faraday Future appears to have that covered. It’s backed by Letv, a Chinese media streaming company owned by billionaire Jia Yueting. Reputedly Letv doesn’t plan to necessarily make money through the vehicles themselves, but via advertising and video services that are offered by the car’s interior displays.

Should everything go to plan, it’s expected that Faraday Future will launch its first electric production car in 2017. Time, as they say, will tell.

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car

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