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The Faraday Future FFZero1 is an EV born of dreams, piles of cash, and poached Tesla talent

Melissa Riofrio | Jan. 6, 2016
But if this billionaire-funded company does succeed in jump-starting EV innovation, that's probably okay with Elon Musk.

Look closely at the Faraday Future FFZero1 Concept, not because it’s beautiful car, though it is, and not because it’s fast—at least according to the “projected specs,” which I’ll quote here because I know you want them:

  • Four quad-core motors with over 1,000 total horsepower
  • 0-60 in less than 3 seconds
  • Top speed of more than 200 mph

No, look at this car because it shows how EVs could kill traditional combustion-engine cars sooner than we might think. Because Faraday Future isn’t just about making a fast car for rich people, although that’s what will come out first (in “a couple of years,” to quote FF executive Nick Sampson).

faraday future ffzero1 concept overhead view ces 2016
The FFZero1 concept from Faraday Future has inspired many comparisons to the Batmobile.

FF wants to make a mass-market EV—like Tesla, but with even more money to put behind the idea, and no patience for the slow growth of current EVs (even the top-selling Nissan Leaf has a minute slice of the overall car market).

The Tesla parallels are not coincidental. Just as Musk’s personal wealth started Tesla, another billionaire’s pile of cash led to Faraday Future’s birth a scant 18 months ago. Faraday Future also poached a very important executive from Tesla: Nick Sampson, who was Director of Vehicle and Chassis Engineering at Tesla and is now Senior Vice President of R&D and Engineering at Faraday Future. Another top executive is Global Design head Richard Kim, who had a hand in BMW’s i3 and i8 electric cars.

faraday future ffzero1 concept rear view ces 2016 
This rear shot of Faraday Future's FFZero1 concept shows the transparent center fin and the exhaust ports for some of its ventilating "aero tunnels." Credit: Faraday Future

Also like Tesla, Faraday Future is starting with something flashy (Tesla’s first car was built inside the shell of a Lotus Elise). The FFZero1 concept looks like a better-designed Batmobile, sleek where the latter was chunky, yet still very aggressive-looking.

Built into that swoopy exterior are “aero tunnels” that help pull air over the batteries and improve the aerodynamics. We’ve seen similar design elements in the Ford GT supercar.

The exterior will use carbon fiber and “lightweight composite construction” (not surprising). The powertrain will include a high-performance racing suspension and what FF calls “advanced vehicle dynamic control and torque vectoring” (one of the most wonderful things about EVs is instant torque).

faraday future ffzero1 concept variable platform architecture interior 1 ces 2016 
Even Faraday Future's chief designer, Sue Neuhauser, admits the FFZero1's bright-white interior is not typical, but it's meant to project "pure and clean." Credit: Faraday Future

 

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