CES 2017: Faraday Future FF 91

05 January 2017 | by Bill Barranco

At a remote location outside of CES, Faraday Future revealed the prototype of its first production car, the FF 91. In a presentation lasting 90 minutes, there was a confident barrage of taglines: “reformatting of the future of mobility”; “electric, intelligent, connected and shared”; the “birth of a new connected ecosystem EV”; the “birth of a new species”; “the smartest car you’ll ever drive”. And so on.

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Hong Bae, Faraday's director of ADAS and self-driving, said that the more you drive, the more the FF 91 learns about you. Its artificial intelligence systems and machine learning help forecast your needs and desires, before you request them, and the FF 91 will adjust for comfort, performance and safety.

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In a live demonstration of the driverless valet system, Peter Savagian, VP of propulsion engineering, was seen via video-streaming: he drove an FF 91 up to the exhibition's front entrance, and exited the car after commanding it to park itself. The FF 91 was then seen autonomously parking, backing into an empty space - very, very slowly. Demonstrating the 1050hp all-electric propulsion system, a series of live 'competitions' were staged between the FF 91 and a Bentley Bentagya, Ferrari 488 GTB, Tesla Model XP100D and Tesla Model SP100D. The FF 91 performed 0–60mph acceleration in 2.39 seconds, Faraday claiming it to be the fastest-accelerating EV in the world.

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Richard Kim, VP of design, provided a concise and clear explanation of his team's approach. They defined three zones: greenhouse, the 'silver zone, or body of the car, and thirdly, the battery zone. Entry is via sensor-controlled automatic doors, the back pair rear-hinged, and the standard-format four seats are contained within the 5250mm overall length, width of 3200mm and interior volume of over 150 cu ft; the roomy, reclining 'zero gravity' rear seats are said to be NASA-inspired. The panoramic roof, and the side and rear windows, feature polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal glass, activated by a tap for extra privacy or shielding from sunlight.

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Exterior lighting is intended for communication with other road-users and pedestrians, such as indicating autonomous-driving mode, backed up by information from 10 front- and rear-facing cameras, 13 short- and long-range radars, 12 high-performance ultrasonic sensors, and high-definition Lidar laser-sensors. The FF 91 can also use facial recognition technology and greet its driver via lighting in the rocker panel, and a live-streaming rear-view display replaces an interior mirror. 

The monocoque body is based around Faraday's scalable variable platform architecture, and the FF 91 has a very respectable drag coefficient of 0.25. More than a few comments were heard about the similarity of the form language with Richard Kim’s previous projects, the BMW i3 and i8.

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