The EV industry has been ramping up extensively over the past five years. With mainstream manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, VW and GM now focusing heavily on hybrid and electric vehicles, it won’t be long until we begin seeing a large influx of fully electric vehicles that offers levels of convenience similar to that of the tried and tested fossil fuel powered locomotive. Out of all the manufacturers big and small, one name stands out as the leading horse in this race: Tesla Motors
The American automaker has been making major headway in this field with cars such as the Roadster, Model S and the recently launched Model X. With Tesla selling cars in the luxury sedan and crossover markets since 2012, it seemed that the EV industry soon became a one horse race.
However, at CES 2016, mysterious indie electric car maker going by the moniker Faraday Future showcased its first ever vehicle for the public. We take a look at what Faraday Future and its concept, the FFZERO1 hopes to achieve and if its enough to topple EV giant Tesla.
Although the general public and media remained largely clueless about the manufacturer’s plans, a considerable amount of hype was built around the newcomer’s debut earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Expo and was even touted to be a Tesla killer. For the brand’s first big preview, the car maker showcased a futuristic concept that supposedly represents the company.
Dubbed the FFZERO1, the concept has been designed as an exercise in publicity with the actual production model being closer to an affordable mid size sedan than an out and out sports car. While the FFZERO1’s exterior shell is more 2500 AD than 2016, the car does feature numerous components that will make it to the more conventional production ready car.
The buzzword of the future of automobiles is modular and the FFZERO1 features a modular framework that allows the same underpinnings to be used in a vast array of differing scenarios. Faraday Future claims that its framework can be scaled based on the need to produce front wheel drive sedans to four wheel drive SUVs. Key characteristics of the start up’s Variable Platform Architecture is a layer of batteries found below the floor of the car. Faraday Future claims that the use of multiple batteries eases the burden of swapping or changing batteries.
Visually, the FFZERO1 is absolutely stunning. The concept is a single seater that features completely radical implementations of regular car features such as entry & exit, infotainment system, instrument clusters. The exterior sports a ton of aero bits aiding in the wow factor. Its front end features a horizontal line that wraps around the car that is claimed to be the signature characteristic of all future models. The massive diffusers and spoiler adorning the rear of the FF concept is mildly reminiscent of the ultra rare Veneno from Lamborghini. Drivers enter the cockpit via the fighter jet inspired glass canopy.
Inside, the driver’s safety is managed by the car’s Halo Safety System that is even capable of delivering water and oxygen through his helmet. The carbon fibre steering wheel features a mount for a smartphone that displays instance specific information such as navigation. Similar to recent concepts, the FFZERO1 comes with autonomous driving technology as well.
The powertrain specifics have not been revealed save for the fact that the car is driven by four motors mounted on each wheel and produces over 1000 hp. Although Faraday Future’s all new car will be of a more conventional type, the FFZERO1 harks back to the times when manufacturers would bring out obscenely dramatic concepts to fuel the ambition and desires of petrol-heads from around the world. For the more grounded of the lot, Faraday Future has also given us a slight sneak peak into what could be their first production ready model.
The car is likely to compete directly with the Tesla Model X with cars such as the BMW X6, Mercedes Benz GLE-Class and Audi Q7 hot on its heels. Let’s wait and watch to whom the future belongs to…