Faraday Future has revealed its first concept car, the FFZERO1, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Though not destined for production, the FFZERO1 instead provides a close look at the interior and exterior design language chosen for Faraday Future’s upcoming line of production vehicles, which are scheduled to appear within “a couple of years”.
The single-seat all-electric racer concept sits on a bespoke, modular electric platform, dubbed the Variable Platform Architecture (VPA). All of Faraday Future’s future vehicles will use the VPA platform, which the company claims can be rapidly reconfigured to suit different vehicle types.
As well as being engineered to adopt both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations, the platform is also capable of housing up to three electric motors. Batteries are added to the platform in ‘strings’, again helping adaptability.
The FFZERO1 features four ‘quad core’ motors as part of its electric powertrain, producing a combined 1000bhp and allowing it to reach 60mph in less than three seconds. Top speed is said to be over 200mph.
The car’s single-seat cockpit design features a driver’s seat angled at 45deg to improve comfort and a new head restraining system built into the seat. Oxygen and water tubes can also be connected to the driver’s helmet from ports in the seat.
Augmented reality displays can be projected onto the concept’s windscreen, while a mobile phone mounting on the steering wheel is used to control some driving functions. Faraday Future’s cars will also come pre-equipped with the sensors needed to carry out autonomous driving functions.
The car's exterior bodywork is made from a mixture of carbonfibre and composites. Its styling and 'air tunnel' design is designed to channel cooling air to the battery packs, while the rear fin can be used as a 'digital canvas' to display the driver's name and race position.
Speaking on the eve of CES, Nick Sampson, Faraday Future’s head of R&D and engineering, said the company had been working “night and day" to create a new vision of mobility.
“We all share a common goal to profoundly move the world in better, cleaner and more intelligent ways,” Sampson said. “We have a very transformative vision. We are embarking on nothing less than a complete rethink on what mobility means.
“You don’t need to have a 100-year legacy in the automotive industry to define what the next generation of mobility needs to look and feel like.”
Sampson said Faraday Future would attempt to move faster than traditional car makers by shaping itself more as a technology company than as a car manufacturer. He also praised Tesla – viewed as the firm’s chief rival - for bringing ‘start-up thinking’ to the automotive industry.
Design chief Richard Kim said the FFZERO1 concept was “an extreme test bed for the fundamental ideas we are working on for upcoming vehicles”. Kim was poached from BMW’s i brand, where his credits include the i3 and i8 road cars and the i8 Spyder concept.
Although Faraday Future is yet to confirm what its business model will be, the company has given strong hints that it will move away from traditional vehicle ownership.
It’s understood that Faraday Future’s customers will be able to sign up and lease different cars from the company depending on their needs. “Perhaps having a city car to get to work, but the platform knows that every weekend you need a larger vehicle for the family,” said Kim.