The number of electric vehicles that you can stroll into a dealership and buy has been steadily increasing over the past few years, with no slowdown in sight. But, what this relative boom in electric vehicles hasn’t done is produce a lot of new car companies. Just a few years ago, we were hearing a stream of promises from all sorts of startups about how the automotive industry would be an entirely different place by 2020. But, here we are in 2016, and the whole whole field of new contenders has basically been distilled down to just Tesla, a company that still has yet to turn a profit.

Now another startup has thrown its hat in the ring, Faraday Future. And like Tesla, it has the kind of financial backing needed to weather the storm of the first several years of operating an electric car startup. The company has just unveiled its much anticipated first concept, called the FFZERO1, at CES in Las Vegas after quite a few vague teases. The company unveiled the wild-looking concept in a manner similar to a tech launch than to that of a car. But FF very clearly sees itself as a company that blends the worlds of cars and technology.

Continue reading to learn more about the Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept.

  • 2016 Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept
  • Year:
    2016
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    1000
  • 0-60 time:
    3 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 660615

The FFZERO1 concept looks, simply put, like a race car from a video game set in the future. It’s all fins and ducts and tunnels with LEDs all over. The big glass canopy roof and dorsal fin are reminiscent of current Le Mans prototype racers, and the generous use of carbon fiber fits with this as well. It’s all very impressive, if incredibly specific. But as it turns out, that doesn’t matter, because FF fully admits that it has no plans whatsoever to actually build the car. The concept is just to attract attention to the company and showcase some of the technology, and is in no way a production concept.

The real car, they tell us, is currently going through testing, but is still a secret. It will share some of the mechanical underpinnings of the concept though, as the chassis is modular, and different bodies with different drive configurations can be used with it. FF has hired Richard Kim, the designer of the i3 and i8, away from BMW to be head of design. Further design and engineering talent has been grabbed up from Ferrari and Tesla, so the car does sound promising, even if we have no idea what it looks like.

Interior

2016 Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept High Resolution
- image 660619

The interior of the FFZERO1, if we’re going to call it that, is pretty spartan, but still fits with the wild looks of the exterior. The car has only one seat, a racing bucket, that you climb into by opening the canopy roof and scrambling over the side of the bodywork. This is a very racecar kind of thing, but the interior isn’t quite what you might expect.

The car has only one seat, a racing bucket, that you climb into by opening the canopy roof and scrambling over the side of the bodywork.

There’s just as much carbon fiber as you would think there would be, but the dash that incorporates screens in place of instruments and curves around the side of the seat isn’t something you’d find in an F1 car. The yoke in place of the steering wheel is also similar without actually being the same thing as you would find in a high tech racecar. There is one non-racecar touch here though, and that is the space in the wheel where you can put your smartphone.

FF says that, for all of the fancy navigation systems found in cars today, people still tend to use their phones to navigate, and continually suffer from not having a place to put them. It makes a fair amount of sense, even if it does mean that there is no room for a horn or airbag. It’ll be interesting to see if and/or how this is integrated into a production model.

Drivetrain

2016 Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept High Resolution
- image 660621

A big part of the idea behind the FFZERO1 electric car is that it has a modular chassis. This make adding more battery cells, or even motors, an easy task. Since this concept is meant to wow us, FF went with a four-motor setup, one for each wheel, and a total output of 1,000 horsepower. This is said to be enough to take the car up to 60 mph in 3 seconds even, although that would have to be a theoretical number, because the concept isn’t drivable.

Similarly, its top speed of “200+ mph” is also theoretical. He first actual production car that we’ll see from the company is likely to be something more modest, and the chassis can support a design with only one motor. A bigger car would leave more space for more battery cells, so longer range machines would also be possible. The batteries are all located inside the wheelbase and very low down, so some kind of sports car is also a very real possibility.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 4 Quad Core Motors
Output 1,000 HP
0-60 mph 3 seconds
Top speed +200MPH

Conclusion

2016 Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 660625

FF says it has streamlined the design process by skipping over the clay model stage usually used to test new designs, going right from 3D computer designs straight to building workable machines. This certainly sounds bold, as does all of Faraday Future’s big tech-style talk about “disrupting” the automotive world. But, so far, it’s largely meaningless.

All we’ve seen up to this point is a crazy concept that definitely won’t be going to production, and neither will anything that looks like this. I don’t think that the company is vaporware, there are too many serious people on the project for that, but that doesn’t mean that we’re much closer to knowing just what FF is actually up to. Word is that we’ll see a working car in “a couple years,” here’s hoping.

  • Leave it
    • * not even kind of a real car
    • * just one seat
    • * no word on price, but it has to be horrifyingly expensive
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