CES 2017: Faraday Future Flashes First Production Model Due in 2018

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Faraday Future FF 91

Faraday Future keeps trying to get a little closer to the present.

For the second year in a row at CES, the company owned by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting flashed some impressive hardware. In this case, it was an all-electric FF 91 model that the company said can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.39 seconds, faster than the fastest version of the Tesla Model S.

The four-door, SUV-like FF 91 boasts 1,050 horsepower and what the Los Angeles-based company said was enough range to get from LA to Silicon Valley with plenty of juice to spare. It has luxurious back seats that recline and an interior cabin decked out with large video screens. The car is available for reservation with $5,000 down, but Faraday didn’t cite a retail price. First deliveries are to begin in 2018.

The company started as a mostly unknown entity that has targeted a mostly successful auto industry pioneer, Tesla, and so far Faraday Future has had problems translating its concepts into realities. It made a splash at CES a year ago with futuristic designs and announced plans to build a $1 billion factory in Nevada. But while the state has been seeing Tesla already complete a portion of its gigafactory for battery production near Reno, Faraday Future ran into financial problems: Suppliers groused about payments, executives left and investors bled cash.

Now, hoping for a new start, Faraday executives appeared with the FF 91, new assurances about fundraising and new confidence. “I’m hoping … to convince people that we’re real,” Nick Sampson, Faraday’s senior vice president of engineering and R&D, told the Wall Street Journal. “We are doing a real product, it’s not just a vaporware, Batmobile to create attention.”

Yueting himself appeared at the Las Vegas unveiling of the FF 91, as did investors. His tech-focused empire includes everything from smartphones to organic foods to movie productions—but the billionaire personally has invested $300 million in Faraday, Bloomberg said. And Yueting underscored the importance of realizing his dream for Faraday Future.

“We are not just building a vehicle but a globally shared internet mobility ecosystem,” Yueting said, according to Bloomberg. “I’m willing to devote everything to my dream. Even my life.”

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