The beleaguered electric car startup Faraday Future has unveiled its supposed Tesla killer. But it, like its rival, will have issues of scale to overcome before its vehicle becomes a mainstream success.
Late last year, reports suggested that Faraday Future had been hemorrhaging money on a car that ex-employees considered to be vaporware. So it had a lot to prove when it unveiled its first stab at a real electric vehicle in Las Vegas ahead of the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
The long and slightly unusual-looking car, called FF91, certainly sounds impressive on paper. It boasts a 378-mile range, 1,050 horsepower, and a 0 to 60 mph time of 2.39 seconds. If it's accurate, that's faster than any Tesla.
It’s also loaded with sensors to equip it for a self-driving future. Jalopnik counts 10 cameras, 13 radars, 12 ultrasound sensors, and lidar to boot. Apparently things aren’t quite running smoothly yet, though: the company couldn’t get the car to autonomously drive away from its grand unveil.
Buyers can reserve one of the vehicles for $5,000, though no full price has been given. But you can expect a luxury price tag: according to Wired, the company’s shooting to match “the value of a Bentley.”
Such pricing means the company isn't aiming produce a mass-market vehicle. But Faraday Future will still need to transition from building prototypes to a proper production line. So far it’s only built 12 vehicles, so the learning curve will be steep.
That’s something that Tesla already knows. Elon Musk’s automaker had hoped to deliver 80,000 vehicles in 2016, but fell short, shipping just 76,230. The target was typically Muskian in ambition. But Tesla is still a way off the output of an established automaker.
Faraday Future, then, will need its own production figures to perform as well as its car is supposed to perform if it’s to recoup the cash it’s reportedly burned to get to this point.
(Read more: Reuters, Wired, Jalopnik, Bloomberg, "Is the Electric Car Startup Faraday Future Doomed to Fail?")