California-based Faraday Future, a start-up with Chinese roots and describing itself as ‘a global shared intelligent electric mobility ecosystem company’ has finally delivered its first car, the ‘FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance’ to a luxury car dealership based in Costa Mesa, California, called PCM (Private Collection Motors).
The first group of ‘distinguished users’ and Developer Co-Creators for Faraday Future are expected ‘to offer co-creation services’ – whatever that means – from their business expertise. Other Co-Creators in line to get their FF 91 in the coming days are Dutch architect, urbanist, and professor at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University Rem D Koolhaas and Jason Oppenheim, a real estate agent specializing in luxury properties in Los Angeles.
The luxury electric crossover FF 91 was initially presented in 2017 and set for a 2018 launch date, but numerous setbacks have delayed the launch for about five years. To make up for this delay, the Chinese-Californian manufacturer Faraday Future has added AI buzzwords to every part of the vehicle.
A couple of months ago, we reported that production had finally commenced for the Faraday Future FF 91 Futurist, the new identity of the luxury crossover EV that was presented way back in 2017. At that point, Faraday Future wanted to challenge Tesla, which was still relying on its larger Model S and Model X at the time.
But a lot has changed in five or six years’ time. Tesla has shifted from its larger models to producing as much smaller Model 3 and Model Y units as it can, while the promised performance of the FF 91 is no longer ahead of the pack. Therefore, Faraday Future has had to resort to other tactics to justify the $309 000 price tag (± €290 000).
Henceforth, the FF 91 launch edition is called ‘FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance’, and is described by Faraday Future as’ the Ultimate AI TechLuxury’, or the ‘All-Ability aiHypercar’. It still features a 772 kW drivetrain and a 142 kWh battery pack, promising a range of 613 km, according to the American EPA standard.
AI has been sprinkled over every technology system in the car, referred to as the ‘FF aiHyper 6×4 Architecture 2.0′, encompassing six technology platforms and four technology systems.
It’s difficult to read through the buzzword mumbo jumbo in the press release, but in practice, this should enable the development of a self-driving system, which aims to provide users with one to two hours of extra free time in their day, which would normally be spent on commuting. Faraday Future even speaks of ’26-hour days’, although the math is questionable.
AI is also involved in the suspension control systems, which apparently gives the 5,25 m long crossover the performance of a hypercar, the comfort and handling of a sedan, and the high ground clearance, visibility, and space of an SUV.
In short, Faraday Future is trying its best to convince customers of the qualities of its first, much-delayed product. Reservations for the FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance have been opened in the US and China, with a reservation cost of $5 000, subtracted from the total price of $309 000 for this limited-run launch model, with just 300 models being produced.
After that, the FF 91 2.0 Futurist will cost $249 000, and a ‘regular’ FF 91 2.0 is also planned, but a price tag for this ‘basic’ model isn’t known yet. Let’s see if it works out.