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Faraday Future reveals FFZERO1 concept car
Faraday Future, the new and secretive all-electric car company, has revealed its first concept car – the FFZERO1.
It's a single-seater all-electric race-inspired electric supercar featuring a host of new technologies.
The concept uses four "quad-core" electric motors, putting power at a heady 986bhp, on par with a McLaren P1 GTR, and Faraday claims it can do 0-60mph in less than three seconds with a top speed of 200mph.
While the powertrain of the concept is drawing attention for its huge output, the platform the car sits on is also garnering a lot of attention.
It uses an electric platform they call the "variable platform architecture", which the company says will be used on all their vehicles when it introduces production models. It can be easily changed to suit different body types and style and can be used for both two and four-wheel drive layouts. Batteries are added in "strings" to allow for yet more adaptability.
The company hopes to have a car ready for production by 2018 and has several types of vehicle in mind.
The BBC said Faraday is a car company hoping to "disrupt" the automotive industry and that its research chief Nick Sampson had said the firm would be able to move faster than others thanks to its adoption of variable platform architecture.
"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," said Faraday chief of design Richard Kim on the eve of the CES 2016 electronics and technology tradeshow in Las Vegas, where the car was unveiled.
They also report that Faraday sees its concept vehicle as a "tablet on wheels", which is unsurprising given talk of apps and other smartphone-like technologies coming from the company.
As for the onboard technology, Top Gear says "the idea is connectivity" - there's a slot in the steering wheel for smartphone integration, as well as a multi-touchscreen user interface and augmented reality displays, components other car companies are currently focusing on in their concepts.
The FFZERO1 also features a Halo Safety System, which can deliver water and oxygen through a helmet, as well as an instrument panel designed to collect biometric data from the driver.
Externally, the bodywork is styled around an "air tunnel" design, necessary for cooling the battery packs, while the rear fin can be used as an electronic display to show information such as the driver's name.
Most of the automotive press say the FFZERO1 will not see production, although Autocar says the concept can be used as a preview of the design language likely to be used on Faraday's future range of vehicles.
It is worth noting that the cars will come pre-equipped with sensors, which in time will enable them to carry out autonomous driving functions, something key to Faraday's business model.
The company is also said to be interested in developing a new, subscription-based type of ownership to allow customers to pick and choose from different models based on their immediate needs.
While little is known about Faraday, The Verge reports that the haze surrounding the company has begun to lift and that previous rumours saying it is being funded by LeTV, the "Netflix of China", have been confirmed.
Faraday Future: Mysterious Tesla rival to reveal concept car
Faraday Future, the newest company on the electric car grid, will reveal its first concept vehicle at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
The Los Angeles-based electric car company is planning to release a rival to Tesla's Model S by 2017, and is also interested in developing autonomous cars.
According to Autocar, Faraday is aiming to develop an electric car with 15 per cent more battery power than the 85kWh model fitted to the Tesla Model S. That would give it the new car a theoretical range of 300 miles.
Auto Express reports that the company is also developing a subscription-based model intended to revolutionise car ownership, where those who make monthly payments will eventually have free choice of a range of vehicles to suit particular needs and reduce the need to compromise.
Little else is known about the company, whose coyness has helped to drive interest in the Faraday project.
Some have suggested that Faraday Future could be a front for Apple's electric car division, allegedly called Project Titan.
It certainly has serious financial backing. The company has invested $1bn in equipping a factory, and has hired Richard Kim, the designer of the BMW i8 and i3, as well as a host of former Tesla employees. It recently poached Nick Sampson, one of the chief vehicle and chassis engineers for the Tesla Model S the new company hopes to compete against.
The Apple rumours
Rumours linking Faraday to Apple are widespread, but based on little more than circumstantial evidence: a company of more than 400 employees springs up overnight in California and starts work in an area in which Apple is known to be interested. The new company's reluctance to reveal its CEO or financial backers has fuelled speculation.
"Apple's notoriously enigmatic nature makes this a tantalising suggestion," says Forbes.
Macworld, an Apple rumours site, also joins the dots, noting that Apple has recently bought large amounts of land in California. And The Next Web says that large number of former Tesla employees are already working at Apple.
The Chinese explanation
However, a somewhat better documented rival claim has it that Faraday Future is financed by Chinese investors. According to Fortune, several sources have told them that Faraday is owned by a Chinese company called LeTV, known for being the "Netflix of China".
The magazine also claims to have seen documents listing Chaoying Deng, the director of Le Vision Pictures, an affiliate of LeTV, as Faraday’s agent, and says that the address Faraday Future gives on its website was bought by LeTV in 2014.