Faraday Future’s FF 91 Electric Vehicle is Stage-shy, but Is It Road-ready?

The FF 91 from Faraday Future is possibly the only electric vehicle in the world that’s made us wait for a full year before removing its iconic black tarp and revealing its form. It was definitely a delicious moment when the flowing lines finally floated on to the stage at CES 2017, but the car didn’t seem to want to cooperate with its masters at the grand unveiling.

When Nick Sampson, Sr. VP R&D and Engineering at Faraday Future, asked the FF 91 to park itself, it stubbornly refused to move. Fortunately, the FF 91 was able to do the same thing earlier in the evening in the parking lot. Perhaps the car is actually smarter than its makers, and decided that a “stage” was not the ideal place to execute a three-point turn and back up into a parking spot that’s not even there?

Faraday Future FF 91

Nonetheless, Sampson forged ahead and asked Jia Yueting – the company’s main financier – to tap the button that engaged the Auto Valet feature so the car could gently coast to where Sampson was standing. Jia did, but FF 91 didn’t.

Shrugging it off with a “It seems to be a little lazy, tonight,” Sampson continued his speech and then asked to try it again with the lights dimmed. A technician quickly got into the car and must have yelled at the FF 91 or cajoled it somehow, because on the second try of the Auto Valet feature, the car rolled about 20 feet and came to a stop.


Obviously, Sampson was thrilled, but still possibly fuming from the mishap of a few minutes ago. He later explained to the press – some members of whom, incidentally, asked him if the car was remote controlled – that it was not, and that it was likely the metal structure of the building that caused interference with the signal.

We can’t discount the FF 91 based on its less-than-impressive debut inside the building, of course. What matters is how it performs on the road. With LIDAR capability, a unique software that delivers power on demand and some of the best design elements we’ve seen on an electric vehicle since the Model X from Tesla, this car could grab a good share of the EV market very soon.


We don’t know when it will go into production, or if it’s even ready for that yet, but they’ve already opened up reservations for customers in the United States, Canada and guess where else….China, of course. After the huge success of Tesla Model 3 reservations in the PRC, every EV maker will naturally start targeting that market.

Here are some of the unique features of the FF 91:

FFID – This is the ultimate customization tool. It will study your driving habits, your content consumption preferences and everything else about you so when you sit in the car, everything adjusts itself just the way you like it. From the kind of music the car plays to the exact position you like your seat to be in, it’s FFID all the way.

Seamless Entry – Faraday Future calls this a multi-stage welcoming system. If you have your smartphone handy, FFID will securely identify you and prepare the car for you as you approach it. If you don’t, it’ll use facial recognition and then proceed to customize the inside settings.

Connectivity – This is a fully connected car that lets you touch it and talk to it the way you would on your smartphone that has a voice assistant. The screen and voice interface allow you to interact intuitively with the car’s capabilities.

Autonomous Driving – The FF 91 will be the first production car with 3-D LIDAR capability. Using laser pulses and no less than 30 cameras, sensors and radars, the car creates a full 360-degree view of your surroundings, helping it to negotiate the road without your input. This part has to be seen in action before we can take it at face value, but it is definitely the best-in-class technology.

Other Key Features – There’s plenty of cool stuff to keep tech enthusiasts engaged. Like the 60-degree incline for the rear seats, ergonomic and well-ventilated rear seats that put you in a natural posture that distributes weight evenly, spacious interior, eclipse mode on the glass roof that you can darken or lighten with a tap of the glass, Auto Valet, driverless parking and so on.

Performance-wise, the FF 91 has broken the world record for acceleration by a pending production vehicle, going from 0-60mph in a blazing 2.39 seconds, a full tenth of a second faster than the Tesla Model P100D.

The whole FF 91 package looks impressive from a launch viewpoint, but now we’ll need to see what the reservation volume looks like, what their production timelines are and many other factors before we can call Faraday Future’s first production EV a success. Stay tuned for more.

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