High Tech Automobiles - The Faraday Future

If you haven’t yet seen Faraday Future’s FF 91 automobile, try to imagine the best of sleek sedan style married with a cross-type offroader. Both extremely mod and stylish, as well as rugged and capable, the FF 91 hints most at a futuristic Volvo sedan or what VW’s Scirocco would look like in 2050, says Oliver Taylor.
 

Emblematic of the new breed of electric or otherwise high-tech vehicles that will inevitably become the mainstream over the next decade, the FF 91 also shows what the future of motoring will be like for consumers.
 

Now more open to driver-designed finishes on the back of new technologies, gone are the old days of take-it-or-leave-it car offers. Today, consumers want a gratifying experience when buying a vehicle.
 

They want options, performance, and they want to get away from the gas-guzzling, polluting machines of yesteryear. Automakers like Faraday Future are giving them all that and more, and the marriage of sedan space and hatchback functionality is working without compromise to the overall smart design.
 

WHAT’S CHANGED WITH NEW TECH CARS?

It’s fascinating to witness the current transition happening amongst motorists. For decades, quick and cool meant lots of noise. High performance was denoted by sporty exhausting, with accompanying decibels!
 

The new generation of vehicles have unavoidably eliminated that through their employment of non-combustion propulsion, and there was certainly an initially negative knee-jerk response from petrolheads towards electric vehicles.
 

The transition currently taking place is — against all odds — a morphing of what denotes a performance vehicle. From loud exhausts that spoke the language of power (the poster child being the furious screams of F1 racing), now silent electric vehicles are becoming cool.
 

Noise has been inextricably linked to performance vehicles for decades, but in spite of such deeply entrenched preferences, silent speed is starting to define power and performance.
 

Coming back to the FF 91, you can have a say in the wheels and seats and interior display, the colour, trim and final finish. This is all done online, pre-order, and is part of the new expectations from consumers to be able to tweak a standard offer to their tastes.
 

Faraday Future has endured years of funding tussles, and it seems still to be a black hole siphoning huge amounts of cash, without the company ever having sold a car.
 

Now partnering with others in its bid to produce the fully connected, self-driving FF 91, the company remains optimistic that it will soon launch standard production vehicles.
 

Having juggled scary numbers in its pursuit of vehicular excellence, Faraday Future seems set to become the twenty first century’s IBM, or Ford Motors, in fact. From a history of financial setbacks, the company is still determined to come out of the gate with exactly what it imagined. It’s just taken a wallop more cash than anyone predicted.
 

NOISE NOT DEAD

Before imagining that all new high-tech vehicles have ditched the sexy exhaust tones of yore, not quite. Honda, for one, put out the Honda NSX in 2020, and it’s extremely stylish and gutsy in the classic sense.
 

It is a hybrid supercar and no lie, formed it seems around Porsche 918 Spyder-style aesthetics. It comes with both a petrol engine and an electric motor that push a four-wheel drive.
 

Slightly more mod than the giant engines of yesterday, the NSX sports a twin-turbo 3.5lt V6 engine, whereas, by way of a glimpse of what performance demanded years ago, the Porsche Spyder 918, for example, contains a naturally aspirated 4.5lt V8.
 

Tech in automobiles is not always a gadget or a propulsion innovation, as the NSX shows a wide and rather chunky rear end, something in sync with the power and handling, but also making the car extremely sexy in motion.
 

What really makes this car part of the “silent sexies” currently staging the palace coup, is something Honda built into the NSX for sheer thrills. Quiet mode on the NSX switches you from the V6 engine to the electric propulsion, and although this is not a long-range electric vehicle in the sense that we already understand them, it gives you an hour or two to zip around in complete silence, with only a light shush of wind outside. Very cool.
 

This brings us back to the FF 91, destined to go head-to-head with Tesla for super smart, super sexy electric motoring. A recent FF prototype on show at a consumer electronics expo shows that the company isn’t planning on being a one-hit wonder either, but rather that, investors willing, they’re planning to be a part of the autonomous electric driving future.
 

FARADAY FUTURE’S ‘TESLA KILLER’ ABILITIES ARE IN THE DETAIL

Referred to as the “ultimate intelligent tech luxury” car, the FF 91 has done its road tests, often in challenging conditions. All of the vehicle’s systems were checked on a 5,000 km journey, and the two biggies — the battery and propulsion system — are performing as hoped.
 

Taking the historic Route 66 allowed FF to expose their car to various challenges, while the testing included evaluating whether the car really delivers a seamless, connected experience for both driver and passengers. Comfort is a given, style is obvious, and now the mechanics are meeting them in performance.
 

A range of over 700 km is respectable indeed, and comes courtesy of LG Chem, the crew that partnered with FF to produce the world’s highest energy density in a battery.
 

Promoting the idea of a third (not home or office) internet connected comfort zone for modern humans, one of the engineers on the test drive confirmed those capabilities by joining daily online FF meetings from the car. Employing the car’s rear intelligent internet system and its in-house (or is that in-car) video conferencing system, he may as well have been in his lounge at home.
 

The FF 91 is fitted with interior cameras and microphones, supporting its video conferencing abilities, and with the Rear Seat Display (RSD) turned on, you can access contacts and generally socialise on the side while conferencing.
 

A smart touch is that while apps run natively on the on-board computer, their use is mirrored on a user’s smartphone, making for a nifty remote control.
 

FF talks about “extreme technology” — meaning full office functionality in a car. They’re also building the FF 91 as the ultimate user experience, referring to the car as a “complete ecosystem.”
 

With a 1050 horsepower motor, FF is actually top for power in its market, and a 130kWh battery pack supplies the juice for the FF 91’s systems. Immersive liquid cooling technology rounds out this high-tech automobile that can do 0-100kph in just 2.4 seconds. That’s mighty fast. So fast, in fact, that tri-motor torque vectoring has been incorporated into the build, and the rear wheels are independently driven, being controlled by double rear motors.
 

Other very snazzy touches include passenger information display video streaming, smart seamless traffic entry, facial recognition, multi-touch noeyes control, and zero-gravity rear seats that boast the largest seating angle available in a car- 150 degrees.
 

It’s hard to put all of the details together in a composite picture, even when looking at the car, but the fact of the matter is, FF are making what is

arguably the ultimate electric vehicle for the foreseeable future, at least for consumers.
 

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

With voice-activated controls adjusting display panels, FF’s proprietary voice assistant is deeply enmeshed with the OS, meaning it can provide a truly hands-off driver or passenger experience.
 

Yes, there are in-cabin cameras that aid video conferencing, but they capture your face in a manner that doesn’t mean you have to sit rigidly, or even in a single position. That might sound like no big deal (or totally obvious to techies), but it’s these small touches that VP Hong Rao is constantly developing, even in the run-up to the anticipated 2022 commercial launch.
 

While Tesla and others incorporated everything we expect in a modern, self-driving electric vehicle, FF are adding the small touches that would put them ahead on features and performance.
 

Who will buy it? A better question might be, who wouldn’t? Even loud noise aficionados have to admit, the car is super stylish. Mod, and just a treasure trove of driver and passenger experiences. Moreover, you can be both, in a single trip.
 

Celebrities will be first in line, as this car will define you as a unique presence unlike any other. Tesla will become the “common” electric selfdrive, simple because it came out of the gate first, while if FF don’t fluff it and manage to ensure reliability in all systems as well as extreme safety on the roads, they stand a real chance of outshining Elon Musk — no mean feat.
 

The price tag of just under half a million dollars is going to attract that kind of clientele in any case, as those with the means will want to see what their money can buy, especially when it looks this good!   EG