The world's newest car maker has been born in Las Vegas.
Chinese-owned and American-based, Faraday Future has taken the covers off its first genuine creation, the FF91, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The brand labels itself as "a user-centric, advanced mobility company" and, while based in Southern California, is backed by Chinese electronics group and smartphone manufacturer, LeEco. It started building a $500 million manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas early last year, but halted construction in November due to financial pressures.
The FF91 is the first tangible sign of Faraday Future's intent to take on the likes of Tesla as well as a plethora of fully-electric vehicles being developed by major car makers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors.
Like the Tesla Model S, it is a fully-electric vehicle built on a modular platform that houses its battery pack and electric motors and a patented power inverter that it claims is lighter, less complex and cheaper to produce than conventional units.
While it has yet to outline the powertrain in detail, the FF91 is claimed to have up to 783kW of power and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 2.39 seconds - making it one of the fastest cars in the world.
It says the battery pack, which has been co-developed by LG Chem, has the world's highest energy density and can achieve upto 700km of driving between recharges, which can take up to 4.5 hours on a standard household charger.
Faraday Future says the vehicle's exterior design was inspired by space - both celestial and physical. The car's overall dimensions create a cavernous cockpit with rear seats that it claims offer a first-class travel experience, with the ability to recline further than any vehicle on the road as well as having massage functions as well as heating and cooling.
The car's extensive glass house is made from Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal, which allow occupants to vary the degree of tinting and shade by simply tapping on the glass.
Faraday Future also says the exterior houses a UFO line that runs around the mid-section of the vehicle. Below that, the FF91's lower sills illuminate with an "owner confirmation sequence" (perhaps like Close Encounters of the Third Kind) so that it "recognizes and welcomes you". The lights will also indicate when the vehicle is being charged as well as prompting other road users when it is being driven autonomously.
As part of its partnership with LeEco, the FF91 claims to introduce the next level of vehicle connectivity by "seamlessly blending devices, content, applications and distribution into a first-of-its-kind ecosystem. Owners with a Faraday Future ID (FFID) account will generate a global profile that stores data such as seating positions, favourite radio stations/music/movies and temperature settings so that they can conveniently move between vehicles anywhere in the world.
The car also has a world-first facial-recognition key, where a camera mounted on the side of the car can identify owners and open the vehicle. Once inside the vehicle, additional cameras also read facial expressions to proactively suggest types of music, temperature settings and ambient lighting settings.
The FF91 is fitted with a retractable LIDAR sensor in its nose, which works in concert with 10 high-definition cameras, 13 long- and short-range radars and 12 ultrasonic sensors to eventually offer fully automated driving. In the meantime, the vehicle can park itself using a smartphone app.
Faraday Future has yet to reveal how much the FF91 will cost when it goes into planned production in 2018, but it has opened the order books and is accepting US$5000 deposits. The first 300 owners will have the opportunity to upgrade to a special Alliance Edition where a portion of the sale price will be donated to an environmental charity.