I-Team: FF banks on cutting-edge concepts

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The auto world is abuzz now that the world has had its first glimpse of a whiz-bang auto design from Faraday Future (FF). The company has plans to build a billion dollar plant in North Las Vegas.

The sleek sports car unveiled by company executives Monday is described as “an extreme tablet on wheels,” because of all of the digital features that could be included. What the public has seen so far, however, is a bit misleading.

The world has been waiting to see this design for months, and it’s doubtful anyone was disappointed.

FF showed off a sleek, cutting-edge machine: a 1,000-horsepower sports car known as the FFZERO1. Anyone who’s ever had a driver’s license might envision themselves behind the wheel of that beautiful beast. However, the sports model is only a hint of what’s to come.

“(It’s) a showcase for what FF stands for, inside and out,” said FF Head of Global Design Richard Kim. “The design and user experience seen here is a preview of our DNA and our FF products to come.”

The FF folks have a future in promotions if this car thing doesn’t work out. For months, they’ve driven the auto world crazy guessing what the company’s vehicles would look like.

The big reveal in front of invited guests Monday night was appropriately dramatic, followed by a jaw-dropping, ultra-powerful sports model that could jump from zero to 60 mph in three seconds and forever change the public view of electric cars. The company was inspired by more advanced modes of transportation.

“The UFO line that runs around the vehicle is a subtle design cue that this car is not quite of this world,” Kim said. “This UFO line will be a signature design element in all future Faraday products.”

One common reaction to the new design is that it bears more than a passing resemblance to the original Batmobile, but Bruce Wayne never had a vehicle like this one.

The most important feature is its versatility. The company plans to use this same flexible platform for every other model it plans to build at a billion dollar plant at the Apex site in North Las Vegas.

Animated videos released by FF hint of designs still to come: vehicles with multiple engines; a pickup truck, compact car and ‘soccer mom’ minivan, all with the ability to drive themselves; digital co-pilots; augmented reality; and the most advanced interactive personal technology available on this planet.

“We are able to change the size and shape of the vehicle to virtually anything we want” said FF Vice President Nick Sampson. “With VPA (Variable Platform Architecture), we can easily create multiple drive configurations. For example, we can change the number of motors for a particular vehicle – giving one greater range or another more acceleration and horsepower, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive.”

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, who initiated the effort to lure FF to Nevada, had to sign a non-disclosure agreement months ago, but is finally able to comment on what other techno-goodies might be coming along for the ride.

“I’ve seen two different concept cars now. Both are jaw-dropping,” he said. “When you see the cars, you forget what the future is going to look like, you know, how streetlights will talk to vehicles, cars talk to cars, how people will travel in a whole different fashion in the future. So, the car’s exciting, but I think the transportation we’re seeing will take place is the most exciting thing for our country.”

Mayor Lee told 8 News NOW Tuesday afternoon that the other prototypes he saw over the summer for the non-sports car drivers are “awesome.” Governor Brian Sandoval announced Tuesday that his Economic Development Office will create a Center for the Development of Autonomous Vehicles.

One of the mottos for FF is “Fight ugliness.” So far, so good.

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