Faraday Future Is Finally Unveiling Its Incredibly Hyped Car
Faraday Future, the electric car startup backed by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, will unveil its first production vehicle at CES 2017, the same consumer electronics show where the company made its initial and hotly anticipated public debut.
The company isn’t revealing much right now—just a teaser image on its Twitter page and a tweet that sums up its path so far.
And it’s making some big promises too. A spokesman told Fortune that the first product “will be a premium electric vehicle that combines extreme technology, industry leading range, and holistic design.”
Even without the details, the announcement signals an important business milestone for the mysterious electric car company. Without a production vehicle, it’s been difficult, if not impossible, to determine if Faraday Future has a viable commercial future.
A year ago, little was known about Faraday Future. There were rumors it was really a shell company for Apple and its not-so-secret car project. Others made bold predictions that it would take down all-electric automaker Tesla.
But its big debut— a day before last year’s CES kicked off in January —left many more perplexed than excited. Faraday Future executives made sweeping, visionary statements, and they even unveiled a futuristic, single-seat electric concept car. But dozens of auto executives and members of the media (including Fortune) who had packed into a tent to see what the next new thing in automobiles was going to be were left wanting. The words “vapor” and “ware” were thrown around as the crowd dispersed because some were expecting a production car or a more
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However, those initial impressions didn’t appear to slow Faraday Future down—or the public reception of its concept car. (It was one of the most packed booths at CES).
It’s been on a hiring and building spree in the 10 months since the startup unveiled its concept car. Faraday Future, has poached numerous high-profile executives from Tesla, Apple, and other automakers. The company started construction on a 3-million-square-foot factory in North Las Vegas that will eventually employ 4,500 people.
And in July, it announced a partnership with Dragon Racing, a team owned by Jay Penske that races in the FIA Formula E Championship, a class of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars. Faraday Future will be a core technical partner and title sponsor of Penske’s team.
This production car should not be mistaken with what LeEco, a separate Chinese technology company led by Yueting, unveiled on Wednesday at a lavish event in San Francisco. During that event—in which Yueting laid out its plans to compete in everything from big screen televisions and smartphones to online video streaming services and Internet-connected bicycles—the company also showed off its LeSee concept car.
The LeEco electric concept car was first introduced in April ahead of the Beijing Auto Show. Faraday Future is developing a universal foundation for its car, which will allow the company to manufacturing a wide range of vehicles with different battery pack sizes. That universal platform will be shared in the future with LeEco.
However, Faraday Future’s production vehicle is completely separate from the LeSee concept car, a spokesman confirmed.