Trust the Chinese to come along and disrupt everything that they can find. Faraday Future, an California-based electric vehicle firm, has received funding from the Chinese media company LeTV, owned by billionaire Jia Yueting. This isn’t a remarkable event by itself, but what is causing a ripple or two is the business model that Faraday wants to adopt. Essentially, the company aims to build what it calls a Variable Platform Architecture, a highly customisable platform that will allow it to build several different kinds of vehicles on the same base, which can be expanded. In addition, it plans to offer a unique subscription model to customers based on their usage requirements, which will allow them to order, say, a sportscar or an MUV on different days.
What of the FFZERO1 itself, though? The concept was unveiled on the eve of the CES show in Las Vegas, and by heck, it isn’t kidding around. A claimed 1000 bhp from its four electric motors leads to a (claimed, again) 320 kph top speed and a 0-100 kph timing of under 3 seconds. Forget about scaring passengers witless, because there’s only one seat. For your solo entertainment, there’s a slot in the steering wheel for a smartphone, which will enable all manner of functions, and you’ll be able to look out of an all-glass roof. In case you happen to warp-speed your FFZERO1 into outer space, there’s a helmet that will provide you oxygen and water – no, really. The company says it will launch a car (but not necessarily this one) in the next couple of years. Tesla, you’ve been warned.