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Faraday Future FF91 Debuts To Uncertainty At CES

Faraday Future has unveiled its first take on what an actual production model could look like from the EV start-up in Las Vegas mere days before CES opens its doors. After over a year of speculation, including not so subtle hints that Faraday might be in financial trouble, the FF91 is available for pre-orders to anyone bullish enough on its production prospects to lay down a $5,000 deposit without a guaranteed release date.

In keeping with the company's non-traditional way of doing business, the Faraday Future FF91's styling is an unusual collection of cues that at first glance make it difficult to determine whether it's trying to appeal to the sedan or the crossover crowd. With a set of four-doors arranged in 'suicide' configuration, the FF91 also sports a prominent rear hatch and a taller-than-average ride height for a passenger car. Although replete with futuristic flourish, the large vehicle is not exactly a looker, and its design characteristics blend in with many similar-looking vehicles offered by more mainstream manufacturers (at least on the outside, as no interior views were offered).

Details on the FF91 were in fact kept fairly tight to the chest, but here's what the presenters at Faraday definitely want you to know about the car:

1 - It delivers over 1050 horsepower from its electric motor
2 - It can sprint to 100 km/h in less than 2.4 seconds
3 - It features a 130 kWh lithium-ion battery pack
4 - Its range can approach 600 km on a single charge
5 - It provides extensive autonomous driving capability

Two of these attributes were underscored during the Faraday Future unveiling, with footage of the car accelerating from a stop shown to the crowd to demonstrate its exceptional acceleration, followed by a walk-through of its self-driving capabilities. The latter went almost flawlessly, with the car parking itself on-stage, eventually, on the second attempt. Faraday's vice president of engineering, Nick Sampson, also expounded on the car's biometric facial recognition systems, strong in-car connectivity for wireless devices and Wi-Fi Internet, and ability to link to an 'FFID,' or user profile that will be associated with each owner.

There's no question that given its size, performance, and the few tech specs that were released, it won't be unreasonable to expect a hefty price tag to be associated with the FF91 should it advance to the production stage. The absence of any real world cabin details, the recent halt on construction of the factory intended to build the vehicle, and the economic pressures put on primary investor LeEco in recent months, however, have called into question the chances of actually seeing Faraday Future advance past prototype. Faraday promises to deliver more information about the FF91 via a series of upcoming events, but it would seem that with all eyes on the automaker here at CES, the official unveiling represented something of a missed opportunity for the company to make a dazzling impression on the media crowd.