Faraday Future had a test driving event on Monday to show off the prototype of its flagship FF91, exactly a year after they unveiled the electric luxury car at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in an overly hyped-up reveal.
According to local media (in Chinese), only a handful of journalists and guests were invited to the exclusive event that was located not far away from the Las Vegas Convention Center, where CES events are held. Representatives from Lenovo and Haier, as well as Fang Xingdong—the founder of ChinaLabs embroiled in controversy lately—were reportedly on the guest list
The electric vehicle startup had a tough year in 2017, to say the least. Bad news seems to haunt the automaker non-stop, including FF’s main financial backer Jia Yueting being knee-deep in financial woes and the departure of three top executives as its manufacturing stalls. Much has been written about the company’s struggles and empty promises ever since it debuted the FF91.
At the test drive event, an FF executive said the company’s financial problems have been alleviated and 75% of its suppliers have resumed their operation. However, the representative refused to comment further on the source of funding.
The FF91 has gone through some modifications since its debut last year, including the replacement of the interior and exterior rearview mirrors with a display screen and cameras. The FF91 is kitted out with sensors that enable full level 3 autonomous-driving capabilities and partial level 4 autonomous-driving features.
According to the reporter who got to test drive the FF91, the test drive went smoothly for the most part, but there were a few minor hitches including tire burnouts and a rear door malfunction. The company’s corporate communication executive told local media that “The funding issues did hold up the production, but now we are doing series of testing including engineering verification tests. For example, we are testing the vehicle on extreme road conditions to ensure its reliability… We are planning to deliver a small batch by the end of this year…”
The official price of the FF91 has yet to be released, but it is rumored to start at $120,000. “We are not matching Tesla’s price point,” the company said. Adding that they are comparing themselves to luxury car brands like Bentley and Rolls-Royce, but with a significantly lower price.