A Twitter user stumbled across Faraday Future's iOS app, which we're guessing wasn't supposed to be pushed live yet. He posted images to the social network of a vehicle that was a far cry from the earliest teasers. That single shot from July of 2015 shows the back of a tallish hatchback-like thing, kind of like a Volkswagen XL1 mixed with a BMW i3.
A video released shortly before Christmas and titled "What If?," shows a very similar profile (as you can see in the screenshot above). In that video, the camera pans to show the silhouette of what is most likely a hatch against the wall of a freeway. You can watch the full video below.
So much of the future depends on how we get there. Come with us. https://t.co/2OaZWecNpU— Faraday Future (@FaradayFuture) December 22, 2015
But the images that popped up today – uncovered by Twitter user @supererogatory – show a far less practical vehicle. It's sleek, aerodynamic, and sports elements inspired by endurance racing.
Hey CES/tech/auto ppl, here's some stuff about Faraday Future's secretive concept, slated to be unveiled tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/bhHwaFHE4Y— superannuation (@supererogatory) January 4, 2016
As you can see above, it features a prominent center fin, a long split tail that sits above an aggressive diffuser, and a chin that looks like it'd cry if faced with a speed bump. The almost cab-forward cockpit features wraparound glass with a transparent roof. But we wouldn't count on this one ever hitting local roads. The cockpit looks like there's only room for one, and judging by both the single harness and the "Super Soft" rating on the tires, we're betting that this is a pure concept, albeit a track-inspired one.
A ten-second spot, for what FF calls its CES concept car, shows a few glimpses of what could be the race-inspired concept. In that clip, we're treated to images of carbon fiber, a race track, and what we're guessing is the car from the app images driving around.
Equally astonishing are the claimed stats for the racy concept. According to the app, which was captured on video by YouTube user supergalaxies (we've embedded it below), the electric powertrain uses something the copy refers to as "Quad Core drive with over 1,000 horsepower." It'll hit 60 miles per hour in under three seconds and accelerate to 200 mph. It also has "Customizable modular battery string technology." If that sounds like science fiction, well, you're not far off.
While this concept looks good, multiple reports have surfaced indicating that what we'll see on the CES stage tonight is nothing but an undrivable shell. That shouldn't come as a huge surprise, though. FF would be far from the first company to take such an approach to the auto show stage. Disappointing as FF's plan to show a statue is, it's still far too soon to toss Faraday Future into the ranks of vaporware manufacturers.
As we've covered before, Faraday has done an excellent job of recruiting top talent, including execs from BMW i, Tesla, General Motors, and Volvo. And while this kind of commitment isn't nearly as firm as showing an actual production model or hiring very good engineers, designers, and leaders, FF also made headlines early last month when it selected Nevada as the home for a future $1-billion manufacturing facility. And unlike a lot of true vaporware manufacturers, the simple fact that Faraday Future is showing something at a live event is a mark of its seriousness.
And what of the hatchback that's been teased before? Well, it's hard to say. We'd expect this race-inspired concept to inform the design of a production model in both noticeable and not-so-noticeable ways. But we wouldn't count on FF taking the supercar route on its first go.
Of course, we'll be getting all the details later tonight, when Faraday Future makes its big debut later today at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. Things kick off at 11:00 P.M. EST. Check back then.