When Faraday Future brought out its FFZERO1 concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show over the week, the tech world was blown away. The car world was less than impressed. But what do normal, non-car people think about Faraday Future’s wild concept? That’s what I tried to find out.
Before we get to the Detroit Auto Show this week, it only felt right to look back at one of the most talked-about things from CES—at least, for us car people.
The anticipation leading up to Faraday Future’s launch was fun—there’s no denying it. It was a company that we knew virtually nothing about, but somehow enough for $335 million in incentives from the state of Nevada for its factory. Promising, right?
But then, Faraday Future came to CES and shifted all of the hype into reverse.
Renderings of the FFZERO1 concept leaked the morning of its debut, and the images seemed unreal—in a bad way. An uninspiring presentation full of buzzwords and tech speak before CES followed. Speakers even compared Faraday Future to Apple at its inception, which was, well, absurd. (Be the next Apple, don’t introduce yourself as it.)
After sitting through all of that, we learned that the leaked concept was in fact the car brought to CES. But thing sitting on the stage was a shell of a car that would never see the pavement of a track in competition.
Needless to say, it was a disappointment. What Faraday Future did is about like starting a company to manufacture two-seater planes, and bringing a spaceship that not even NASA will be allowed to purchase to the debut. It just doesn’t make sense.
But perhaps Faraday Future isn’t trying to get our attention. After all, we in the car industry are critical. Maybe they’re trying to reach a different crowd—one blown away by video game-looking cars and not really concerned with whether an engine is inside or not.
With that thought, the question became: what do our everyday, non-car enthusiast counterparts think about the car, and company, they’ve never heard of? Would the public refer to this company as “FF,” or “WTF” (like we did)?
It was clear what had to be done here. Thus, I sent a couple of shots of the car/spaceship/thing lacking actual car parts to the printer.
Then I made a list of questions to go along with the photo and wandered the streets of Brenham and College Station, Texas, asking people what they thought of it. Being the pestering, over-talkative person I am, this idea sounded like a blast.
Straightforward enough. Here we go.
It looks like something that would “fight ugliness,” obviously. That’s what Faraday Future’s leaders told us at the CES presentation. (No, really. They did.)
But let’s see if other folks agreed.
It looks like a car. It kind of looks like one of those (clothing) clips. It looks like a Batmobile. -A.L.
[Long pause] ...It looks like a car. Is it a car? - E.B.
A Ferrari. It looks like a Batman car, too. It looks like a Camaro, it looks like a spaceship, it looks like everything. It has everything.
It’s like, some cars now, they’re making them look like all cars—a little bit from each one. But it’s cool. It’s different. -G.S.
Batmobile. Or, it looks like that Speed Racer car. -L.H.
“Oh my God, that’s like a mixture of a poorly constructed Lambo and an old El Camino. They F[F]’ed it up.” -P.W.
It looks like a spaceship Lamborghini. -J.B.
And then we went to my mom, a self-proclaimed Mazda MX-5 lover and owner. Mom, what does this (car) look like?
A really awesome car. Hell yes, it looks like a car from the future.
...Are you recording me? I’m going to smack the shit out of you. [She means this in the least-threatening way possible.]
OK, Mom. Let’s break that evaluation down.
I think it looks awesome. This picture, I can definitely tell that this is the end I would drive. But this one, you could go either way. I think that’s the front [in the upper photo], but in this picture [the lower photo], I think that’s the front. So, it’s a tuxedo sports car (?).
See, you’re getting very specific. I just think it looks like a hot car. How’s that?
It’s a hot car that can drive from either end, apparently. Oh, wait—we still haven’t actually seen it drive.
It doesn’t look normal. It does look like a futuristic car. -E.B.
Yes it does. And it looks like a Ferrari, both at the same time. So, it’s crossing over to both of them. -G.S.
Definitely looks futuristic. Not saying I like it, but it looks futuristic. -L.H.
Very futuristic. In a great way. I would drive it. Do I get it? Do I win the contest? -J.B.
[Editor’s note: I wish I had the power—and the money—to give away cars in contests. One of these days, maybe.]
Knowing that interesting little tidbit of information, would you purchase a car from that company? Is that the correct way to launch a consumer product, or does it make Faraday Future less credible with its future promises?
No. I mean, I wouldn’t buy it unless I had ridiculous money. -A.L.
No. Not at all. It’s just—people would die in that car. That’s reckless. [If they made some street cars, you wouldn’t go for that?] No. Not at all. -E.B.
Is it a new car company? A brand-new company that would sell? [Yes.] I don’t know. I would have to test drive the car first. Depends on how nice the interior was. -L.H.
No, I wouldn’t. And I’ll tell you why. For one, I probably couldn’t afford it. I would wait, because I would like to see years down the line how it goes—if it’s reliable and if it’s worth it. I would wait. -G.S.
How much does it cost? No price figures yet? [No cars or price figures are available just yet.] So, it’s like Tesla? Oh, yeah—absolutely. I would look into that if that was here, yes. -J.H.
And lastly, some commentary from Mom over whether or not she would purchase a car from Faraday Future.
Because it’s really awesome looking! They’ll sell something similar, I’m sure.
If they can design something that cool, then I’d like to see what else they could do.
We’d like to see what else they could do too, Mom. Probably for different reasons.
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