Faraday Future's EV Concept Car Makes Sci-Fi Real

LAS VEGAS — When it unveiled its beastly 1,000 HP FF Zero 1 electric concept car yesterday (Jan. 7), Faraday Futures stole the show and claimed CES 2016 as its own. In less than a month, when the company breaks ground on its new billion-dollar plant, even big-time electric-vehicle makers may be a few minutes closer to midnight.

That's because while the FF Zero is just a prototype, it is built on Faraday Future's variable platform architecture (VPA), the keystone technology that will be the chassis for all of the company's future cars.

VPA is a fancy name for a modular battery system that also serves as the car's frame. Changing the number of batteries will extend, or shorten, the wheelbase of the skateboard-like frame. This lets Faraday build different types of cars without needing to create a whole new platform every time.

MORE: Connected Cars: A Guide to New Vehicle Technology

This flexibility drastically shortens Faraday's development time, and the proof is the FF Zero 1, which a company spokesman said went from a sketch to the CES show floor in only three months. The VPA also provides mounting points for up to three electric engines (or four in the case of the FF Zero 1), allowing for Faraday to supply just the right amount of oomph to every segment.

All of this means that when Faraday makes a new model, the only real work to be done is the fun part: creating a body and designing the interior. And while the technology is nice, the FF Zero 1's savage future styling is even better.

The FF Zero 1 looks like a Bugatti Veyron got stolen by an advanced alien race, and was returned looking meaner, sleeker and ready to squash the oncoming wave of feeble electric vehicles. Flairs like the big crease along the side, which Faraday Future head of design Richard Kim called the "UFO line," will live on in upcoming cars. Based on the looks of this concept, those future cars are almost guaranteed to be stunners.

The body of the car features a channel running through the center that lets passers-by look down through nearly the entire length of the car. While I'm not sure if it was a demonstration trick, or a slick projector built-in to the clear vertical fin at the back of the vehicle, small touches such as displaying the name of the concept using crisp white lighting shows Faraday Future's impressive attention to detail.

As for the mysterious Faraday Future upcoming car, all the company would say is that it's targeting the premium EV market with a production car in just two or three years. You hear that, Tesla? Faraday Future is coming for you, and with a concept as promising as the FF Zero 1, the current darling of the automotive industry looks like it will have some serious competition sooner rather than later.

Sam is a Senior Writer at Engadget and previously worked at Gizmodo as a Senior Reporter. Before that, he worked at Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer and Senior Product Review Analyst, overseeing benchmarks and testing for countless product reviews. He was also an archery instructor and a penguin trainer too (really).