2017 CESFaraday FutureOpinion

History Repeats in the Future – The Faraday Future FF 91

tucker-48Photo Credit: Rex Gray / Flickr

If you follow any sort of automotive media, or journalist, on the internet then you were probably scrolling through minutes of news about the Faraday Future’s FF 91. The FF 91 debuted at the CES in Las Vegas last night to a room of people who had officially ran out of patience waiting for the long overdue showing of this latest example of the car of tomorrow.

This morning I warmed up my brain for the day by reading what other auto writers and journalists were saying about the FF 91. Anyone who didn’t know what the FF 91 was could easily say that they sounded like a pack of mean girls criticizing a teacher’s outfit, to her face. It made me wonder if the press had a similar reaction nearly 70 years ago when Preston Tucker unveiled the Tucker 48. After reading what happened at the Faraday Future debut I began to see vague similarities between the two vehicles.

When Preston Tucker unveiled his famed Tucker 48 it was marketed as the car of tomorrow promising “too good to be true” safety features and performance. The day it was shown to the public it was at the warehouse where the Tucker factory “would be” and they had two prototypes that weren’t exactly road worthy. One of them had no reverse gear and the suspension collapsed from the Tucker’s weight.

Overheating was also an issue and the engine noise was so loud that Tucker told the live band to play as long as possible to drown out the noisy engine. Out of fear that the prototype on display would clunk out, and prove difficult to start, the engineers kept it running throughout the whole show. Imagine trying to maintain a CEO smile of confidence while the car of your dreams sits behind you hissing steam from a boiled over radiator, and then have to ask for deposits.

The Faraday Future FF 91’s debut went a lot smoother than Tucker’s but it still had its fair share of hiccups. An unfinished interior, no information on pricing, vague business plans with no clear leader, no factory to build them, and a failed autonomous test was the bloody chum sharks with keyboards needed. Then Faraday asked for $5,000 deposits for anyone willing to wait until 2018, or suspected unknown amount of time.

The Faraday Future is promising a lot with their FF 91, like:

  • 1050hp electric motor capable of giving passengers whiplash traveling from 0-60 in 2.39 seconds.
  • Facial recognition for true key-less entry. The FF 91 will also “know” and “learn” a driver’s habits and adapt to them.
  • Valet Mode – Fully autonomous parking.
  • 378 miles of range.
  • Mirrors replaced with HD cameras.
  • Variable Platform Architecture – A new way of building cars using modular wheelbases, battery infrastructure, and motor configuration.
  • Suicide doors ,which never go out of style in my opinion.

The Tucker 48 looked like nothing else on the road in the late 1940’s. The FF 91 sort of reminds me of a future concept of a Lincoln MKX. It is a crossover, a station wagon, or a van?

Much like the Tucker 48, the FF 91 does exist, but that’s not the issue. The issue is will the company survive long enough to put it into production. After that comes the real challenge of getting journalists and consumers to fall in love with it. Personally I think the FF 91, and other concepts like it, are fantastic and I hope they live up to the hype if/when they do go into production. Anyone who knows the history of the Tucker 48 understands how ahead of its time the car was, so let’s stay optimistic and hope Faraday Future manages to build more than 51 FF 91.

Jesus R. Garcia
the authorJesus R. Garcia
Jesus R. Garcia is an automotive journalist and contributor to Future Motoring. He's a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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