Now that everything appears to be set in motion for Faraday Future’s factory in Nevada, it would be convenient for the electric car startup to have a product to build in its $1 billion plant. While the company unveiled a concept earlier this year, the vehicle is not intended for production.
Not much is known about Faraday’s first production car, but it is expected to be an all-electric luxury crossover with a shape similar to the outline in the picture above. The company is not sharing a lot of information, but this week gave us a glimpse of its engineering mule tests.
The company writes in a blog post published yesterday:
“Engineering a new car requires more than simply combining the best available parts and housing them in an attractive shell. It requires meticulous testing, deep data analysis, and a conductor’s touch to orchestrate the individual interaction of each element, culminating in the product’s overall performance.”
Faraday, also known as FF, claims that the company has been holding mule trials for almost a year now, even though the company was founded less than two years ago. The company is reportedly testing its vehicles in extreme environments : “from the sweltering heat of desert asphalt to ice- and snow-covered roads in sub-zero driving conditions.”
The startup shared a very short video of a test mule on a race track:
Matt Lubbers, FF’s Brakes and Chassis Control Engineer, commented on the program:
“Some people call a mule [engineering test vehicle] a ‘hacked up car. They’re built to test our mechanical and technical systems… they may not look like a production vehicle, but they certainly run like one.”
Indeed, the company also shared a few pictures and we can see a glimpse of the interior, which is completely stripped down. Here’s Matt in and under the mule:
“Traditionally, manufacturers’ early mules are merely existing cars, modified to test maybe one or two newer elements: just the chassis or just the powertrain, for example. At FF, on the other hand… every key element was engineered and integrated from the ground up. After running pre-vehicle simulation and sub-system validation, we’re able to explore and optimize all sides of engineering in a vehicle from its very first test drive.”
“The powertrain, the suspension, the electrical architecture, the battery, the control system – they’re all here… Aside from its exterior shell, beyond just looks,” Matt smiles, “this car is FF to its core.”
Lubbers is describing the company’s EV platform called VPA, which is short for Variable Platform Architecture.
The platform at first glance looks exactly like Tesla’s – motors on one or each axle, battery pack extending flat on the floor – but where FF tries to differentiate itself is with a higher degree of customization, hence the word variable in the name.
The company claims it can easily change the size of the crumple zone and “strings” of battery packs on the platform, which enables the production of compact cars and pickup trucks on the same platform.
As of the latest update, the company still plans to bring its first vehicle to market next year.