With pomp and circumstance, Faraday Future announced that the first units of the forever-awaited FF91 are being delivered to the customers as you read this article. It’s tremendous news - the company has been so close to collapsing too many times to count, it went through stormy boardroom fights and management changes, but in the end - it was able to deliver a car to consumers' driveways. It fullfilled its mission, and the futuristic FF991 is finally here - there is one problem with it though.
And it’s a whopper, it’s not an elephant in a china store - oh no. This is a herd of elephants stampeding through Stark Expo, shattering Howard Stark’s dreams and Tony’s future. FF91 was meant to be a glimpse of the future, and it still is, but it faces its biggest threat ever - after all the battles were won, Faraday Future set the price for FF91 at a heart-stopping $309,000.
If that sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve followed the Lightyear’s rise to fame and fiery end - simply because the company priced its revolutionary car at a ridiculous level. When the Ligtyear Zero was unveiled, it was touted to cost $127,700. When it was eventually launched, Lightyear asked for $320,000 with all the taxes included - apparently the executives still wonder why not a single car was sold.
Clearly, nobody at Faraday Future followed that story. In all fairness, the FF91 was meant to cost “only” $200,000, so the jump to $309,000 isn’t as big. Not a big deal? It’s a huge deal! It’s a deal that puts the survival of the car and the whole company on the line, and this feels like a setup to fail.
Faraday Future compares its car to the likes of the Ferrari SF90, it claims it’s on the level with the Rolls-Royce Spectre and is better than the Maybach EQS 680 SUV. The truth is - Maybach can be had for far less money, in fact, Maybach is a bargain next to the FF91. You can buy the Maybach and have enough money left for the Tesla Model S Plaid, instead of buying the FF91.
In one sentence, Faraday Future describes itself as a “disruptor of ultra-luxury cars” and then admits the interior of FF91 lacks in the luxury department when compared to the brands it tries to upset. There is a huge sense of disconnect in the message that Faraday Future is trying to send to the world.
There is no doubt the FF91 is luxurious and powerful - it has a 1,050 hp tri-motor powertrain with a ridiculous 1,458 lb-ft of torque. That is enough to catapult it from 0 to 60 mph in a coma-inducing 2.27 seconds - sure, not quite Tesla S Plaid, but quicker than the Ferrari SF90. The FF91 has a ground-breaking range of 381 miles which puts it far ahead of its competitors - but is all of that enough to demand $309,000?
Not all news is bad, that shocking price is reserved for the FF91 Futurist Alliance launch edition, the company confirmed the FF91 2.0 Futurist “regular” version will be priced at $249,000 which is still a truck-load of money for a new company to ask for a car. To sweeten the deal, Faraday Future will offer owners 60% of the value of the car when they trade it in for a new model after 3 years. Luxury cars lose about 40% to 50% of their sticker price in the first 5 years, so 40% after 3 years is still a big number.
And there’s the cherry on the cake - or a nail in the coffin. Like many other manufacturers, Faraday Future is promising a lot of ADAS functions, though many of them are not available yet and will come later, thanks to the OTA updates. Updates, and subscriptions of course, because that’s the rage these days. But Faraday Future won’t be playing around with a heated seat subscription, oh no. The company asks $14,900 per year (!!!) for its assisted driving feature that can help the FF91 park itself. You could actually pay a person to do it for you, and it would be cheaper.
Has Faraday Future lost its plot and is risking the survival of the company? Or does Faraday Future know what it’s doing and is about to turn the luxury vehicle market upside down? All it needs is to sell the 300 units of the Futurist Alliance edition to prove the world wrong - no pressure at all.