Wednesday 22 November 2017

Tesla rival Faraday Future unveils ‘Batmobile’ concept car that can do 0-60 in under 3 seconds

Faraday Future's electric ‘Batmobile’ concept car
Faraday Future's electric ‘Batmobile’ concept car

Adrian Weckler in Las Vegas

A Californian start-up has unveiled an electric ‘Batmobile’ concept car that has a top speed of 330km (200 miles) per hour and can do 0-100km (62 miles) per hour in 3 seconds.

Faraday Future, which is currently building a billion-dollar factory outside Las Vegas, released pictures and videos of the concept car early on Tuesday morning to kick off CES, the world’s biggest consumer tech show that is being held in the Nevada city.

The concept car, called the FFZERO1, also has a smartphone as part of the steering wheel, a glass roof and a biometric instrument panel to let drivers track their health and other biological stimuli.

The vehicle’s curves are strongly reminiscent of the fictional vehicle used by comic book character Batman.

Faraday Future, which is backed by Chinese internet billionaire Jia Yueting, claims that it is considering “limited production” of the vehicle in the future.

Faraday Future has set the tone for what could be a tech show dominated by car manufacturers showing off new ideas and concepts.

Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen and other car makers have descended on the annual electronics show in unprecedented numbers, seeking to emphasise their credentials in being part of the next wave of automotive technology. Self-driving cars are top of the menu this year, as are new types of uses for cars. “Mobility as a service” is the catchphrase being used by many car company executives this week.

General Motors recently announced that it invested $500m (€454m) in Lyft, the 'ride-sharing' service that competes with Uber. The gives the company just under 10pc of Lyft's valuation and an inside track into a new division of motoring. As part of the hook-up, GM is set to provide Lyft with a fleet of self-driving cars that are exclusive from Uber. The car giant also says that it will have its first self-driving electric cars (in the form of the Chevrolet Bolt) on US roads by the end of 2016.

Ford is due to male several announcements, including the expansion of its compatibility with Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto in-car entertainment platforms.

Ford’s own AppLink system will also soon be able to give third party apps access to some vehicle data for practical purposes, like expensing mileage automatically.

Volkswagen's big announcement looks set to be around a concept electric minivan, apparently called 'Budd.e’.

CES is being attended by over 150,000 delegates and 3,600 exhibitors. Its display area is the equivalent of 20 Croke Parks in size.

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