Right now, the default high-tech electric sports car of everyone's dreams is a Tesla. But that could change early next month.
Faraday Future, a Chinese-backed venture established in 2014 to steal the electric car mantle from Elon Musk and company, finally unveils its own speedy EV. The yet-to-be-named car could pack more futuristic features (hence the name) than Tesla's -- and possibly more muscle, too.
Here's everything we know about the Faraday Future car, ahead of its Las Vegas prototype release.
Faraday Future's website features a countdown clock set to the company's January 3, 2017 reveal at CES in Las Vegas. Under the countdown, a graphic shows the design of the car slowly materializing.
Best electric car battery yetIn October, Faraday Future announced a partnership with LG Chem (makers of the Chevy Bolt battery) to build the "world’s highest energy density" automotive battery. The battery will reportedly boast miles-per-kilowatt than Tesla's battery.
It will reportedly also come in a modular design. So rather than having to build an entirely different capacity battery for each model of car (as Tesla does), the same universal battery cells will be strung together for different models.
WATCH | A Faraday Future vs. Tesla Model S drag race
Fastest production car ever?
Capable of hitting 0 to 60mph in 2.5 seconds, the electric Tesla Model S is currently the quickest non-limited-edition car ever (sorry, Bugatti). A recent teaser by Faraday Future, however, shows its upcoming EV (camouflaged so as not to reveal its looks) edging out the Model S in a street race.
The 19-second video has few details (length of race, speed reached in the race, etc.) but does promise "results on 01.03.2017," the day the Faraday prototype is set to be unveiled.
A peek at the car's headlights and illuminated grill.
'Future' looks and features
Faraday Future has teased some of the Future features, including side-view cameras instead of mirrors (like BMW), full IoV (Internet of Vehicles) connectivity, next-level lights on its front, and wheels with their own motors. The car could be autonomous, too -- the company this year was licensed to test self-driving vehicles in California.
The NASA-inspired seats teased for the car, however, may not make the production model thanks to a now-dismissed lawsuit filed by the supplying company.
Camouflaged versions of (believed) Faraday Future cars have been seen on real streets.
On-demand vs. ownership
In an interview with The Verge last year, Faraday Future SVP Nick Sampson talked about a desire to build a car that "can just turn up when you need it."
He went on to explain why car "subscription" services makes sense for the fast-moving technology of today: "I don't have to buy one compromise vehicle, I can just have use of the perfect model when I need it."
WATCH | It's unclear what exactly is so cool about these wheels, but patent filings by Faraday Future suggest they have motors of their own inside. Kind of cool.
Built in the USA
Like Tesla, the Faraday Future electric car will be assembled in America, with the company currently constructing a $1-billion factory in Nevada and planning a second manufacturing facility in California.
Big names from tech, automotive and space
Faraday Future is financially partnered with the billionaire owner of LeEco, a Chinese tech company that's recently broken into American markets with smartphones, TVs, VR helmets and a Netflix-like content service.
American executives from Tesla, BMW and SpaceX have hopped over to Faraday Future since its 2014 inception.
Former employees give the dirt
Faraday Future has had a recent rash of very public splits with some higher-level managers, with one former executive describing "clashes" with the company's Chinese investors to The Guardian.
The same source said Faraday Future's soon-to-be-revealed car is in fact "not really a Tesla killer” and "much heavier, longer and bulkier than a Tesla but really sculpted and beautiful.”
Coming in 2019?
Faraday Future hasn't released an official timeline for its still-secret electric car, but reports and estimates have the car hitting American assembly lines in the next two years.
The former exec that spoke to The Guardian said to expect a $150,000 price tag. Tesla's Model S electric car (believed to be comparable) starts at just under $70,000.
Here's to hoping that "Faraday Future car subscription" will be real -- and reasonably priced.