“An entirely new species”: The car of the future has little to show for itself but fancy words

The FF91.
The FF91.
Image: Quartz/Mike Murphy
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Las Vegas, Nevada

At an event in a massive tent on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Faraday Future showed what its vision of the future of driving looks like. The Chinese startup, which made a splash at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show by unveiling a sleek self-driving concept car, rolled out the FF91, its first production autonomous car. (Curiously, it provided no information on what happened to the first 90 model numbers).

Faraday Future has faced a series of high-level departures in the last few weeks, including top executives and its cofounder. In December, the Verge also reported that it was “on the brink of collapse.” The company needed today’s launch (Jan. 3) to go off without a hitch, but ultimately it had little to show for, save a failed demo and a plethora of jargon.

The event included a demonstration of the FF91 parking itself in a lot outside the tent, and, for some reason, a series of drag races against rival cars. There was also an attempt to show off some of the features that will theoretically differentiate the car from other electric vehicles, such as those produced by Tesla, but that didn’t exactly go to plan. Yueting Jia, the CEO of LeEco, a Chinese internet company that has invested in Faraday, walked onstage to test out the FF91’s apparent ability to recognize the face of its owner before unlocking itself and its ability to drive somewhere on its own on command, but the car did not comply. Eventually, after the presenter called the car “lazy tonight” and a technician had a look, it crawled to the middle of the stage and the event continued.

What was shown in full force, however, was the use of confusing or meaningless jargon and phrases, to a point where the event almost seemed like a parody of a CES product unveiling. Below is a list of some of the jargon Quartz recorded during the hour-and-a-half event:

  • “A new era of mobility”
  • “The first of a new species”
  • “Independent of fossil fuels”
  • “We’re a technology company”
  • “Disruption is what the world needs”
  • “We could truly change the game”
  • “Internet of vehicles”
  • “An entirely new species”
  • “It’s more than just a car”
  • “The world’s first ecosystem connected car”
  • “Our intelligent entity”
  • “A caring entity”
  • “A multilayer multi-technology contingency system”
  • “Modular architecture”
  • “Variable platform architecture”
  • “How potent is our pack?”
  • “The art of the electric vehicle”
  • “Maximizing electric performance is an art”
  • “The world’s first all-in-one car model”
  • “Hyper-aerodynamic nature”
  • “Aesthetically integrated”
  • “UFO line”
  • “Flying buttresses”
  • “We will carry on to make the impossible possible”
  • “The car that may not be a car at all”

Faraday Future said an initial run of 300 FF91s will be available in March for those interested and able to spend $5,000 on a deposit made through the company’s website. It did not, however, say how much the car would cost.