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Faraday Future's FF 91 Sets New 'Production EV' Record at Pikes Peak

Last week, we showed you a few launch tests that the Faraday Future team was performing in the wake of the Pikes Peak race held during this weekend.
Faraday Future FF 91 at Pikes Peak 1 photo
Photo: Faraday Future
The wannabe EV manufacturer came to the legendary Colorado hill climb with very clear ambitions: they wanted to beat the production EV record set last year by a stripped down Tesla Model S P90D of 11 minutes and 48 seconds.

We said then that it's a make or break situation for Faraday Future who was kind of going all in with this last ditch attempt. Struggling for cash at the moment, the company needed to impress in order to at least stand a chance of convincing anyone to invest in its vehicle, and nothing but a new record would have done.

In front of it was one of the most gruesome races in the world. It may not span over 24 hours like the Le Mans event, but that doesn't make it any less demanding on the driver and the car. With a total length of 12.42 miles (20 km), 156 turns, and an altitude difference of nearly one mile (4,720 ft or 1,440 m), these numbers only tell half the story.

The other half is described by the extreme weather conditions you would expect at altitudes such as these, the lack of protective barriers and the constant risk of death. One false move or a major technical malfunction, and you risk going down the hill much faster than you had climbed it.

Luckily for Faraday Future, it all went well, and the FF 91 ('nine one,' as the company insists it should be read) finished the race in one piece. Even more so, it managed to better last year's record set by Tesla by over 20 seconds, stopping the clock at 11 minutes 25 seconds and 83 milliseconds.

Technically, the record shouldn't stand as calling the FF 91 a 'production EV' really stretches the notion since, for all intents and purposes, the vehicle is just a prototype. Faraday Future argues that it is 'production designed' and that it uses 'production representative hardware, software, and aerodynamics,' so you'll be the judge of that.

The previous year, the Tesla corrected the record by a full minute, while the FF 91 only managed to beat that by 20 seconds. Unfortunately, the Model S P100D that was supposed to run this year didn't show up, so we'll likely have to wait another 12 months before we find out how fast Tesla's most powerful vehicle can complete the climb.

Whatever it will be, don't expect the times to be bettered by a significant degree anymore. The playing field is becoming more level with each day while the technological leaps are getting shorter and shorter, so we'll probably be dealing with mere seconds from now on, if not even less than that.

For now, though, Faraday Future has achieved its goal. 20 seconds may not sound like much for a run that takes 11+ minutes to complete, but that's misleading. Besides, the EV time is better than that of any gas-powered vehicle outside the 'unlimited' category, so there's clearly a future for electric power at Pikes Peak.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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