Faraday Future Will Race the FF91 Against Tesla at Pikes Peak This Year
The electric car start-up plans to bring its 1,050-horsepower Tesla-fighter to the world's most famous hill climb.
If there's one spot in the motorsports world where electric cars have already carved out a competitive niche, it's at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The last couple years have seen EVs claim a dominant place at the fabled uphill race against the clock, taking first place overall for the last two years thanks to their altitude-immune motors and ample low-end torque.
So if you're an electric car startup looking to grab some good PR for your new high-performance EV—like, say, Faraday Future and its FF91—Pikes Peak is a pretty good place to visit.
The Silicon Valley-by-way-of-China EV carmaker told The Verge it'll be running an FF91 prototype for development purposes, saying, "We continue to improve the powertrain we are preparing for our car, and Pikes Peak offers a demanding environment in which we can evaluate it." (Which sounds to us like the company's way of saying "We don't think we're going to set any records this year.")
Faraday Future will be competing in the exhibition class, which is basically an open division for companies and individuals to show off what they're capable of without being shoehorned into the specific demands of more traditional divisions. (For reference, that's the same division Honda ran its electric SH-AWD car built beneath a CR-Z body in back in 2015.) This means Pikes Peak should be our first chance to see Faraday Future's EV face off against the electric sedan benchmark, the Tesla Model S. Formula Drift wheelman Dai Yoshihara will be piloting a Tesla Model S P100D for Unplugged Performance in the same class.
It remains to be seen how fast Yoshihara and his P100D will be, but the results of last year's race give us something of a guideline. Last year, Blake Fuller ran his stripped-down, tuned-up Model S up the course in 11 minutes and 48 seconds, setting a new record for production electric cars at the mountain. If Faraday wants to prove itself worthy to fight Tesla in the real world (and turn around some of the bad press it's been accumulating in the last few months), beating the Model S up Pikes Peak would be a good place to start.
The 2017 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is set for June 25th.