Despite facing numerous financial, legal and internal challenges in recent times, Faraday Future has confirmed it will be competing in the 95th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb later this month. The fledgling electric vehicle maker will be running a Beta development FF 91 ("nine one") as the first of a series of public tests designed to help bring the production version of its all-electric SUV to market in 2018.
Faraday Future unveiled the FF 91 at CES in January and announced its intention to race at this year's Pikes Peak event in February. Many wondered whether the company would still be operating come July due to reports of financial problems, unpaid bills, lawsuits from suppliers and an exodus of senior employees – the company is still without a CEO, but says one will be named in the next month. But it is still around, and has confirmed it will indeed be showing up to Pikes Peak as promised.
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Faraday Future will be competing in the Pikes Peak Challenge – Exhibition Class with a pre-production FF 91 that is fitted with hardware representative of what will appear in the production vehicle and software that has been tweaked to make the car compatible with the particular requirements necessary for a Pikes Peak run. This includes the ability to cover a track that climbs 4,720 ft (1.4 km) from the starting line.
Electric vehicles have proven themselves on the Pikes Peak course numerous times, which is unsurprising since electric motors don't suffer from the same negative effects of operating at altitude as combustion engines. Just last year, the Go Puck team set a new record of 11:48.264 in the Electric Production class driving a modified Tesla Model S P90D.
However, neither the Go Puck team or Tesla itself will make the event in 2017, making Faraday Future the first dedicated EV maker to participate in the hill climb.
"The hill climb on PikesPeak serves as the ideal setting to further develop the electric propulsion system and supporting thermal systems of FF 91," says Nick Sampson, Senior Vice President of Research and Development. "Testing the performance of FF 91 in real-world conditions sets the bar even higher as we bring the vehicle to market in 2018."
The Pikes Peak appearance also marks the start of a video series that Faraday Future will roll out to keep the public in the loop on its testing efforts. The first video in the series, detailing testing of the FF 91's Dynamic Vehicle Control, can be seen below. It will be interesting to see of the car's all-wheel steering system handles the 156 turns of the Pikes Peak course.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb kicks off on June 25.
Source: Faraday Future
Update (June 22, 2017): This article originally stated that the Go Puck team would compete in the 2017 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. This statement was incorrect and has been removed from the article. We sincerely apologize for the error.