Faraday Future, the mysterious company that gave us a non-functional Le Mans prototype wannabe concept instead of a real car months ago, finally found a functional motor vehicle to put its name on: Dragon Racing’s FIA Formula E Championship racer.
This isn’t Faraday Future’s first foray into Formula E, as they were the title sponsor for the Long Beach round of Formula E earlier this year. It is, however, the first time I’ve seen Faraday Future’s name on a car that exists and can function (as a car, not just as a fancy rolling doorstop) in real life.
Look at this! It’s a livery to be put on a car that runs and drives!
This real car that moves under its own power comes via a technical partnership with existing Formula E team Dragon Racing, reports The Verge. The new Faraday Future Dragon Racing car will debut at the start of Formula E’s third season this October.
According to James Allen on F1, the partnership was announced by Marco Mattiaci, a man famous for only being the team principal of Formula One’s Scuderia Ferrari for eight months before being replaced by Maurizio Arrivabene. (To his credit, Mattiaci did at least seal the deal with Sebastian Vettel.) Mattiaci currently serves as Global Chief Brand & Commercial Officer for Faraday Future.
Faraday Future plans to purchase a stake in the Dragon Racing team, which is currently owned by Roger Penske’s son, Jay. With the new partnership comes sponsorship from LeEco, the Chinese company that has invested in Faraday Future and is also working on its own electric Tesla Model S competitor.
Formula E has gradually been opening up more and more items to development, most notably allowing manufacturers to develop their own drivetrains this season in hopes of attracting more manufacturer involvement.
While Dragon Racing currently runs a drivetrain purchased from fellow team Venturi Racing, Faraday Future wants to put some of their technical expertise behind getting the most out of that drivetrain for next season, reports The Verge. By the fourth season, Faraday Future hopes to be running their own bespoke drivetrain components in the series.
Formula E wants will roll out a new chassis and battery for its fifth season, and Faraday Future wants to be involved with that development and changeover as well, per The Verge. Faraday Future wants to use the same inverter (the device which converts battery power into usable power for the motors that drive the car) that the company is developing for its road car in its Formula E racer starting in that season as well.
All of these are big asks for a company that has made little more than sweeping promises so far, so as with all things Faraday Future, we’ll believe it when we see it. Show us the cars, yo. At least this time, they’re starting off with something that already exists.
Formula E’s second season concludes tomorrow with one more London race, as only three points separate the top two drivers in the championship. Formula E’s third season calendar has been expanded to 12 events per Autosport, ending with an event in New York.