Faraday Future R&D boss Nick Sampson claims that the Nio EVE concept that was unveiled recently at the SXSW is a knockoff of the FF91. This self-driving concept car is the Chinese automaker's first mass-market model which aims to hit roads by 2020.
Nick Sampson took to Twitter the line: "Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but poor clones get it wrong because we are promoting individuality."
"Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but poor clones get it wrong because we are promoting individuality" https://t.co/lCFMwySQlo
— Nick Sampson (@NickSampsonFF) March 11, 2017
When another Twitter user commented on Nick Samson's post, the R&D boss noted: "really...the design language is so similar.. and the wheels! ..our design was settled well over a year ago... leaks!!" He did emphasized on the comparable wheels of both vehicles.
According to Electrek, both the FF91 and Nio EVE concepts were unveiled 3 months apart. Interesting, right? So, based on Samson's suggestions, the EVE's design was a spawn of an "industrial espionage." This would answer your query as to why the concept came out so fast. But these are merely accusations.
Of course, by looking at the Nio EVE's duckbill-style front end matched with a silhouette that looks close to a hatchback or a crossover, you would be reminded of the Faraday Future FF91 that was unveiled during the 2017 CES. Yes, the overall shape of the EVE matches that of the FF91, although Faraday Future's EV lacks the massive sliding doors of the EVE.
Other than that, they have other more pressing similarities. Both are emphasizing on autonomous driving and are luxury SUVs powered by an electric drivetrain.
However, CNET noted that since these are concept cars, most (if not all) of what has been unveiled would likely change when the EV is put into production.
The re-branded start-up Nio, formerly NextEV, positions the Nio EVE as more of a digital companion than a self-driving car. The vehicle uses an AI named NOMI that interacts with its passengers.
Since its focus is not on the driving, it comes with 2 sliding doors with an interior that reminds you of your living room. You can use the rear seat to recline almost nearly flat and use the folding tables to get work done when you are in a rush.
Regardless of who copied who or if one did copy the other, the finished production will be the judge of that. Nio plans to launch the Nio EVE in China first by 2018 and then ship them to the US by 2020. Meanwhile, Faraday Future's FF91 is yet to be seen in the future.