Currently drives: BMW 1 Series
Until a relatively short time ago, Faraday Future was principally funded by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, whose main business is the internet and telecom giant LeEco. Yueting's businesses kept Faraday afloat up until this spring, when unpaid loan payments forced a court in China to freeze some $182 million in assets. As this source of cash dried up, Faraday Future embarked on a cash-raising campaign this spring, seeking to attract new investors mostly by publishing videos of the FF91 prototype. The startup was also forced to drop plans for a $1 billion factory just outside of Las Vegas and sought out a smaller existing facility in California with some effort. The halt of LeEco funding has also forced Faraday to place its Formula E team into hibernation, and to whittle down a planned lineup of seven electric models to just two.
And returning to the environmental theme, and demonstrating how far we’ve come today, we gave the Cavalier extra "greenie points" for being the only car in that test to have a "switchable microchip that enables it to run on unleaded fuel". Hell’s bells, that cutting-edge gizmo meant that, with the flick of a connector under the bonnet, this microchipped marvel could run on the funny new petrol from the green pumps.
What to do when your car understeers
To differentiate the 575 (575 denoting the car’s power output in PS) from other XJs, the design team has incorporated a number of tailor-made design details for this low-production model. These include a more aggressive front bumper, curvaceous side sills and a subtle rear spoiler. Twin bonnet louvres and 20in gloss black alloy wheels complete the understated yet menacing look.
Under the bonnet, UK buyers will be offered a 2.4-litre four-cylinder diesel engine producing 178bhp and 430Nm of torque, sending power to a selectable all-wheel-drive system via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Features such as hill descent control, trailer assist and hill start assist will be standard equipment in the UK.
As standard, every X2 will come with BMW's iDrive infotainment and navigation system presented on a 6.5in screen (although that can grow to an 8.8in touchscreen if drivers select an upgraded set-up). The system is similar to that in the new 5 Series this year and can be had in conjunction with an optional head-up display, which projects speed and navigation instructions directly into the driver's field of vision.
Infiniti has teased that a new SUV – most likely the next-generation QX50 – will be revealed ahead of the Los Angeles Motor Show at a set-piece Infiniti event on 28 November.
Removed from its natural habitat and heading down a demanding country road, it’s less supreme. With vague steering and relatively soft suspension, the Cavalier feels unwieldy and often gets pitched off line by mid-corner lumps and bumps. It’s easy to see why, in 1995, Ford regained the upper hand – and its pride – with the Sierra’s ground-up replacement: the sharp-handling Mondeo. On which point, we’ll have more on that chapter for you soon.