The grand unveiling of the LeEco LeSEE Pro electric car didn't go exactly as planned. After a long shaggy dog story involving a car accident, sleepless nights, and Michael Bay, it turns out the car made it to LeEco's grand event. Which meant I had a chance to fight through a literal mob of people to get a front row spot to see the tarp pulled off.
It looks like a concept car whose sole purpose is to scream at you: "I AM FROM THE FUTURE" — even though you might not believe it. Behind the front seats, there are these weird tiers. On the roof, there is a sensor system that looks entirely too svelte to actually house anything useful for autonomous driving. The thing is pretty, but in a concept-car kind of way — the kind of pretty that makes you assume it will never actually get made.
During the presentation, LeEco Chairman Jia Yueting and the company's other executives said they weren't ready to unveil the car's cost, production schedule, or other pertinent details. All they would say was that the LeSEE Pro was "more intelligent and more connected" than the original LeSee concept car first unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show last April.
The car's steering wheel can retract into the dashboard when in autonomous mode, giving the driver more room to kick back and consume all of LeEco's streaming entertainment content.
The car features an exterior light display that shifts between five different colors to signal what drive mode its in. Depending on the color, the car will inform drivers and pedestrians when the vehicle is driving autonomously, sees a hazard, is charging, or is car-share ready, LeEco says.
In an interesting twist, LeEco is also bankrolling Faraday Future, the California-based electric car startup that has poached hundreds of auto industry staff in recent years and is currently building a $1 billion factory in Nevada. Yueting said that company's first production ready vehicle would be unveiled at CES next year.