04/04/2012 Fisker Atlantic makes debut in New York
On the eve of the New York Auto Show, Fisker took the wraps off its latest hybrid car. Essentially a scaled-down Karma, the compact saloon has a four-cylinder petrol engine to extend the range of the electric powerpack.
The new car may bear more than a familial resemblance to its older brother, but in fact it’s quite a bit smaller – think Audi A5 dimensions.
And it’ll be in a similar price range, too; at a special VIP preview event the night before the New York Auto Show, executive chairman Henrik Fisker suggested pricing would be at "the upper end of the BMW 3 Series”. So around £35,000, then.
To Fisker, this is more than an expansion of the brand. In recent months, things haven’t all been well in Fiskerville – the disappointment of losing out on millions of dollars' worth of government loans has been compounded by problems with the Karma’s battery packs. But the Atlantic is a clear message from the California-based start-up company that it’s focused on the future, not the past.
At the launch event, Henrik Fisker made it crystal clear that the Atlantic will be going into production; according to him, the company “doesn’t do concepts”, and he used the example of how little the Karma changed from its motor show inauguration to the showroom floor to emphasise his point. The racy red wheels might be toned down a little for production, but otherwise the Atlantic should arrive in showrooms largely as is.
There’s no news yet on when that’ll be, nor is there any information about performance or economy figures – that’ll come closer to the launch of the production version. What we do know is that it’ll be rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive as an option, and will use a BMW-supplied four-cylinder engine at the heart of its patented 'EVer' (Electric Vehicle with extended range) powertrain.
"We are exceptionally proud of the Atlantic design prototype, and believe we have created another groundbreaking car that looks and will drive like nothing else on the road in this class," said Henrik Fisker. And after what we learned during our driving report of the Karma, we’d be inclined to believe him.