The Fisker Ocean is the latest in a series of always interesting but often thwarted electric Tesla challengers from the former BMW (Z8) and Aston Martin (DB9 and Vantage) design director. His 2011 Karma, billed as the world’s first luxury plug-in hybrid, led to the EMotion concept shown at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) exactly two years ago.
That never made production but there will be plenty of people hoping the Ocean, one of the big stories from the 2020 CES, bucks the Fisker trend and hits the big time. Small wobble from the karaoke machine apart, reaction to the Ocean’s unveiling has been positive, based around some incredibly ambitious targets.
That centres around a starting price in the US of $37,495 (£28,500), before any government incentives. As the pictures show, the Ocean is no city runaround but a mid-size, high-riding five-door, five-seater. Its predecessor EMotion was a large luxury saloon with huge butterfly doors, but for the new Ocean Fisker has ditched that and followed the market down the SUV route.
Think of it as a rival for the forthcoming Tesla Model Y as well as (far more expensive) electric SUV-alikes such as the Mercedes EQC, Audi E-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace. With its chunky proportions, well planted stance, signature electric car ultra-thin light graphics and sloping roofline, it appears a natural fit in that class.
The Ocean’s specification is also aimed at the class best, with the top twin-motor, all-wheel-drive version claiming 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds and a range of up to 300 miles. The price leading entry model will get two-wheel-drive and a smaller battery pack.
Inside, the Ocean offers a clean-cut minimalist design with head-up display, small driver information panel behind the steering wheel and the now commonplace huge touch screen for all ancillary functions in the centre of the dash. Sustainable materials feature such as recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets recovered from the oceans – hence the car’s name.
Apart from the karaoke machine – it plays your chosen tune and shows the lyrics so you can sing along while driving – a feature which may impress some people is California Mode. It sounds grand but it just means all the glass in the roof and around the car opens, including the rearmost side quarter lights and the tailgate window. Fisker says driving around with the rear screen down now makes sense in a world without smoky exhaust fumes getting sucked into the car.
The Danish born designer, who is chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc. set up in 2016, says the Ocean has been engineered for all world markets with capacity to produce one million units in the five years after production starts, due at the end of 2021. First deliveries are scheduled for 2022 in the US. Fisker says Europe will be next for the Ocean but does not mention UK sales.
If it does make it here the Ocean will likely be made available on a flexible lease deal. In the US this costs from $379 a month after a $3,000 deposit. The deal allows you to cancel anytime, includes maintenance and allows for 30,000 miles a year. Fisker says all the cars will be delivered direct to customers, bypassing any need for a dealer network.