2012 New York Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- Fisker Automotive unveiled its Atlantic four-door midsize sedan Tuesday evening at an event prior to the beginning of the 2012 New York Auto Show.
- Fisker is calling the car a "design prototype" and company executives revealed few details about the Atlantic, which is earmarked to start production sometime next year.
- Base configuration is rear-wheel drive, but an all-wheel drive variant will be optional.
NEW YORK — Fisker Automotive revealed at a pre-New York auto show party here its long-awaited second model, a four-door midsize sedan named Atlantic, although the car's appearance seemed only to add to questions about the company's viability after a string of recent troubling events.
Executive Chairman Henrik Fisker was on hand to reveal the Atlantic, as was CEO Tom LaSorda, former top dog at Chrysler. In their remarks, both stressed that despite widespread skepticism about Fisker Automotive's financial health, the Atlantic will see the light of day. But the company offered almost no concrete details and also was careful to call the Atlantic a "design prototype" in its printed release, which suggests styling for a production version could be different.
"This car will be built and it will go into production," insisted LaSorda. But many wonder if that's how it will turn out after the company had the remainder — about $200 million — of a federal tech-development loan yanked after Fisker failed to meet deliverables the program set for production of its first car, the $97,000 Karma and the loan program became a political football.
Here's what we do know after this week's de-sheeting of the Atlantic: it is propelled by what Fisker is calling its second generation of EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) technology. It already has been confirmed that the car's range-extender will be a four-cylinder engine supplied by BMW. The Atlantic shown in New York sat on 22-inch wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. The company isn't about to say anything about pricing, but Henrik Fisker said at the event that the Atlantic will be in the price range of the Audi A5 and BMW 3-Series. Attendees did not see the prototype move and the interior was only partially finished.
Henrik Fisker said a unique technique for the roof construction provides an unusual amount of rear headroom for a car with such a coupelike profile. The company's release also spoke of a long wheelbase to provide maximum rear-seat legroom and a capacious trunk and compared the Atlantic's overall dimensions to the Audi A5.
On the sidelines, LaSorda told us there is little commonality between the Atlantic and the Karma. The Karma is built in Finland, while a major component of the deal with the U.S. Department of Energy's advanced-technology loan to Fisker involved funding the retooling of a former Chrysler assembly plant in Delaware in order to build the Atlantic. LaSorda was non-committal about whether the company is proceeding with the plan to build the Atlantic at the Delaware plant, but did concede if the rest of the DOE loan doesn't come, that presents "alternative options" for where the Atlantic might be assembled.
Apart from the DOE loan setback, in recent weeks Fisker's also endured a major fail from a Karma bought by Consumer Reports and a recall of the Karma's battery pack by supplier A123 Systems. The company said, however, that it's got the backing of upwards of $1 billion in private funding and the setbacks won't stop it from building the Atlantic.
Edmunds.com says: Fisker offers another intriguing design, but stay tuned for certain future developments.