Despite the travails of Fisker Automotive, it's safe to say this: Henrik Fisker knows how to design striking cars.
The Fisker Atlantic unveiled last night is a stunning mid-size sport sedan. Or, perhaps, sport sedan concept, since it wasn't shown in motion.
The Atlantic range-extended electric sedan is intended to be the company's second model, following the larger 2012 Fisker Karma that went on sale late last year.
Photos of the Atlantic had leaked two days ago, showing a few images of the car formerly known as "Project Nina".
Fisker executives have said that the Atlantic was meant to sell for around $50,000, or half the price of the $106,000 Karma, in sedan, coupe, and crossover models.
The model lineup was blurted out by U.S. vice president Joe Biden at a ceremony in October 2009 that marked Fisker's agreement to buy a closed former GM plant in Wilmington, Delaware.
According to Fisker's new CEO, Tom LaSorda, the company may not build the Atlantic in the Delaware plant. "We're investigating all options," he told reporters at last night's event, noting that "investment is important" and the company had discussed partnerships with European companies.
But, he added, the company will build something in Wilmington--perhaps a third vehicle, based on a new and smaller platform the company is now developing. That plant is now gutted and ready for tooling, he said.
The Atlantic was originally scheduled to go into production in Delaware late this summer. That will not happen, LaSorda said, and he refused to comment on dates beyond saying that it would not go into production this year or perhaps not next.
Fisker Atlantic Design Prototype - 2012 New York Auto Show intro
In introductory remarks, Fisker executives noted that the company had raised roughly $130 million in private investment, bringing the total raised in its latest financing round to more than $300 million.
That amount is roughly the same as the amount remaining on Fisker's low-interest loan from the Department of Energy, which the DoE froze last May due to missed schedules--causing Fisker to lay off employees.
So what else do we know about the Fisker Atlantic from tonight's event?
BODY AND DESIGN
- Styling similar to the Karma, but shorter overall
- One-piece glass roof and rear window (with structural bracing visible underneath)
- Rear door handles hidden in the pillar
- Large trunk with fold-down rear seat back
- The range-extending generator is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged BMW four-cylinder engine
- No specifications on battery pack capacity, electric motor(s), or range
- Fisker is "evaluating advanced battery solutions"
- A123 Systems, which provides cells for the 2012 Fisker Karma, is one of the contenders for the Atlantic pack
Fisker Atlantic concept unveiling before New York Auto Show, April 2012
Fisker officials were adamant about not answering detailed questions about the Atlantic, so we know little more about it than what it looks like.
It was more a promise of future products to come--one day--than a product announcement.
So perhaps the most significant news was that executive chairman and chief designer Henrik Fisker said the company has sold roughly 750 Karma models, including 250 in March.
That gave Fisker cashflow of $50 million in February, and $25 million the month before.
At the moment, selling cars may be the most important thing Fisker can do--new models or not.