Fisker Atlantic Debuts in New York

The new Fisker Atlantic was the belle of the ball at their highly exclusive release party in NYC.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

The entire image of Fisker Automotive is tailor made for The New York Auto Show. While some regional shows are mainly about the latest luxurious super cars (Los Angeles) or mass market introductions from the world’s biggest automakers (Detroit), New York’s version has a more luxurious, elitist feel about it.

Partly of that is the convention’s riverfront locale and partly because the automakers like to use the New York media to hype the latest hot wheels, the show was a perfect time for Fisker to roll out the new Atlantic prototype concept.

Fisker debuted four years ago with the Karma – a high-end, plug-in electric hybrid selling for a maxed out $108,900. The California-based boutique automaker soon began to muscle in on the high performance electric car field originally tinkered with by Tesla.

Unfortunately, Tesla has developed the reputation for making very expensive and stylish battery-powered paperweights. For example, it’s flop on the the world famous car TV series Top Gear left two separate Tesla models broken and useless on the test track. That “noble experiment that failed” aura floating around Tesla is what Fisker is trying to avoid with their continued evolution. Fisker doesn’t want to be a company that made one car and fizzled out when it failed. It wants to be a capable, even mainstream automaker producing multiple lines of cars.

To that end, Fisker held a private party on The West SIde the night before the New York Auto Show kicked off to introduce the new Atlantic design prototype. The four-door sporting sedan includes Fisher’s new EVer power train technology to provide “an electric car with extended-range freedom.”

Impressively stylized with sleek, sloping lines and a generous wheel base, the Atlantic’s big rear wheels and tapered nose is reminiscent of a Maserati 47. The Atlantic’s dimensions are comparable to an Audi A5, with a glass roof and immaculate interior to catch the eye of any luxury car lover. Of course, he or she might miss the throaty engine rumble the Atlantic will never provide. But that’s the sacrifice luxury performance car buyers face if they go Fisker.

During the event and in the subsequent press releases, there was no mention of horsepower numbers, top speed, etc. So, potential on-road performance remains a little nit of a mystery.

Like the Karma, the Atlantic is a plug-in hybrid that lets drivers switch manually or automatically between electric and gasoline driving modes to keep rolling and to “sustain the charge of its lithium ion batteries on the move.” While its four-cylinder gasoline engine is engaged, it acts as a generator and is not mechanically connected to the wheels. The EVer electric keeps the power transmitting to the rear wheels. You can drive about 40 miles on just the electric batteries.

Fisker Automotive CEO Tom Lasorda (no relation, Dodger fans) was on hand during the private reception to put the company’s best foot forward to the gathered media.

“We’re proud of the Atlantic design prototype,” Lasorda said. “I believe we have created another groundbreaking car that looks and will drive like nothing else on the road in this class.”

Of course, no one really had the heart to point out that “in this class” referred to a very small sample size as there aren’t a big pile of electric vehicles in the luxury class.

“Fisker Automotive is transitioning from a start-up automaker to a fully-fledged mainstream car manufacturer,” Lasorda said. “That’s our goal. The Atlantic is a crucial milestone in that process.”

“We have a long way to go, but in the near future Fisker intends to deliver this exceptional American-designed, engineered, and manufactured vehicle to showrooms worldwide.”