Fisker Previews Plug-In Luxosedan


Fisker Automotive, the latest Palo Alto, California-based venture from Henrik Fisker, the Danish founder of Fisker Coachbuild, that has dubbed itself the ‘green American premium car company,’ has released a first image and some cursory information about its upcoming plug-in hybrid sports sedan. The car will make its debut at this next January’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) inDetroitand go on sale in late 2009 starting at $80,000.


Unlike Fisker Coachbuild products, which are built on existing Mercedes-Benz and BMW models, the new sedan will employ a platform that’s all-new from the ground up, according to the automaker, with testing and development done in conjunction with Quantum Technologies, anIrvine,Californiacompany that has worked withToyota, GM, and NASA.


The sedan will be a true plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV), meaning that it will be able to travel respectable commuting distances on electric power alone, but use the gasoline engine to recharge the system, and both gasoline and electric components for longer-distance driving. Fisker says that it will be able to go about 50 miles on a single electric charge, and the system will be mated with a gasoline or diesel engine to achieve a range of up to 620 miles. The actual miles-per-gallon figure will be around 100, they say.


If this curvaceous concept, looking like an aggressive sports car with four doors, is any indication, the Fisker won’t sell on its powertrain alone. “The sleek design accentuating the long hood is a direct result of our breakthrough chassis which carries the battery pack at the center of the vehicle between the two axles,” said Henrik Fisker, the company’s CEO. “This positioning provides optimal vehicle driving dynamics, maximum safety, proportionate design as well as industry standard performance figures within this car class.”


The Fisker looks destined, in terms of green cred, to go head-to-head an all-electric sport sedan that’s in the works fromSilicon Valleyautomaker Tesla Motors. Tesla has construction underway on a $35 million facility inAlbuquerque,New Mexico, that will assemble the product of the company’s so-called White Star project, an electric sport sedan that will sell in the range of $55,000 to $65,000 and compete with gasoline sport sedans from BMW, Infiniti, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. Tesla hopes to employ 400 and produce thousands of these per year; Fisker is projecting an annual production of 15,000 cars.


In related news, Fisker Automotive says that it has hired Thomas Fritz, a former BMW engineer with 19 years in the auto industry including stays at Ford and Magna, to be its Director of Engineering. Fritz has been involved with the current Range Rover, the BMW Z8, and Rolls-Royce and Lincoln programs.

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