The midsize electric crossover market just got a little bit more crowded. Maybe. Mere days after Elon Musk introduced Tesla's $47,000 Model Y, Fisker Inc. announced an as-yet-unnamed all-electric SUV that it says will be have a range of close to 300 miles and a price below $40,000. The new SUV, which the company says will go on sale in late 2021, is the first of three all-new “affordable” EV models planned.
Fisker is the project of BMW Z8 and Aston Martin Vantage designer Henrik Fisker, whose first foray into the world of new car brands was the short-lived Fisker Karma. Since that brand failed and in 2014 Karma was spun off into a separate Chinese-run operation out of Fisker Automotive’s assets, Henrik Fisker relaunched his namesake brand and promised a sedan called the Atlantic, a sub-$40,000 plug-in hybrid, and an all-electric four-door called the EMotion. None of that came to pass.
Fisker released just a single head-on photo of the new SUV's front end. Fisker is describing the styling as a “futuristic, elegant muscular look.” The front-end styling is dominated by a “parametric pattern” that looks very much like a grille, although Fisker acknowledges that with reduced cooling needs, an EV does not need a radiator grille, and says the traditional grille has been replaced by a small glass panel covering a radar sensor.
The new SUV will apparently have some kind of retractable roof—Fisker is promising an open-air experience at the touch of a button. “Never-before-seen” technology features are mentioned in the press release but not actually described beyond a large head-up display and an “intuitive user interface” to control unnamed “emerging” in-car tech.
Four-wheel drive, with a motor on each axle, will be “available,” which suggests that like the Tesla Model Y, the base Fisker SUV will come with just two driven wheels. Those motors will be powered by a battery pack with at least 80 kWh of capacity. No performance specifications have yet been announced.
The battery pack will use conventional lithium-ion cells, not the Fisker Solid State Battery technology the company has patented and is developing in-house. Fisker promises that new tech will be capable of more than 500 miles of range on a quick charge. We’ll believe it when we see it.
Fisker says those solid-state energy storage devices will undergo vehicle testing next year. When those battery replacements are ready for production, they will power the previously-announced EMotion luxury sedan, which Fisker now says will arrive following the aforementioned three planned models that will be more affordable.