2023 Fisker Ocean seeks to ride the electric vehicle wave
Henrik Fisker is a jack of all trades. After a career as a designer at BMW (credits include the Z8) and Aston Martin (DB9), the young entrepreneur had his first flop with Fisker Coachbuild, which had gained a questionable reputation for not improving the small range of BMW 6-series and Mercedes models. C models. Not long after, things got much worse when the Karma, an overpriced and backwards full-size hybrid sedan, hit the wall. As a result, Fisker Motor Company filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Nearly three years later, a reborn Fisker rose from the ashes. New money from several investors funded this reboot, which, after some ups and downs, focused on the all-electric Ocean Cross that debuted at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. Just 20 months later, deliveries have just begun with The Limited Edition One is priced at $71,437.
Fisker is a truly talented car designer, and the ocean shows his talent once again. Well-proportioned and smartly engineered, the new all-wheel-drive SUV packs European functionality and a Californian lifestyle into a clean, compact package. When the plan to use Volkswagen’s MEB platform fell through, Austrian design builder Magna Steyr (which designed the Jaguar I-Pace) was put in charge of R&D and production. Despite the slow slowdown, the company still expects to complete 50,000 units this year and 70,000 units in 2024. “With Ocean, we’re offering things that no one else is offering,” says the ever-optimistic Danish-born CEO. He identifies the unique selling propositions as “the longest range in its class, a rotating in-dash display that can be mounted in portrait or landscape mode, a power liftgate with roll-up window, 50 kilograms (110 lbs) of recycled materials”, two-way charging and a California mode that unlocks All windows and sunroof are at the touch of a button.
Fisker Ocean Command
Like most modern electric cars, the Ocean targets young digital buyers who prefer touch, zoom and swipe to the tap or turn of a switch. There’s not even a start button – just pull the column-mounted lever into drive or reverse, and off you go. But before cruising, don’t forget to adjust the steering wheel via two controllers built into the spokes, dial in the preferred regenerative braking action (low, medium, or high), and choose from three driving modes called Earth, Fun, and Hyper. Hyper unlocks the boost feature, which is limited to 500 full throttle acceleration missions. From the get-go, it’s claimed that the top 564bhp version can sprint to 60mph in 3.7 seconds, even with special energy-efficient 22-inch Bridgestone Potenza tires that aren’t exactly world champions in terms of grip.
We drove an all-wheel-drive Ocean One equipped with a 106.0 kWh battery, which has nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistry and promises an EPA range of 360 miles with 20-inch wheels. If two days of spirited driving on Austria’s two-lane roads are anything to go by, that claim is reasonably realistic. It would have been nice to have the 800-volt system offered by Hyundai and Kia, but the Fisker system has to operate at 400 volts and a maximum consumption rate of 200 kilowatts, which extends the 10-80 percent recharging time to 34.5 minutes. The battery pack is protected by a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Together, the two e-motors produce 564 hp and 543 lb-ft of twisty motion, with torque split evenly between the axles. Variable torque vectoring, also known as Smart Traction, is still under development. (We’re told the Magna needs more time on the Arctic ice to fine-tune the stability control and traction control electronics and adapt them to its mechanical sparring partners.) Also not yet available is an update to the advanced driver assistance system that uses radar and ultrasonic sensors with cameras Digital for better object recognition and faster responses.
True to its name, the ocean can be anything from a smooth swell to a true white storm. We didn’t spend much time in Earth mode, which promises to take you to the moon and back on a single charge but has a calming effect on the drivetrain and is clearly more interested in replenishing energy than expending it. The mode is fun precisely because it quickens throttle response, lets the car’s greater mass and momentum do its work on longer handlebars, and delivers a full slate of power and torque. On wet pavement, the Hyper is almost a good thing. The throttle reacts to driver inputs like a hungry Doberman greeting a postman, bites the steering with instant force, and the electronic accident prevention team unleashes the stability control somewhat late and in a clumsy manner. Depending on the type of surface and the need to feed torque, the transition from energy-efficient front-wheel drive to traction-focused all-wheel drive varies from imperceptible to brutal.
Fisker Inner Ocean
The Ocean welcomes passengers with first-class seating, plenty of leg and headroom, and good visibility all around. The cockpit is decorated in an elegant mix of synthetic materials, and is simple but not elaborate. The small digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is surrounded by a large display screen. There’s no head-up display or glove box, but there is a so-called taco tray and drawer under the driver’s seat. The main new feature inside the cabin is the rotating central screen that changes shape from portrait to landscape. Content can be mixed and matched as the user desires, but you’re typically looking at a large navigation map overlaid with a diagram of a car in traffic. Directly below it is a floating island of buttons that provide direct access to temperature control, fan speed, volume, and window defrosting.
Well-equipped, spacious, practical, quiet and stylish, the Fisker is a multi-purpose entertainer. It rides as well if not quite as deep and agile as the Volkswagen ID.4; It meets all the basic performance requirements, including top speed (128 mph); The consumption versus range equation also looks promising, at least on paper. However, the steering is a little light and not as quick as expected, and the wide turning circle needs its belt tightened one notch. The brakes have no problem twisting two-ton EVs over and over again, and respond with welcome enthusiasm, but more progressive deceleration would be welcome. The intelligent traction system and dynamic torque vectoring that comes with it are supposed to improve the somewhat exciting handling and boost confidence at the limit. We’d also like to see adaptive dampers to squash exaggerated body movements on bumpy pavement.
Fisker Ocean Pricing
Pricing starts at $39,937 for the 275-hp Ocean Sport, which isn’t the flashiest item in the lineup but has everything one needs except a second engine, more oomph, and all-wheel drive. The $52,437 Ultra offers just that plus a larger battery, a nicer sound system, and an Open Sky sunroof. If you want all the good stuff, the Extreme is the model for you. At just over $70,000 before options, this edition is priced uncomfortably close to more experienced premium EVs, such as the $75,595 Audi Q8 e-tron, $76,050 Mercedes EQE SUV, and $67,550 Genesis Electrified GV70, And the Tesla Model Y Performance, which is a steal at $58,630. In terms of perceived quality, the Fisker feels more like a Tesla than its legacy brand rivals, but as a great anti-establishment family cruiser with a strong lifestyle sophistication, the Ocean is bound to make waves.
2023 Fisker Ocean One
Vehicle type: Front and rear drive, 4-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Front motor: AC synchronous permanent magnet
Rear motor: AC synchronous permanent magnet
Combined power: 564 hp
Combined torque: 543 lb-ft
Battery Pack: Liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 106.0 kWh
Internal charger: 11.0 kW
Peak DC fast charging rate: 200 kW
Transmission, F/R: direct drive
Wheelbase: 115.0 inches
Height: 188.0 inches
Width: 83.5 inches
Height: 64.1 inches
Passenger Size, F/R: 55/50 ft3
Load size behind F/R: 32/17 feet3
Curb weight (grandfather Estimate: 5400 lbs
performance (grandfather east)
60 mph: 3.7 seconds
100 mph: 9.2 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.1 seconds
Top speed: 128 mph
EPA fuel economy.
Combined/City/Highway: 92/99/84 mpg
Range: 360 miles
Although I was born the only son of an ornithologist and a postal employee, it was clear from the beginning that bird watching and stamp collecting were not my interests. If I had known that God wanted me to grow to 6’8″, I would also have ruled out anything to do with cars, which are responsible for her slipped discs, torn ligaments, and stupid hunched position behind the wheel. While working as a keeper at the Aberdeen Zoo, and smuggling cigarettes A cheap flight from Yugoslavia to Germany, and an awkward interlude with a group of amateur dramas, also failed to satisfy, and driving a car and writing about cars became a much better option. And it still is. Many years later, I’m approaching my 70th birthday. Every aspect of my job except for flying long distances on crappy airlines, I hope it shows.