Fisker, the California-based electric car startup led by automotive designer Henrik Fisker, has plans that go far beyond its first vehicle, the Ocean SUV.
Due to go into production later this year, the Ocean was revealed in the US in 2021 and made its European debut in Barcelona the following February. Speaking at the Spanish reveal event, Fisker said his company has its sights set on a range of future vehicles, including sports cars.
Responsible for these special projects will be a division of the company called Fisker Magic Works. Based in England, the division is headed by David King, a 26-year Aston Martin veteran who worked with Fisker on the British firm’s Vantage and DB9 V8s. King and Fisker will aim to answer the question, “What is the luxury super sports car of the future?” says Fisker.
Speaking in Barcelona, Fisker said: “At the end of the day, we want to have sexy sports cars…[but] it is in fact a type of vehicle that does not exist today. This isn’t your typical mid-engine two-seater; I’m super excited about this and have already done the exterior design.
While King and Fisker Magic Works are focusing on the chassis, the California electric vehicle maker’s drivetrain division will work on the motor and battery. Fisker adds: “Of course we want to have a super-advanced top-end powertrain; not only effective but super powerful. But we also want to have this new feeling, where does the emotional side of the car industry go with supercars? »
While not a concern shared by mainstream car buyers, the question of how sports and supercars retain their character and sense of drama when their high-revving engines and thunderous exhausts are replaced by Quiet electrics is a question that the entire industry is now tasked with answering.
Fisker explained how his company hopes to take a different approach. “If you think about supercars, I think that’s the biggest threat as we move to not only electrification but also autonomous vehicles and more technology with vehicles. Many of these companies can’t afford the necessary investment.They relied on the sound of the engine and so many things that will go away.
“So we wanted to reinvent the luxury sports car, and that’s what we’re doing with the project they’re doing right now, on [in the UK].”
The shift to electrification reduces exhaust emissions, but also gives manufacturers the ability to give previously mundane cars extraordinary amounts of straight-line performance. Tesla sedans can hit 60 mph in under three seconds, and SUVs sprint silently from the line as quickly as fire-breathing supercars. But does the world really need practical thousand horsepower family cars?
“It’s a crazy power rush,” admits Fisker. “I think the only good news is that in the meantime, everyone in the world knows that you can make a super-fast electric car and it can be faster than a gasoline-powered car. I suspect we’re coming to a point where we won’t need that race anymore. We had that race in the United States in the ’60s where you couldn’t produce enough horsepower. It got so crazy and eventually Cadillac made a V8 8.4 liters and everyone said “OK, we’re done”.
While not yet willing to share performance figures for his company’s sports car, Fisker doubted the 2,000 horsepower needed, as produced by the Rimac Nevera (above) and Lotus electric hypercars Evija. He adds: “Obviously we’ll expect to be up there with everyone, but I think we’ve gotten to the point where yes everyone can do 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds, so for me it’s less about that and more about, what kind of car is it? What could trigger your emotions?”
Fisker explains these emotions by giving the example of the first time he saw a Jaguar E-Type as a child – “I had butterflies in my stomach…and I didn’t know anything about speed which it goes.”
But that doesn’t mean that a future Fisker sports car will be a lightweight Mazda Miata rival. “Small and light, it won’t be… at least not the first car. Maybe later as we go down the line. I believe in terms of lightness that eventually, when people get used to electric cars, you won’t have to go around with that giant battery anymore. So I think we’re going to see electric cars with smaller batteries, but right now I think for the next two to three years people are going to want long range and comfort.