That journey began in 2016. We witnessed its first result at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show with the debut of the Ocean SUV.
Henrik Fisker always had an eye on design. You can look at his resume with every BMW, Aston Martin, and Ford he had a pen in shaping.
Then, the renown Danish automotive designer went independent by creating the Fisker Karma for his own automotive entity. He wanted to offer a sustainable vehicle wrapped in a stylish silhouette. The Karma was unusual, but desirable – even if it used a version of General Motors’s plug-in hybrid architecture. The company ran into financial issues and was sold off to a new group that is running the company – now called Karma.
As Fisker left his first company, no one counted him out from starting another automotive entity that is focused on sustainable transportation. That journey began in 2016. We witnessed its first result at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show with the debut of the Ocean SUV.
With a number of start-up automotive firms vying for the new electrified consumer base, Fisker’s name come with some promise and history. The second iteration of this company began deliveries of their Ocean worldwide – including the USA – and has now been put on some shopping lists along with other similarly-sized EVs.
What is a Fisker Ocean? Why is it an important entry among start-up automakers?
After the Chicago Drive Electric media review event in Oakbrook Terrace, I went down the street to Oakbrook Center to find out. Fisker set up a drive event of their own – just steps from the Lucid showroom – to show off the Ocean to potential customers.
We drove the Ocean One – the launch edition for the new SUV.
Built in Graz, Austria at Magna’s contract plant, the Ocean is in the compact SUV segment with a size similar to the Genesis Electrified GV70 and Volkswagen ID.4. The exterior fits with current design trends offer slab sides, a minimal front end with a large “grille” and narrow horizontal taillights at the back.
There are few twists to the Ocean’s design. For one, you have a Solar Sky Roof above you that serves to recoup some energy back into the vehicle. You also have the ability to lower and raise all of the windows, including the C-pillar and liftgate glass panels. Our tester had a matte paint finish and a set of 22-inch F3 SlipStream alloy/carbon fiber wheels finish up the launch edition’s design.
The Ocean’s interior follows EV design conventions, along with a pseudo-minimalist feel. Dominating the dashboard is a 17.1-inch central screen, where most of the Ocean’s functions are controlled. It is more along the lines of some functions are initially set for one of the steering wheels controls to finish – such as the tilt/telescope wheel and instrument cluster. The latter is a small screen with more than enough information for drivers to disseminate.
Seating is for five, with a roomy rear seat area. Front seats are supportive, but they offer some comfort. For cargo space you only get 16.81 cubic feet behind rear seats, which is expandable to 32.43 cubic feet. I just wished there was more space for cargo and a bit more premium touch points all around.
The driveline is a two-motor set-up with each motor installed on each axle. There is 468 horsepower to start with. Power can be “boosted” up to 568 horsepower. There is also 514 to 543 pound-feet of torque available. The all-wheel drive system offers a rear disconnect in certain modes, which you can select between Earth, Fun, and Hyper.
Fisker claims that this model can yield a range of 360 miles from its 113-kilowatt-hour battery. DC Fast Charging takes under 35 minutes from 10-80% state of charge.
It is worth noting that the Ocean is rated at a 5,369-pound curb weight. That heft made for a solid ride and tight handling. There was no sign or lean or roll in turns and evasive maneuvers were solid.
The steering wheel has a flat bottom with a very thick rim. That makes steering a decent task. Perhaps the Ocean’s weight determined the system’s on-center feel and turning radius. I wished it was tighter overall, Brakes were fine, however there is a trick to note. While pedal feel was fine, you need to keep on the pedal before you switch to the accelerator. Otherwise, the vehicle might roll if you leave the pedal.
Pricing for the Ocean One starts from $68,999. However, these first editions are sold out. The Ocean lineup has three other trim levels, starting from $37,499. Each Ocean is backed by a six-year, 60,000-mile basic warranty, plus 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The Fisker Ocean is not perfect. It has its flaws. However, it does provide another choice among start-up manufacturers in the EV space. That alone is why the Ocean is worth a look.
Is it enough for Fisker to accomplish his goals and dreams this second time around. Henrik and his team are already accomplishing one key milestone – they’re producing vehicles and delivering them to customers. Considering how volatile the automotive industry has become – that is part of the battle.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle and event logistics provided by Fisker, Inc.
All photos by Victory & Reseda: Randy Stern and George Torline