What is it? The Atlantic is the little brother to the 16.5 ft-long, 5,300-lb. Karma. It is expected to cost roughly half as much, starting around $53,000. Fisker says the Atlantic is about the size of an Audi A5. That would make it about a foot and a half shorter than the Karma, almost six inches narrower, and perhaps a little taller.
Like the Karma, the Atlantic is a plug-in hybrid, which Fisker calls EVer, or electric vehicle with extended range. They have no mechanical connection between the engine and the drive wheels. Instead, the gas engine simply acts as a generator to provide electricity to the (rear) drive wheels once the battery runs out of juice. Unlike the Karma, which uses a GM-sourced turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Atlantic will use one from BMW. Founder Henrik Fisker told us he expects the battery in the Atlantic to be much smaller and lighter than in the Karma, aiding in packaging the cabin space.
What is new or notable: The Atlantic can only be built if Fisker gets government loans from the Department of Energy. Fisker had qualified for more than $500 million in such loans through the Advanced Vehicles Manufacturing Program, but the DOE suspended the remainder of those loans earlier this year after the Karma failed to reach sales targets. If Fisker succeeds in lobbying to get the loans reinstated, the Atlantic will be its first car built in the United States at a former General Motors factory in Delaware.
CR’s take: If the Atlantic gets built, we can only hope it isn’t plagued by the rookie problems as the Karma we bought.
When will it be available? Winter 2013, if government loans are reinstated.