Henrik Fisker has designed some of the most beautiful cars of the last 25 years. The Danish stylist was the force behind the BMW Z1, the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, and the groundbreaking — but ultimately doomed — Fisker Karma. But lately, his cars have seemed to lose their way. There was the overwrought Mustang Rocket, sold through Southern California Galpin Ford dealerships, a warmed-over Corvette-powered version of the Karma called the VLF Destino V8, and the Force 1, a Viper-based supercar with a whole lot of power, and a whole lot of vents.
But the Karma feels like the one that got away. It was a real beauty, and a pioneer in the luxury hybrid segment. A cutting-edge premium sedan with a 255 horsepower GM-sourced 2.0 liter Ecotec four mated to a pair of 161 horse electric motors, which made for plenty of go, and a whole lot of torque. But quality wasn’t always up to snuff, there were reliability problems with the battery packs, and ultimately, Fisker Automotive met its demise in 2013. But there’s a strangely happy ending here: The Karma is set to re-enter production as the Karma Revero in 2017 (because enough people felt that the car was too pretty to disappear), and the man himself is back with an all-new company called … Fisker.
Wanxiang America may have purchased the bankrupt company from Fisker three years ago, but he kept the rights to the badge, and his name. And don’t think this is yet another rehash of the Karma either; according to Reuters, the new car will be all-electric:
In an interview, Fisker said his new company plans a battery-powered model aimed at the Tesla Model S, which is priced at about $65,000. He did not specify when production would begin …
Fisker said his new electric cars will be powered by a long-range battery that uses graphene to extend its range and life and reduce charging time. The company is targeting a 400-mile driving range between charges, Fisker said.
Just a month ago, we had very few details to do on, but this week, Fisker himself tweeted a photo of the new car, and the results are somewhat less than encouraging.
The BMW Z8, Aston DB9, and Vantage were all masterpieces. Each car conveyed its brand’s heritage while hinting at a glimpse of the future. And the Karma was a tour de force, a gorgeous, fully-formed design that instantly established a design language for a new brand — just like its rival, the Tesla Model S, did. We only have this snapshot of the new car to go on. We don’t know its name yet, its size, or what the rest of it looks like, but already it looks like a disappointment.
Every year, new startups appear offering some creased, angled, low-slung hypercar that will disrupt the status quo. Unsurprisingly, very few of them pan out. Fisker — the first one, not the current one — looked like it had a shot because of a solid powertrain, big-ticket backers, and a damn near-iconic design. Other than denying that Wanxiang is backing the new company, we don’t have much to go on except a concept, and a concept that doesn’t look like it could ever translate into the real world. At least not the mid-$60K world.
Aerodynamic low front with small trapezoid center radar & camera. Adaptive LED lights. More to come… pic.twitter.com/TkPX0I7bur
— Henrik Fisker (@FiskerOfficial) October 24, 2016
We’d love to be proven wrong. Henrik Fisker is one of the most talented designers in the world, and the more competitive EVs in the market, the better. But this concept looks more like a flight of fancy than anything serious. Here’s hoping that the new Fisker sees some big changes before we see it again.