Titanium-clad Fisker off-roader looks to muscle into Jeep territory
Fisker Inc. has been creeping to market for so long, consumers might have all but forgotten that other Fisker. The company certainly isn't mad about that and would surely prefer the market focus entirely on its electric present and future. It delivered its first Ocean electric SUV this month, and it builds on that momentum with a glimpse at the new Force E, a special-edition off-road package that looks to bring more battery power to a segment dominated by ICE icons like the Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Defender.
If the Force E name sounds familiar, it's because Fisker originally slapped it on a design study shortly after the Ocean's debut in 2020. That Force-E was a bit more extreme and tactical than the newest iteration, which has been toned down as it moves toward a planned 2023 launch date.
Fisker makes clear that it has designs on ending ICE's untouched dominance in the off-road space, and the Ocean Force E will be the weapon it uses. It's a bold plan, and Fisker will upfit the Ocean accordingly, boosting it off the ground atop 33-in all-terrain tires stuck to 20-in (51-cm) reinforced wheels and adding specialized suspension dampers to help take the jounce and sting out of harsh bumps. The Force E package will also add a full-length titanium protective plate below the battery pack, along with separate structurally mounted front and rear skid plates.
"This vehicle is going to be a beast," promised chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker. "We have pulled out all the stops on this one. I think it’s exciting to enter the segment, and for those who love to go off-road and enjoy nature, what better way than with zero emissions?”
The Force E suite will also bring some available interior modifications, including rubber floor mats, extra grab handles and tie-down points. The roof basket will be available as an add-on, and if the teaser pictures are any indication, the package will also offer beefy fender flares, front auxiliary lighting, bumper reinforcements, tow hooks, and maybe some loud, gaudy graphics.
Unfortunately, the frunk-embedded spare tire and grille-mounted fresh water tap seem destined to remain in 2020.
Current Ocean buyers who like the Force E need not fret as it will be available as a retrofit for all-wheel-drive Ocean Ultra and Ocean Extreme models. The Force E will be backed by the motivational force of all 550 horses available from the Ocean Extreme's dual-motor AWD system.
Beyond the Force E upgrades, Fisker's first SUV has some baked-in advantages that make it an interesting off-road alternative. Fisker estimates top US range for its 113-kWh "Hyper Range" battery at a respectable 350 miles (563 km), and the SolarSky roof that comes atop the Extreme model provides enough charging for an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 miles (2,400 to 3,200 km) of added annual range. The Ocean also offers an outlet for powering tools and electrical equipment and a "California Mode" that drops all eight windows simultaneously for the type of open-air feel that goes hand in hand with a good 4x4.
Fisker is currently developing the Force E off-road package at its UK Magic Works specialty division, under the direction of former rally racer and SVP of engineering David King. It plans to launch the special edition kit in Q4 2023.
As for the Ocean itself, Henrik Fisker personally delivered the very first model to a Danish customer last Friday. The company intends to begin US deliveries in June, after the Ocean completes homologation later this month.
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