Automotive

Fisker premieres razor-sharp, 400-mile electric four-door at CES

Fisker premieres razor-sharp, ...
Fisker's EMotion looks much more aggressive than the average luxury sedan
Fisker's EMotion looks much more aggressive than the average luxury sedan
View 23 Images
Fisker's EMotion looks much more aggressive than the average luxury sedan
1/23
Fisker's EMotion looks much more aggressive than the average luxury sedan
Fisker previously showed images of an EMotion with lights positioned across the entire rear, but it's split them into left and right lamps
2/23
Fisker previously showed images of an EMotion with lights positioned across the entire rear, but it's split them into left and right lamps
The "chauffeur edition" brings a super-comfy passenger-side rear seat with 27-in display
3/23
The "chauffeur edition" brings a super-comfy passenger-side rear seat with 27-in display
The EMotion relies on two digital console displays and a digital instrument cluster to show information and provide control
4/23
The EMotion relies on two digital console displays and a digital instrument cluster to show information and provide control
Fisker shows a 3D electrolyte scaffold for its flexible solid state battery tech
5/23
Fisker shows a 3D electrolyte scaffold for its flexible solid state battery tech
The rear lights are punctuated by a sort of ellipsis 
6/23
The rear lights are punctuated by a sort of ellipsis 
The snake-like eye of the Fisker EMotion
7/23
The snake-like eye of the Fisker EMotion
Fisker's design makes use of plenty of carbon fiber and aluminum to keep the EMotion light on its feet
8/23
Fisker's design makes use of plenty of carbon fiber and aluminum to keep the EMotion light on its feet
Fisker plans to offer low-rolling resistance Pirelli tires and carbon barrel wheels
9/23
Fisker plans to offer low-rolling resistance Pirelli tires and carbon barrel wheels
Henrik Fisker stands tall with his latest creation
10/23
Henrik Fisker stands tall with his latest creation
The EMotion's doors can be opened and closed using a smartphone app
11/23
The EMotion's doors can be opened and closed using a smartphone app
Fisker EMotion
12/23
Fisker EMotion
The Fisker EMotion made its debut at CES 2018
13/23
The Fisker EMotion made its debut at CES 2018
Fisker pops the butterfly doors for a peek inside
14/23
Fisker pops the butterfly doors for a peek inside
No need for a conventional grille, so Fisker has designed the front around  the LIDAR 
15/23
No need for a conventional grille, so Fisker has designed the front around  the LIDAR 
The latest photos don't show the EMotion's whole front, so here's an older picture for a better view
16/23
The latest photos don't show the EMotion's whole front, so here's an older picture for a better view
Fisker shows how the electric powertrain influenced the EMotion's dimensions
17/23
Fisker shows how the electric powertrain influenced the EMotion's dimensions
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
18/23
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
19/23
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
20/23
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
21/23
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
22/23
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
23/23
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018

Fisker Inc. has plenty of experience teasing and detailing its debut car ... more than a year of it, in fact. But before 2018, the all-electric EMotion had yet to be properly introduced to the world at a formal premiere. That's all changed at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, where Fisker is showing off a devilishly red EMotion, its compelling interior and the cutting edge battery technology that promises to drive it over 400 miles (644 km) per charge.

Following the unraveling of his previous company Fisker Automotive, there was a brief period of time we would have expected to see Henrik Fisker at a petrol-scented auto show pulling the cloth off a V10-stuffed sports car, or even at an international yacht show presenting an ocean-splitting superyacht. But not so much at CES.

But the EMotion is a different beast. Not only is it an all-electric vehicle at a show that loves electric vehicles, it's an all-out technological tour de force highlighted by its budding solid-state battery technology, advanced Level 4 autonomy suite, and luxurious interior designed for limousine-like comfort and leisure.

Fisker pops the butterfly doors for a peek inside
Fisker pops the butterfly doors for a peek inside

The interior might be the most interesting part of this week's debut since Fisker had previously been keeping it mostly concealed behind the smartphone app-lift butterfly doors. Fisker fancies it the luxury interior of the future, and from what we're seeing, the young company has done a masterful job melding the worlds of performance sports coupes and luxury sedans.

While the EMotion will offer autonomous driving for those who so choose, we're guessing many drivers won't want to cede control once they drop into the ultra-soft leather driver's seat, wrap their fingers around the steering wheel and get a status update from the digital dash. The EMotion is built to keep the driver's attention fully focused on negotiating the nuances of the road ahead, the driver's compartment cut off from the passenger side by a carbon fiber center console and diagonally dropped tablet-sized digital display. There's also a separate dash display.

The EMotion relies on two digital console displays and a digital instrument cluster to show information and provide control
The EMotion relies on two digital console displays and a digital instrument cluster to show information and provide control

The driver's seat is certainly inviting, but it isn't the most prized in the EMotion house. In fact, passengers won't have the slightest inclination to call "shotgun" and will instead be fighting over the passenger-side rear seat. This VIP seat, available as part of the "chauffeur edition," features miles of legroom and a 27-in curved display in place of the puny screen you'd expect to see affixed to the back of the front headrest.

The "chauffeur edition" brings a super-comfy passenger-side rear seat with 27-in display
The "chauffeur edition" brings a super-comfy passenger-side rear seat with 27-in display

Whether or not the buyer opts for the chauffeur package, Fisker promises four individual "first class" seats with electric adjustment. Alternatively, a three-seat bench can fill out the rear to create a sporty five-seater. Up above, the roof has a four-zone adjustable tint system.

Fisker is able to keep the cabin roomy in spite of the sporty exterior thanks to the decentralized nature of the electric powertrain and overall body design, with its short hood, long wheelbase and tiny overhangs.

Fisker shows how the electric powertrain influenced the EMotion's dimensions
Fisker shows how the electric powertrain influenced the EMotion's dimensions

We've already had a good look at the EMotion's general proportions, along with the redesigned, centered-LIDAR face, but the CES reveal gives a better feel for how sporty and aggressive it is all around. The rear 3/4 view brings to light the large carbon diffuser, precisely proportioned spoiler, sharp lighting signature and sloped roofline – definitely a car that looks like it's ready to use its immediate torque to pounce off the line.

Fisker's autonomy suite includes five Quanergy LIDAR units spread around the front and rear. The EMotion's hardware kit will support autonomous driving up to Level 4, though that probably won't be fully active until later down the line.

Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018

Beyond reiterating a 161-mph (259-km/h) top speed, Fisker is still keeping quiet about the specifics of the motors driving all four wheels. But it is doing some (limited) talking about the flexible solid-state battery that it hopes will eventually keep those motors running.

The question of Fisker's battery has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride over the year+ that the EMotion has been public. What hasn't wavered is Fisker's 400-mile (644-km) range promise. What has is what type of cells will be delivering it.

When Fisker first announced the EMotion back in October 2016, it was all about graphene battery tech and a Fisker Nanotech partnership aiming to create a "radical new battery technology" that would establish a "new paradigm of what's possible." Within a few short months, though, the company was dropping mention of a back-up plan of ol', reliable lithium-ion.

Last June, Automotive News reported that the Fisker Nanotech partnership was disbanded and Fisker was shifting focus toward solid-state battery technology. A few months later, Fisker provided a bit more detail about the direction of that solid-state work, breakthroughs it was working on and some patent filings. The announcement was quite speculative, but items like the 500+ mile (805+ km) range and 1-minute charging time still popped to life right off the page. They were rather difficult to take at face value, however.

Fisker shows a 3D electrolyte scaffold for its flexible solid state battery tech
Fisker shows a 3D electrolyte scaffold for its flexible solid state battery tech

On the optimistic side, Fisker is working with Dr. Fabio Albano, co-founder of solid-state startup Sakti3, which was gobbled up by the Dyson vacuum guys in their own bid to create the electric wundercar. Fisker believes it will be able to overcome solid-state technology shortcomings in areas like temperature range, manufacturing scalability and high cost, focusing its work on 3D electrode-based batteries with 2.5 times the energy density of lithium-ion. Beyond helping to spur the electric automobile revolution, such batteries could have wide-reaching effects in other industries, including consumer electronics.

That's if it all goes anywhere. Basically Fisker dropped one ultimate (but not ready yet) super-battery technology for an even better (but not ready yet) super-battery technology. You'll be excused – applauded, even – for being more than a touch skeptical.

Fisker EMotion at CES 2018
Fisker EMotion at CES 2018

Whether or not Fisker's solid-state tech lives up to the hype, or even makes it out of the laboratory, one thing is for sure, it won't be doing it in time for launch. Fisker says the solid-state tech won't be ready for production automobiles until sometime between 2020 and 2023 ... and looking at its other estimates and announcement language, we're seeing a trend of unbridled optimism.

Fisker is showing a pair of solid-state batteries as part of its CES exhibit. As for the EMotion show car, the company said previously that it would use LG Chem NMC lithium-ion battery cells. And lots of 'em, more than any other EV previously.

Fisker EMotion
Fisker EMotion

It seems like every time Fisker drops new information about the EMotion, it better highlights what we don't know and/or can't quite trust about the car than what we can take away with any amount of confidence. It's been over a year, and while the car has now made its official world debut, we still don't have solid powertrain or battery specs, and estimates like the 400-mile range still seem suspect. So, here we are again, thinking, we'll believe it when we see it ... not on a stage, but in action.

Fisker plans to begin production in 2019 at a US-based manufacturing location to be announced in the second half of 2018. The EMotion's base price is currently set at $129,900.

Source: Fisker Inc.

8 comments
nameless minion
Those doors are very cool. How do you open them if you are in a normal parking spot?
Daishi
It seems pretty aggressive for a startup auto company to want to bite off making breakthroughs in battery technology and level 4 autonomy in the process of getting a new car company off the ground. I have the same criticism of Dyson. They insist on trying to boil the ocean. It seems like there are a lot of big egos involved who underestimate the difficulty of doing this all at once. I don't think it will be long before Faraday Future throws in the towel.
Derek Howe
I don't really care for the front end...but the back is truly stunning. Fisker: Big Ambitions, Big Specs, Big Price.
Joshua Tulberg
Sexy. But the doors are obnoxious.
Mr T
Pure vapourware until they hit the road, these guys have been talking this up for years to get investors on board but have produced nothing but a prototype.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really cool. I hope the technology will trickle down to less expensive every day cars. I think it would be like air conditioning and powered windows. They are start at more expensive vehicles but are (almost) standard equipment on far more affordable vehicles.
YuraG
If a few milliarders trow 1% of their wealth at Fisker Inc, it might have a chance. Till then, we'll have to enjoy the rich boys' race to the stars and few challenges to Tesla. PS: this is an excellent report by C.C. Weiss. Thanks!
guzmanchinky
Great looking car. They just opened a dealership down the street here in Newport Beach. I look forward to seeing them succeed. I think we are really very close to a battery that can go as far as a normal car and can be charged in 5 minutes.