Fisker Atlantic is about the size of an Audi A5 Sportback.
Fisker Atlantic is about the size of an Audi A5 Sportback.
The body has curves so sensuous it should be rated R.
The body has curves so sensuous it should be rated R.
Spider-web roof beams give great strength, huge glass area.
Spider-web roof beams give great strength, huge glass area.

This, says Henrik Fisker, is the Atlantic, his company's first family car, for people who want to drive “an impactful, high-end vehicle while making a positive statement about responsibilities”.

Which, if nothing else, demonstrates that Mr Fisker is a master of spinspeak.

The car, however, speaks for itself; it's a 'mid-sized sports sedan', about the size of an Audi A5 Sportback, with a long bonnet that's slightly uptilted in classic American style, an ultra-short rear deck and hidden rear door handles a la Alfa 156, all tied together by curves so sensuous they should be rated 'R'.

FISKER DOESN’T DO CONCEPTS

What you see here is a design prototype, revealed at a media launch ahead of its world debut at the New York auto show on Wednesday, but as Fisker noted in his presentation, the company doesn't do concepts, so this is pretty much what we'll be seeing when the Atlantic eventually goes into production.

Bearing in mind the embarrassment of repeated delays in the market launch of the luxury Karma sedan, Fisker wouldn't quote delivery dates or prices, although he insisted that this car was “a promise we are going to deliver”.

Like the Karma, the Atlantic has an extended-range, plug-in electric powertrain, with an electric motor driving the rear wheels (an all-wheel drive version will be offered as an option) and a petrol engine charging the lithium-ion battery pack - in this case a turbocharged, two-litre BMW four-cylinder engine, rather than the GM-sourced two-litre unit of the Karma.

RANGE ALWAYS A SORE POINT

It allows drivers to switch manually or automatically between electric and petrol driving modes, charging the batteries on the move.

Fisker wouldn't be drawn on the Atlantic's performance or range (always a sore point with battery cars - ask Tesla!) and wouldn't quote a target price, although he did say it would be in the same range as the Audi 5 and the upper end of the BMW 3 Series.

That's about $45 000 (R350 000) in the United States; however, federal green tax credits could reduce the price to a little more than $40 000 (R307 000), less than half the cost of the Karma.

The Atlantic will be built in a disused GM factory in Delaware; there's nothing going on there at the moment after federal funding fell through but Fisker says he's got about $400 million (R3.1 billion) lined up in private equity financing to get the factory ready for the production of the Atlantic.

He promised more details on the Atlantic, including prices and an on-sale date, when that happens.