Fisker Ocean Sails to American Shores and We Take One for a Lap

Jackson Wheeler
11 Min Read


  • The Fisker Ocean all-electric SUV is arriving in the US now.
  • We drove one and generally liked it, though the entry level $38,999 Sport model may not be available as quickly as the top-of-the-line $61,499 Extreme.
  • The optimistic Henrik Fisker has three other vehicles in the pipeline.

The biggest problem with the Fisker Ocean all-electric SUV might be just getting ahold of one. The practical, fully functional crossover utility is made under contract by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, on the same line as the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes Gelandewagen, among 32 different models for 11 different OEMs that Magna has built.

Of the 8000 or so Fisker Oceans built so far, most have gone to buyers in Europe, which seems to make sense given the challenge of global logistics. But in recent weeks, Oceans have washed up on our shores here in the US and we got ahold of one for a drive.

There are now three models of Ocean that you can order:

  • Sport, the cheapest of them all at $38,999, with a single electric motor driving the front wheels using an inexpesive and safe 75-kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery good for an EPA estimated range of 231 miles. It’ll get to 60 mph in an efficient, if relatively leisurely 6.9 seconds. According to the company website, there’s a lease deal on the Sport of just $379 a month.
  • Ultra is the mid-range model starting at $52,999. It offers all-wheel drive and a more energy-dense 113-kWh (106.5 useable) lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide battery that will take the Ocean sailing to 350 miles range.
  • Extreme is the top-of-the-line model starting at $61,499. It has AWD and can be ordered with a hyper-range battery good for 360 miles. With a total of 564 hp from the combined front and rear-mounted motors, the Extreme will get to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, Fisker says.

All Oceans run on a 400-volt architecture that should accept charging as fast as 200 kW. That means you can go from 10% state-of-charge to 80% in just 35 minutes at a Level 3 DC charger, according to Fisker. (Good luck finding a 200-kW charger that is working, available, and not vandalized!)

You can order your Ocean with the optional Solar Sky array of rooftop solar panels that Fisker claims can add 1500 miles of range each year (another part of the website says it’ll add 2000 miles). Fisker has not said how many kW that solar array can produce. But it’s a cool feature to show the neighbors.

It’s a quick launch that’ll thrill most any passenger you’re trying to impress.

Inside, the Fisker is slathered with eco-friendliness. With material made from recycled ocean plastics (really!), you can almost hear the baby sea turtles thanking you with every emission-free kilometer you sail.

This enviro-consciousness in every detail seems to be a signature feature of Fiskers, as we recall fondly the single tongue depressor of salvaged Great Lakes wood that adorned the dash of the original Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid so many years ago. But, you gotta figure, a high percentage of EV buyers are making choices based on eco-friendliness, so this may be a good marketing move.

Your keister doesn’t know what the material is, but it will find the seats supremely comfortable. The Ocean’s interior is cozy without being claustrophobic—there is elbow room aplenty and more headroom than my gangly 6-foot-1 frame could possibly use.

Cargo space is up to 32.43 cubic feet with the seats folded down in back, 16.81 with the second row seats up. There are two flip-up/fold-out taco trays (Fisker’s term) available in front—the driver’s tray being an impressive configuration of machined gymnastics that flips out like a mechanical party trick.

And best of all is the 17.1-inch mega-screen on the center of the dash, which can be enjoyed vertically or, when in park, horizontally. On this screen arises a larger-than-GI Joe Henrik Fisker himself, welcoming you and saluting your good taste in automobiles.

“Thank you for joining us in our shared vision,” the smiling, conjured Fisker says. “Right now sitting behind the wheel of your Fisker Ocean, you are part of that vision. Sit back and relax and get ready for the drive of your life. See you on the road. Thank you.”

the interior of a fisker oceanVIEW PHOTOS

Ocean interior dominated by a 17.1-inch screen.

Fisker

You’re welcome. Early adopters love this stuff and I admit, I was amused. The tape doesn’t roll every time you start the car—you have to hit a button on a menu. And I must say Henrik comes across a lot warmer than some of his competitors.

My test-Ocean was the Extreme model, with many added features. I had the sunroof with its vaunted “California Mode,” wherein the solar roof opened to the heavens and all the windows rolled down, including little doglet windows in the wayback, because who doesn’t love seeing dogs stick their snouts out the window on the freeway?

The powertrain engages into drive mode by pushing down on the shifter stalk just like a Mercedes or a Lucid. The difference is there’s no hillholder or creep functions, so you have to keep your foot on the brake until you’re ready to go, then either two-foot it or heel-and-toe it so you don’t roll back into whatever’s parked behind you. Fisker is working on adding a hillholder and a creep function, the company promises.

And with that I was off, in search of a curve in which I could try out the Hyper mode. There are three modes for driving: the city-plodding, battery conserving Earth mode; the obvious Fun mode; and Hyper. There is also a Boost mode, if you have the right model of Ocean.

It was suggested I try out nearby Carbon Canyon, where curves appear on maps, so that’s where I headed. On the way, in stop-and-go SoCal freeway traffic, I found the Ocean was just the right size for daily living. It can easily fit five and the aforementioned dog or dogs in the way back, snouts in the breeze, but it’s also quite comfortable for just one human.

the interior of a fisker oceanVIEW PHOTOS

California Mode, with sunroof open and all windows down.

Fisker

In Hyper mode you’re supposed to get a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds, but the most I got on my drive was 4.5. It’s possible that the 3.7 requires Boost mode, which either wasn’t on my test vehicle or wasn’t obviously accessible.

Granted, I was timing my runs with an iPhone, so maybe it was getting 3.7 seconds and I wasn’t capturing it. Let’s assume 3.7 is easily repeatable given the right vehicle settings. Either way, it’s a quick launch that’ll thrill most any passenger you’re trying to impress.

At Carbon Canyon I found curves here and there, but too much traffic. On the way back I hung back enough to get a couple of clear shots on some 180-degree on-camber turns and found the Ocean did well.

fisker oceanVIEW PHOTOS

Fisker Ocean interior with eco-friendly seating materials.

Fisker

Minimal body roll from the steel spring suspension was evident, but the 255/50R20 Bridgestone Potenza Sports, made with at least some consideration for range efficiency, slid a little bit when really pushed. It’s a tradeoff you can live with to get 360 miles on a charge, more than anything in the class, Fisker says.

Is there really a need for a performance SUV, anyway? Almost all your driving will be in the suburbs where you couldn’t even performance-drive if you wanted. For that, I would choose the FWD Ocean Sport for 39 grand.

Is the Fisker Ocean on your consideration list among battery-electric crossovers, luxury or otherwise? Please comment below.

Headshot of Mark Vaughn

Mark Vaughn grew up in a Ford family and spent many hours holding a trouble light over a straight-six miraculously fed by a single-barrel carburetor while his father cursed Ford, all its products and everyone who ever worked there. This was his introduction to objective automotive criticism. He started writing for City News Service in Los Angeles, then moved to Europe and became editor of a car magazine called, creatively, Auto. He decided Auto should cover Formula 1, sports prototypes and touring cars—no one stopped him! From there he interviewed with Autoweek at the 1989 Frankfurt motor show and has been with us ever since.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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