The first image of the 100mpg plug-in hybrid that former BMW and Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker is planning for production in 2009 has been released ahead of the car’s Detroit show debut in January 2008.
Described as “being the height of a Porsche 911, but with the internal space to fit four adults and their luggage”, the new car is a ground-up new design, according to Fisker Automotive.
The swooping, low roof-line and sculpted front wings definitely give Fisker’s design the look of a four-door supercar, with echoes of the Aston Martin Rapide.
But it will need brilliant project management, design and engineering skills to get the production model anywhere near the quality promised in this sketch.
Even more ambitiously, the design gives a glimpse of the look that should lead to a “range of beautiful, exciting-looking environmental-friendly cars”, says the company.
Key performance targets of the sporty four-seater are a 50-mile range on pure electric power and an overall range of 620 miles when the car is used in hybrid mode.
Details of the new hybrid’s chassis and powertrain are still secret, although both petrol and diesel hybrids will be offered.
The chassis? Fisker Automotive claims that “all cars will have a completely new platform developed from the ground-up”.
That will clearly be very expensive and a major technical challenge. For example, getting regulatory approval in crash and emissions tests is enough work to keep teams of dozens of engineers busy at the world’s biggest car-makers for several years.