Our readers will probably remember that Fisker and Magna Steyr announced to have signed agreements back in October. What none of these companies stressed at the time was that they were “entering into agreements.” The final papers have only been signed now to ensure Magna Steyr will produce the Ocean electric SUV for Fisker and allow it to use its electric platform. A “production-intent” prototype will probably emerge in Summer 2021.
Although Fisker has said the SUV’s development would take only half of what it usually takes, production is scheduled to begin by Q4 2022 if everything goes as planned. Fisker already has the car design and claims that the Fisker-Flexible Platform Adaptive Design (FF-PAD) can adopt any electric car platform. If that is the case, why will the “production-intent” prototype have to wait until Q4 2022 to be built?
From the presentation of this prototype up to the projected start of production, that’s about 18 months, the same amount of time the second-generation Fiat Bravo – also known as Type 198 – needed to be completed.
Car project developments take a long time to mature, and that is not properly an issue. If Fisker is confident development will be quick, presenting the vehicle only by November 2022 probably has more to do with the sales network and Magna’s availability to manufacture it than with other factors.
Fisker and Magna Steyr already disclosed that the car would use the FM29 platform. We’d bet FM stands for “Fisker” and “Magna,” and the 29 may refer to its wheelbase – 2900 mm, perhaps?
As promised when we told you about Fisker becoming a public company with a SPAC, we have contacted Magna Steyr to learn more about this electric car platform. According to the Canadian supplier, the FM29 platform is based on a Magna Steyr electric car architecture that apparently has no name. It would be similar to what Foxconn announced it wants to do with its open-source electric car platform – which, by the way, is called MIH.
InsideEVs asked Magna Steyr for more details on the architecture, and the company promised on November 5 it would put us in contact with one of their engineers. We are still waiting for that conversation.
By coincidence, the Chinese website Carsxw.com published on November 20 that BAIC made a partnership with Magna to develop a scalable open-source platform for electric cars. This new architecture was based on the one the Arcfox αT introduced, and it is called BE21. Arcfox is one of the brands BAIC has created for the Chinese market.
We have asked Magna Steyr on that same day if it is the same one that will give the Ocean its underpinnings. Although we received no reply so far, it is not unlikely that the Fisker SUV will be related to the Arcfox αT.
That does not mean the vehicles will be identical. Scalable platforms allow for a great variety of cars. The perfect example for that is the Volkswagen MQB, which underpins the Golf and the Atlas. The BE21 can fit vehicles with wheelbases from 2.76 meters (108.7 inches) up to 2.90 m (114.2 inches).
The FM29 version of whatever platform Magna has will have a redesigned front-end structure and will also be longer and wider. Another unique feature of the FM29 will be related to EE (Electrics/Electronics) “features not previously seen in automotive applications,” according to Henrik Fisker. All these EE solutions would have been developed in-house.
The company also said he is working with its cell supplier to optimize the driving unit to offer class-leading output. In terms of efficiency, Fisker's Ultra Long Range (ULR) battery pack option would offer a range of more than 350 miles. When we remember that the Lucid Air will have an estimated range of up to 517 miles, it is clear that the Ocean’s main selling point will probably be its price tag of less than $40,000.