The Fisker Ocean electric SUV just entered production in Magna Steyr’s green factory in Graz, Austria, and it’s expected to make its official market debut in the first part of 2023. However, some automotive outlets were allowed to drive some pre-production prototypes and one report based on such a drive highlights many qualities that the Ocean seems to have.

After experiencing the pre-production Ocean, MotorTrend suggests that this stylish electric SUV might mark a change of fortune for Henrik Fisker, who the media still sees as being haunted by the failed Fisker Karma project. However, the Danish-born car designer, who is also known for penning iconic cars at Aston Martin or BMW, seemed very confident of the Ocean’s success when we talked to him earlier this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

According to the MotorTrend report, with the Ocean, Fisker “might finally have a winner.” They were allowed to drive a prototype previewing the Ocean Extreme all-wheel drive model, which has the 550-horsepower dual-motor setup, and provides really good acceleration, although when pushed into a corner it apparently feels like a front-wheel drive-biased vehicle.

Gallery: Fisker Ocean at Goodwood FoS 2022

It’s worth noting that being a dual-motor EV, this characteristic can be relatively easily adjusted, so that the vehicle will be more fun to drive, more like a rear-wheel drive sports car. And the vehicle was a prototype, so it’s still subject to change, and the journalists’ feedback was surely noted by the manufacturer.

In regard to its driving manners, what really impressed during the drive was that even though the vehicle had 22-inch wheels, it provided excellent ride comfort, surprising agility and remarkable quietness even at speed. Braking was reportedly not sharp enough, though, with too much pedal travel before the brakes actually started biting, and the accelerator pedal could have better response too, although these just sound like calibration issues.

As for the user experience inside the vehicle, the source article puts the Ocean in a surprisingly good light. Even though the automaker gave the vehicle a big 17.1-inch screen that can rotate 90 degrees between portrait and landscape orientations, the climate controls are on a separate panel with physical buttons that doesn’t move with the screen.

They mention the design of the steering wheel could be improve, though, with fingers pointed at the touch-sensitive panels that can easily be touched by accident. And the steering could be a bit lighter as it now apparently feels a bit too heavy and it reduces feel.

Overall, though, the points of criticism weren’t especially significant and by the end of reading the source article, you’re left with a sense that there is a lot to like and that with a few minor changes, this vehicle stands a very good chance of quickly winning fans, especially given its uniqueness and relatively low starting price of $37,499. 

It is worth noting, though, that in the US it’s not going to be as attractive a buy as it would have been before the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act that now makes non-US-built EVs ineligible for the $7,000 federal tax credit.

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