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Fisker Confirms Four Models in the Works By 2025 – Including All-Electric Pickup

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Fisker offers a good hint as to the four separate models it plans to bring out by 2025.

While the company’s first model, the all-electric Ocean SUV, is still nearly two years away from going to market, Fisker Inc. today announced plans to launch four products by 2025 – and seven longer-term.

In a brief statement accompanying this image, Fisker said it is “planning a portfolio expansion to a four-vehicle range by mid-decade, supporting the company’s long-term goal for Electric Mobility as a service.

The four-vehicle line-up will feature the Ocean SUV, a segment busting super-sports sedan based on the EMotion concept, a sports crossover, and a pickup truck.”

(EXCLUSiVE: With IPO in sight, Fisker reveals production plans, switch to VW MEB platform.)

The Fisker Ocean will be the first model to go into production, pilot operations starting next year.

The timing of the four was confirmed to be 2025, according to spokesman Simon Sproule. He also confirmed comments by company founder Henrik Fisker who, earlier this month, told TheDetroitBureau.com that his eponymous car company is working on seven products total. He would not discuss what the other models might be, however.

In a conversation on July 17, Fisker did hint that not only will there be other models coming but that there will be multiple variants of products like the Ocean SUV.

Fisker, a long-time automotive designer hailed for his work on projects like the Aston Martin DB-9, was an early pioneer in electrification. His first go at it, Fisker Automotive, developed the Karma plug-in hybrid sports car but went bankrupt in 2012. Its assets were sold off the following year to a Chinese company that has brought it back as Karma Automotive. An updated version of the plug-in model is now known as the Revero.

The gull-winged Fisker EMotion was the company’s first concept and will return by 2025 in production.

Fisker Inc. emerged in 2016 with a concept called the EMotion. That model was put on hold, Fisker choosing to launch first with an electric SUV more reflective of current market realities. It will begin pilot production in late 2021, the founder and CEO told TheDetroitBureau.com, with sales to begin by spring of the following year.

Once hoping to use futuristic ultracapacitors to provide extended range, Fisker has now fallen back on more conventional lithium-ion batteries. It has also changed its strategy on manufacturing. Initially, it hoped to set up its own plant, much like rival Tesla. But, watching the problems faced by other start-ups, such as Lucid and Faraday Future, Fisker has made an abrupt shift.

(Fisker going public on NYSE, expected to raise $1 billion.)

Instead, it now plans to base its products off platforms provided by other manufacturers. In the case of the Fisker Ocean, the SUV will ride on a version of the MEB architecture underpinning Volkswagen models like the ID.3 and ID.4. It will then turn to a contractor, such as Austria-based Magna Steyr, to handle production

Fisker’s all-electric pickup will go up against such competitors as the Tesla Cybertruck.

“When we created Fisker Inc., we set out to create a company that could deliver electric mobility as a service but do so through a range of highly emotional and differentiated vehicles,” said Fisker in Thursday’s news release. “Together with our innovative lease program, we will be able to bring a diverse choice of products to suit a wide variety of customers across many different budgets points.”

Company officials have said they may turn to different manufacturers for the platforms used for different Fisker models. There are numerous possibilities including not only established automakers like Volkswagen, but other startups that might seek to increase their volumes and, in the process, achieve better economies of scale.

The revelation that Fisker will develop an all-electric pickup shows its interest in entering what could be a major volume segment, But it will also face some challenges there. While three full-size models lead the U.S. sales charts, there is no clear sense of whether buyers will be open to going electric, something likely to depend upon meeting key attributes such as payload, towing capacity, range and operating cost, according to industry analysts.

(By the numbers: Fisker offers plenty of specs on the all-electric Ocean SUV.)

Meanwhile, the electric truck segment is set to get crowded in a hurry. General Motors this week confirmed plans to have its GMC Hummer pickup in production by late 2020, and recently confirmed it also will have an electric Chevrolet pickup. Ford is working on a version of its best-selling F-150 and Fiat Chrysler is widely expected to weigh in with an electric Ram. Among newer manufacturers, Tesla claims to have received significant advance reservations for its Cybertruck, while other players, such as Lordstown Motors, Rivian and Bollinger are readying EV trucks of their own.

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Source: https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2020/07/fisker-confirms-four-models-in-the-works-by-2025-including-all-electric-pickup/

Automotive

GM Debuts Even Quicker Fourth-Generation Magnetic Ride Control

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It’s been almost 20 years since Cadillac first introduced their nifty MagneRide technology on the Cadillac STS Seville, and, at the time, was pretty groundbreaking stuff, offering technology that would adjust and adapt suspension components of a vehicle in real-time in response to changes in terrain. Now on its fourth generation, MagneRide 4.0 gets a number of substantial upgrades across the board making it, in Cadillac’s own words, the world’s fastest reacting suspension technology. And with up to 45% faster damping response than the third generation, we kinda believe that claim. 

According to Cadillac, these are the most dramatic changes yet to the MagneRide system yet, and will elevate the driving performance and road-going comfort of the 2021 Cadillac CT4-V, CT5-V, CT5 Sport, and Escalade. “With MagneRide 4.0, the world’s fastest reacting suspension system is now even faster,” said Thomas Schinderle, Cadillac vehicle performance engineer. “When paired with our sedans’ award-winning rear-wheel-drive architecture, the result is two of the most responsive sport sedans on the market, with reflexes that elevate the already high threshold of the V-Series legacy.”

MagneRide is an active damping system that literally uses electromagnets and magnetorheological fluid to help vary the damping rate of the shock absorbers. Wheel accelerometers read the road up to 1,000 times a second, triggering adjustments in the magnetic charge in the fluid. This fluid then adjusts the shocks almost instantly, allowing the vehicle to better respond to different road surfaces and corners, maximizing the traction on the road at all times. 

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Every facet of the previous MagneRide system was improved to create version 4.0, with new wheel hub accelerometers, an inertial measurement unit that processes changes four times faster and is more precise, new temperature maps for the fluid, new flux control to provide more consistent and more accurate changes between rebound and compression, reduced damper friction for more pronounced differences between drive modes, and new software and hardware to help the vehicle remain more level when transitioning through corners. 

MagneRide 4.0 comes standard on the 2021 Cadillac CT4-V in rear-wheel drive and CT5-V and starts at $45,8901 and $48,7901, respectively. The 2021 CT5 Sport can get MagenRide 4.0 as part of an optional V Performance Package, plus suspension performance upgrades and a mechanical limited-slip diff. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will have MagneRide 4.0 on the Sport and Platinum models as standard, which starts at $86,8901 and $101,2901, respectively. The Premium Luxury trim may get MagneRide 4.0 as part of an optional Performance Package. 

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/449461/gm-debuts-new-magnetic-ride/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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BMW Gives Android Auto, Other Freebies To 750,000 Owners In OTA Update

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In 2012, Wired reported that Tesla would deliver the auto industry’s first over-the-air (OTA) update to more than 100 Model S sedans. Fast forward to 2020, and BMW has announced it’ll deliver a free OTA update to more than 750,000 cars in markets worldwide. BMW OS 7 and the Remote Software Upgrade tech allow the automaker to update existing features while introducing completely new ones, like adding wireless Android Auto for the first time.

Google’s in-car connectivity software joins Apple CarPlay that has already been available in BMW models, though there’s a lot more included in the update. BMW is updating its proprietary map software for an “entirely new navigation experience.” BMW says its cloud-based system can calculate routes faster by combining real-time info with forecast models. Even CarPlay gets some love with turn-by-turn directions and lane information that’s now viewable in the head-up display. Oh, and there’s no mention of an Android Auto subscription.

BMW’s other new features try to make the driving a bit less frustrating. BMW’s Connected Parking, which helps drivers find parking spots and shows the probability of a spot being open, can now consider the vehicle’s size when assisting. BMW’s eDrive Zones can automatically switch the vehicle to its pure electric driving mode through geofencing. So far, 90 European cities have established such zones. Even BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant is a bit smarter, distinguishing between whether the driver or passenger is speaking.

OTA updates for cars didn’t exist a decade ago. But today, BMW, Ford, GM, and others are offering it, or they will be offering it soon. It is just one example of how pure vehicles are changing, highlighting their rapid digitalization and increased connectivity, enabling a host of new and interesting features. Pair that with electric vehicles, and you have a rapidly changing automotive landscape. All you have to do is download it.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/449377/bmw-ota-update-750000-cars/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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VW Uses Engine Rev Hang To Cut Emissions

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It has been almost a year since Volkswagen introduced the eighth-generation Golf – the latest version of VW’s best-seller. While a lot can be said about the Golf’s design, one of the great things about it is that it still can be ordered with a 6-speed manual transmission. For enthusiasts and purists, that’s a huge thing, considering that only 12 percent of new models in the U.S. are offered with a stick shift.

But as with most modern cars, the latest VW Golf has an engine rev hang, which is most noticeable in cars equipped with a manual gearbox.

Douglas Skorupski, Volkswagen of America, Inc.’s powertrain strategy manager, has a good explanation for this, as reported by Autoweek. According to Skorupski, the engine rev hang cuts the Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emissions of cars.

“As you pull your foot off the throttle, what we are trying to prevent is a big hunk of air getting into the chamber without any fuel. If air gets in that way, when you do reapply throttle, it creates a lean condition (a higher than 14.7:1 air-to-fuel ratio), which generates nitrous oxides or NOx. By delaying the fuel cut-off in the cylinder, we get some fuel in there with the air to keep the mixture correct and avoid the lean condition and prevent the NOx from occurring,” Skorupski said in an explanation in Autoweek‘s report.

Engine rev hang isn’t actually limited to the VW Golf. Most modern cars are equipped with electronic throttle bodies, resulting in the catalytic converter’s better control of air/fuel ratio balance and improvement of throttle control. But the use of this technology also ushered in engine rev hang, especially felt in manual gearboxes since you’re in full autonomy.

While it can be intrusive for some, it’s good to know that engine rev hang has a positive environmental effect – no matter how marginal it sounds. 

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/448273/vw-golf-manual-rev-hang/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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