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At the unveiling Fisker chairman and founder Henrik Fisker stated “Fisker started this conversation about extended range vehicles. In 2007 no one was talking about extended range electric vehicles. This is the car for today.

Indeed. The folks at Fisker are saying the new Atlantic will retail starting at $45,000, which is in the same general price range as other luxury cars — but sure knocks the socks off of its competition in terms of fuel efficiency, looks, and added bonuses. The range and drive-train technology is similar between the Fisker Atlantic and the Chevy Volt, and the Fisker Atlantic will only be about $6000 more, when it comes out.

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The Fisker Atlantic is shorter than its predecessor the Karma sedan, and it will be more affordable too – the cheapest package will sell for about $45,000. The Atlantic will be capable of driving in all-electric mode, after which a four-cylinder turbocharged BMW engine kicks in to generate electricity for longer trips. BMW will produce up to 100,000 engines per year in addition to other components for future models.

With an elegant design that features rear handles that are flawlessly hidden between the window and the C-pillar (check out an interior photo we snapped here), the Atlantic is the perfect example of sporty sedan meets EV. In fact, we did a few double-takes as we walked around the car and saw many of the same upscale curves of the Karma. Offering those at a more affordable pricepoint is a move that will invigorate interest in buyers that saw the Karma as more of an unachievable dream car.

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The strategy couldn’t come at a better time. While the $107,000 Karma sedan has thus far kept afloat, Fisker missed out on a large portion of a $529 million Department of Energy loan due to missed production deadlines. The loan would have enabled the California-based automaker to start producing the Atlantic at a former General Motors factory in Wilmington, Delaware that the company purchased in 2009.

The Atlantic may be positioned as more of an affordable “family car,” but its looks are far from your average minivan. Vice President Joe Biden was one of the few people outside of Fisker who saw the vehicle before its release, and he described it as a “four-door Ferrari.”

+ Fisker Automotive

Images © Jill Fehrenbacher and Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat