Fisker unveils its new Atlantic plug-in car

@PeterDrivesApril 3, 2012: 8:45 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Fisker Automotive, best known as the manufacturer of the Fisker Karma, a high-end plug-in luxury car, unveiled its next model, the Atlantic, Tuesday night in advance of the New York Auto Show.

Prior to its unveiling, the Atlantic had been known only by the project name Nina.

It's an electric car with a four-cylinder BMW engine that will produce electricity on board for extended driving. The Atlantic can go about 30 miles on a single charge before needing to use the gasoline engine. As with the Karma, however, the driver can choose to run the engine at any time for added performance or to conserve battery power for later use.

The Atlantic will be available in two- or four-wheel drive versions, Fisker said. One common criticism of the larger Fisker Karma has been the car's cramped interior. With the Atlantic, Fisker boasts of the hi-tech roof construction which allows for additional headroom and a long wheelbase, allowing for more rear legroom. The automaker did not provide precise dimensions, however.

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"We are exceptionally proud of the Atlantic design prototype, and believe we have created another groundbreaking car that looks and will drive like nothing else on the road in this class," said Henrik Fisker, Fisker executive chairman, in a statement.

The car is expected to cost around $47,000 -- or $40,000 after federal tax credits -- but Fisker will not announce pricing details until closer to the car's expected production date.

Perhaps even more importantly than the new car, Fisker also announced new investments. Company chairman Henrik Fisker said the automaker has secured about $400 million in private equity financing which will allow the automaker to resume work on the Delaware factory that will build the Atlantic.

Fisker had been depending on Department of Energy loans to refurbish a former General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) factory in Wilmington, Del.

Work on that plant was suspended after the Department of Energy blocked Fisker's access to the loan money. The automaker had gotten $528 million in DOE loan guarantees but had only tapped $193 million of that before funds were cut last May. The issue, according to Fisker, was that the automaker had missed certain production milestones.

So far, Fisker has sold about 750 Karma sedans, Fisker said, at prices just over $100,000 each, mostly in the United States. The Karma is assembled in Finland.

In its short time on the market, the Karma suffered a few quality problems including, most recently, the discovery of a battery defect that requires the replacement of the battery packs in all cars sold so far. (The defect was the fault of battery maker A123 systems, not Fisker itself.)

Fisker has responded by lengthening the warranty on the batteries and by announcing a "SWAT" team dedicated to identifying and correcting quality issues. To top of page

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