Henrik Fisker is a legendary automobile designer, credited with some of the most beautiful vehicles in history, including the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Karma’s design of him is impressive, although production of him ran into difficulties and Fisker is no longer involved with the current version. But if the Karma brought the semblance of a concept car from dreams to production reality, the recently mentioned Ronin is on another level. It could be the coolest EV yet.
One thing that’s sadly missing from the electric vehicle world so far is a good sporty convertible. Sure, the original Tesla Roadster was a softtop, and the upcoming new Roadster will be, too. But there have been very few alternatives in between. There are cabriolet versions of the electric Fiat 500 and the Smart EQ fortwo, but it’s not a sports car either. There have also been classic convertibles that have been switched to electric. But Fisker’s Ronin is a modern electric sports convertible built from the ground up, and there’s more to it, too.
Joking design images from Fisker’s Instagram account show that the Ronin isn’t just a convertible, it also has four seats. It’s not specified how big those rear seats are, but they don’t look huge. It looks more like a 2+2, although apparently the Ronin is a four-door car, so getting into those rear seats won’t be as difficult as it would be in a two-door. You can also see some of the Aston Martin convertible DNA in the Ronin. These are also 2+2 layouts, albeit two-door. In fact, four-door convertibles are extremely rare even in the world of internal combustion. The Lincoln Continental is the only one that comes to mind.
While the four-door, four-seat format may make the Ronin sound like a GT cruiser, the performance specs mean Fisker is trying to keep a close eye on Tesla’s new Roadster. The target range is similar to 600 miles, and the target sprint to 60 mph is around two seconds (Tesla is targeting 1.9 seconds). The $200,000 price tag is what to expect for the base Tesla Roadster as well. However, there is no information on the maximum speed.
Convertibles generally have an issue with chassis stiffness compared to hardtops, which usually involves additional bracing that adds weight. With the added difficulty of four seats and four doors, the Ronin will need solid engineering to maintain the sporty driving dynamics of electric hardtop supercars. But if it achieves the performance spec Fisker is after and solves the stiffness issue enough to provide convincing driving dynamics, this could be the EV to dream of. Henrik Fisker’s design story and teaser images imply a strong aesthetic.
Of course, the Ronin is still in the design stage, so it’s still further from reality than the new Tesla Roadster. Fisker said “production was planned for 2024” on Instagram, but the Roadster should top that. Fisker also has a few other vehicles on the roadmap to get out first. The Fisker Ocean SUV is on its way to full production, and Fisker also has a partnership with Foxconn to produce the next PEAR vehicle. This will be the other end of the scale from the Ronin, with a price target of $29,900. Production is scheduled to begin at the Foxconn Ohio plant in 2024 with promised output of at least 250,000 units a year.
Automotive history is littered with noble attempts to challenge established players. Many fail, and Fisker’s Karma did because of quality issues with his sole battery supplier. The Ronin is an extremely bold design for a manufacturer that has yet to ship a production vehicle. But Henrik Fisker has a history of great cars, and the tie-up with Foxconn should build some confidence, given that the company is a major supplier to Apple. The Ronin could be the dream electric vehicle for road trips through California or the French Riviera. I really hope it sees the light of day.