Fisker Ocean's California Mode turns electric SUV into make-believe convertible

Put the wind in your hair without the compromises of a convertible.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Fisker Ocean California Mode

An Ocean by the ocean. I see what Fisker did there.


The Fisker Ocean is coming. Anyone can preorder one of the startup's electric SUVs and the model will make its debut in the metal at CES 2020 next month. On Thursday, Fisker decided to announce a little more sunshine added to the Ocean's mix, however.

We finally know what exactly the company's California Mode is, and what it does. Previously, Fisker teased it as some sort of open-air feature, and that's essentially what it is. The startup said the driver can push one button to roll back two roof panels, six side windows and the rear hatch's glass. It's not exactly the same as a true convertible, but it's neat, no doubt.

A lot of engineering went into making sure the typically sealed third side -- the rearmost quarter window -- can open. Fisker explained that this part of the body is typically part of a single body side pressing, but the company's engineering team found a way to make a space for a window to roll down. Further, it supposedly isn't overly complicated to manufacture.

Fisker Ocean waves hello and shows off its studly form

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Having the rear hatch's glass drop down provides some extra utility, too. This also required a rethinking and engineers spent time reworking typical body panels and figured out a different way to assemble them. Now, drivers can hang a surfboard out the back with ease. Or, just enjoy the breeze all of the windows provide.

Every Ocean will come with the California Mode as standard equipment, save for the base model. Right now, anyone can download the Fisker app and plop down $250 to preorder their Ocean. The money will go toward a "flexible lease" program or an outright purchase, the company said. 

While it hasn't detailed a sale price, Fisker is primarily focused on its flexible lease scheme. For $379 per month, buyers can take delivery of an Ocean and keep it without any contract. A short-term lease is cool, and keeping the SUV for years is also just dandy. This program will require a $2,999 downpayment.

It won't be long before we have full details on the Ocean. Fisker will reveal the SUV in just a few weeks.

Watch this: We talk to Henrik Fisker about the EMotion at CES