Tony O'Kane | Jan 14, 2009

Not content with just debuting the production-ready Karma hybrid sports sedan, up-and-coming boutique manufacturer Fisker also decided to take the wraps off its next eco-friendly project at the Detroit Auto Show: the Karma S Concept.

Essentially a two-door convertible version of the Karma sedan, the Karma S Concept boasts the same 300kW hybrid drivetrain and aluminium spaceframe chassis as its four-door stablemate.

Fisker Karma S

There's still four seats and the Karma S still wears the same Joker-like grin as the sedan, but a power retractable folding hardtop and the deletion of the rear doors makes this a very different beast, both visually and ergonomically.

As with most four-seater convertibles, passengers might find the Karma S's rear cabin a little less than accommodating, but Fisker's cleverly-proportioned folding hardtop and the fatter haunches of the S lend it a far sportier flavour than the sedan. It's low, it's sleek and it even has a vague whiff of Maserati about it. We approve.

We also approve of the fact that the Karma S Concept, like the Karma sedan, is a plug-in hybrid, meaning you can charge it using cheap electricity and drive it for 80km without consuming a single drop of petrol. It's just a design study for now, but we're hoping that if Fisker's Karma ever makes it into volume production (and it very well might), the Karma S would follow it in short order.

FISKER UNVEILS KARMA S PLUG-IN HYBRID HARDTOP CONVERTIBLE CONCEPT AT 2009 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

DETROIT, MI

Fisker Automotive, the new American manufacturer of premium green automobiles, unveiled the Fisker Karma S concept at the 2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today. The four-seat, plug-in hybrid hardtop convertible furthers the company’s belief that driving style and performance need not be compromised for environmental friendliness.

The open-air Fisker Karma S concept shares its aluminum spaceframe architecture and clean Q-DRIVE® powertrain with the Fisker Karma sedan. Designed and engineered by Quantum Technologies exclusively for Fisker Automotive, Q-DRIVE® provides 50 emission-free miles on a single charge to its lithium-ion battery pack, and up to 403hp from two electric motors. The power retractable hard top, a first for Fisker, glides neatly into the trunk and a unique design language sets the Karma S concept apart.

“Our objective is to create a singular design language and heritage around our state-of-the-art Q-DRIVE® powertrain,” said Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. "The Karma S is an extension of the Fisker Automotive product range of eco-conscious automobiles and sets the tone for our future."

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