Our first sneak peak at the production-spec Fisker Karma back in December revealed an unusually proportioned four door saloon, with a snout only a mother could love. Fast forward to the Detroit motor show, and the official reveal, and it's amazing how time has improved our perception of the Karma's curves.
A mere twelve months ago, the Fisker Karma was a concept vehicle with high aspirations, today it's a production ready plug-in hybrid that's set to reshape our thinking about sporty 'green' commuting.
The main ingredients remain largely unchanged from what we already know. There is a 2.0 litre turbo-charged four-cylinder engine providing the petrol powered propulsion, while a 22.6kWh electric motor allows the Karma to commute emissions free. When combined, total power output is equivalent to 300kWs and will see the Karma accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds.
A lithium-ion battery pack will allow the Karma to run for 80kms on electric power alone. Fisker refer to all electric operation as 'Stealth' mode. Up to 480kms is possible when utilising the petrol engine, in 'Sport' mode, which in turn powers a generator to maintain charge.
The interior, while maybe not to everyone's taste, is all new on the production model and is comprised of eco-friendly materials. A new 10.2-inch touch screen controls all vehicle systems including HVAC and audio. Critical information such as battery charge and vehicle speed is displayed in trick LED gauges in the usual cluster positions.
The real killer in all this is the price. At USD$87,900 The Fisker Karma looks to be a steal when compared to the Tesla Roadster. The Tesla Roadster will set you back around USD$100k and while it may be faster, the jury is out on which is actually the better car. On looks and utility alone, the Karma, to our eyes, is the better option.
Hit the press release below for full details on Fisker's game changing Karma hybrid.
LEADING THE FUTURE: FISKER AUTOMOTIVE UNVEILS
2010 FISKER KARMA PREMIUM PLUG-IN HYBRID
100mpg Fisker Karma Makes its World Premiere at the 2009 North American
International Auto Show
DETROIT, MI. Jan. 12, 2009: Fisker Automotive, Inc., the new American
manufacturer of premium green automobiles, unveiled its first production car -- the
2010 Fisker Karma ? at the 2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)
in Detroit today. With a starting price of $87,900 ($80,400 after US government
tax credits), 1,000 orders for the 100 mile-per-gallon luxury plug-in hybrid have
been received since the prototype debuted at the 2008 NAIAS. Karma deliveries
are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009 through the Fisker Automotive
Retail network. More information can be found online at
The four-door, four-seat Karma fuses the traditional and timeless styling of veteran
auto designer and Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker, with Quantum
Technologies' clean Q-DRIVE? plug-in hybrid powertrain to become the world's
first luxury plug-in hybrid car.
Q-DRIVE?: POWERFUL TECHNOLOGY
Exclusive to Fisker Automotive, Q-DRIVE? provides the best combination of power,
efficiency and low emissions. The system is comprised of two 201hp electric
motors powered by an advanced lithium-ion technology battery pack.
A generator attached to a 260hp turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec? direct injection
(D1) gasoline engine provides extended range capabilities.
"More than 60 percent of America's 200 million drivers travel less than 50 miles per
day. With Q-DRIVE?, the Karma can do that without using a drop of gas. This
proprietary powertrain will provide a base for all future model derivatives from
Fisker Automotive." said Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO Quantum Technologies.
Q-DRIVE? features two operating modes: Stealth Mode and Sport Mode. In electric-only
Stealth Mode, drivers can travel emission free for up to 50 miles on a full charge from any 110-,
220- or 240-volt electric outlet. A total range of up to 300 miles is estimated in Sport Mode,
which utilizes the efficient Ecotec? gasoline engine to turn a generator that powers two electric
motors on the rear differential. A fully charged Karma can achieve an annual average of more
than 100 miles per gallon.
With a top speed of 125 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds, the Karma is the world's first
true premium plug-in hybrid sports sedan. The Karma's low center of gravity and performance
oriented, A-arm suspension system offer a world class driving experience. Tall, wide tires
deliver immense lateral grip while electrohydaulic disc brakes provide effortless stopping power.
LUXURY AND STYLE
Karma's exterior design features the continual flow of sculpture and dramatic proportion that is
signature Fisker style. A low, wide stance and raised front fenders offer the driver a unique
view of the car's design. Modest changes from the original Karma prototype include an
enhanced upper grill and an enlarged lower intake for improved airflow. A new aerodynamic
diffuser under the rear bumper helps cool the electric drivetrain. Instantly recognizable, the
Karma also benefits from having the world's largest continuously formed glass solar panel roof
on a car ? an industry first and a standard feature on all Karma sedans.
"From initial concept to final production, it is important for Fisker to maintain a singular design
language and to keep the integrity of the original design, inside and out. Extreme proportions,
beautiful sculpture and earth-friendly materials are key elements that set the Karma apart," said
Fisker Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. "An inspiring drive is also an important and crucial
element. Our hope is that the Fisker Karma will create a new segment of eco-friendly
transportation and will become the most desirable plug-in hybrid sports sedan available."
A desirable car of any kind requires an inviting cockpit. Fisker's interior design team focused on
sustainable design held accountable to the environment. Inspiration from nature's timeless
beauty and the quality of classic design composition provided immense inspiration. Karma's
Sustainable and Accountable Design is reflected in the use of reusable materials enhanced with
modern technology. For example, wood trim is sourced from non-living trees: 'Fallen Trees'
that have succumbed to age; 'Rescued Trees' burned in forest fires; and 'Sunken Trees' lying in
American lake bottoms.
Karma's instrumentation and controls focus on ease of use. Embedded in the layered
EcoGlass? center console is a 10.2-inch touch sensitive screen controlling HVAC, audio and
other vehicle systems. LCD gauges behind the steering wheel provide display critical
information like battery charge and vehicle speed.
"The Karma's material philosophy balances sensuality and accountability," said Fisker. "We have
gone to great lengths to use only environmentally conscious, classic automotive materials that
support a commitment to our eco initiatives. At Fisker Automotive we are trying to inspire
change for the better."
Karma buyers will choose from three trim levels: EcoBase?, EcoSport? and EcoChic?. The
most advanced sustainable material series, EcoChic?, is based on an animal-free approach that
still offers a luxurious environment. Leather is replaced by 100% Bamboo Viscose, a soft hand
textile, while EcoGlass? trim frames authentic fossilized leaves. Karma's EcoSport? series
incorporates hand-wrapped premium leather using a 100% sustainable manufacturing strategy,
which minimizes the number of hides required and highlights natural markings.
KARMA PRODUCTION AND DELIVERY
To meet production goals, Fisker turned to specialty builder Valmet Automotive in Finland.
Delivery of the more than 1,000 pre-ordered Karmas will begin this year. To commemorate
initial production, the first 99 examples will be trimmed to match both interior and exterior
specifications of the Karma prototype originally showcased at the 2008 NAIAS. Each will
feature a personalized plaque with a designated car number and signature from Henrik Fisker
Also at the heart of defining the future is Fisker's retail network. A selective process to support
initial deliveries is underway and interest from established dealers is high. Customers can
expect a high level of service from retail partners that share their environmental and energy
ABOUT FISKER AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
Fisker Automotive, founded in 2007 by Fisker Coachbuild, LLC and Quantum Technologies, is a
privately owned American car company producing premium green automobiles. North
American corporate headquarters are located in Irvine, CA with Henrik Fisker as the Chief
Executive Officer. The company has backing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto
Investors and QIA. More information is available at www.fiskerautomotive.com.