It’s no surprise to anyone that Fisker is on life support and is nearing its final breath, as it has had way too many issues over the years. Even with the company likely organizing its affairs for bankruptcy, no one could have ever anticipated seeing a Karma for sale at less than half of the sticker price.
Well, we can now see that the unexpected is a reality, as Karmas are starting to trickle onto Ebay at massive discounts. When we drove the Karma, we found that it drive like a far more expensive car than its $100K price tag and later found that it actually costs more to develop and advertise than Fisker was actually selling the model for.
As of May 17th, we found four Karmas for auction on Ebay with current bids that run from $50,000 to $79,995 with less than 10,000 miles on their odometers. In fact, the $50,000 model only has 550 miles and it is 1 of 100 Signature Editions. Business Insider actually managed to dig one up for $40,200, which adds up to 60 percent off of the MSRP.
From the looks of it, Karma owners are getting spooked by Fisker’s financial trouble and the fact that if the company goes under, there is no large backer to cover warranty and service issues. Unlike when Pontiac and Saturn closed up shop, Fisker doesn’t have GM behind it to provide post-mortem support.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is very different from the norm for Mercedes. Instead of the big V-8s featured across the network, this little car hums along silently on batteries driving its front wheels. It will be the first all-electric vehicle from Mercedes-Benz, and the first of any B-Class to cross the pond. This matches the latest company strategy to fatten the range of models from all sides.
Most of the systems that charge and run the little B-Class will be shared with its bright-yellow sibling: the upcoming SLS AMG Coupe E-Cell. Both systems are part of a deep tech partnership between Mercedes parent company Daimler and Tesla. Fruit from this sharing agreement has been limited to date, and arguably, some of the most sour fruit on the branch via the Smart ED. That car ran Tesla Roadster parts, but downsized. The resulting “car” was appallingly slow. Tesla didn’t seem to be sharing the good, M5-beating stuff yet.
This is set to change when the B-Class Electric Drive hits U.S. showrooms in January 2014. The model will arrive in dealers first before a limited roll-out in Europe.
As Mercedes’ first viable EV, the B-Class Electric is a complete package that excels in its mission of effortless city efficiency plus Mercedes-levels safety, durability, luxury and ownership experience.
Following the damaged caused to a slew of Fisker Karmas by Hurricane Sandy, Fisker’s insurer denied the claim and the EV builder almost immediately filed a $33 million lawsuit against the insurer. According to a report, the two companies have settled the lawsuit and all legal action was dropped.
There is no mention of who started the settlement process, but this does seem like strange timing. See, only weeks ago Fisker hired a consultant to help the struggling manufacturer save a little money and to search for a potential partner or buyer. It’s common knowledge that a pending legal battle makes it much harder to talk a potential partner into joining forces and even tougher to find a buyer.
This leads us to believe that Fisker may have a partner or buyer that is interested, but wanted the legal battle settled before moving forward. This is all multiplied by the recent report from Reuters that Geeley, the Chinese automaker and owner of Volvo, was more than just a little interested in purchasing majority stake in Fisker.
All of this is coming together all too well for us to ignore the possibility of Fisker selling sooner rather than later.
We’ll keep an eye on this situation and update you.
When we reviewed the Fisker Karma back in November 2012, we were pretty sure that this was a model with a promising future in the U.S. market. Apparently, we were wrong. It looks like Fisker hasn’t produced any vehicles in more than six months, and the problems do not stop here.
Apparently the company is still having big problems with cash, which really took off when the U.S. Department of Energy decided to freeze about $300 million of the $529 million loan Fisker was supposed to receive. Our contact at Fisker confirmed through several news outlets that the electric vehicle manufacturer has hired a consultant to oversee day-to-day operations in an attempt to conserve cash. The other detail to emerge is that sources close to the company are reporting that Fisker is seeking bidders to enter a partnership with or a possible acquisition.
Fisker officials confirmed that the company already attracted interest from companies like the Swedish vendor Valmet and a few others companies in China that may be interested in either being strategic partners or in the technology developed by Fisker. However, problems for Fisker do not stop here: recently battery supplier A123 Systems Inc. filed for bankruptcy and Fisker remains without the most important part of Karma model. Wanxiang – the likely buyer of A123’s assets – has interest in providing Fisker the batteries it so badly needs, so that part may work itself out.
We’re just hoping they will find a solution pretty soon; it will be a shame not to see them on the market in the future!
If you remember the Bobs from Office Space, then you know what it means when a company hires an outside consultant.
GAC Group was the only Chinese automaker present at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, yet they did present a pretty unique concept that caught the attention of a lot of people.
The concept is called the E-JET, a hybrid sedan prototype whose design characteristics remind us of another just-introduced vehicle at Detroit (Is this the Chinese cousin of the CLA Class?). The E-JET measures 4,570 x 1,790 x 1,490 mm (179.9 x 70.4 x 58.6 inches) with a 2,620 mm (103.1-inch) wheelbase. Not too bad for what looks like a compact sedan.
As a range-extending hybrid, the E-JET is powered by a 1.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine that produces 60 horsepower and 60 pound-feet of torque. It also has a permanent-magnet motor that produces a peak output of 127 horsepower and a permanent-magnet generator produces 40 horsepower. On top of all that, a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery can power the E-JET in electric mode for up to 62 miles.
Put all of its powertrain capabilities together and you have a car that boasts of a total range of 373 miles with a fuel consumption of 1.9 l/100 km (123.8 mpg U.S. or 148.6 mpg UK), a 0 to 31 mph time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 99 mph.
We’re not entirely sure if GAC has any intention of building a production model for the E-JET. But we do have to give it to them; this is one interesting concept.
We know how the partnerships between automaker and timepiece manufacturers usually go. Mostly, it’s the latter that comes out with a product bearing the former’s image, likeness, technology, or a combination of any of these elements.
Swedish watch brand Arlanch, though, is taking a slightly different approach. They’re looking into building a supercar concept, dubbed the Green Supercar Concept.
With the help of former McLaren F1 designer Peter Stevens, the Swedish watch brand is in the early stages of designing this green supercar concept. After already earning a reputation as a company that pays careful attention to being environmentally friendly, Arlanch is trying to venture in the automotive world with a vehicle that, based on these sketches, certainly looks the part of a supercar.
Details are still scarce at this point, but looking at the sketches you can make out a few details about the car, including its mid-engine layout, a large capsule-like roof, and a rear that looks like it has a large exhaust system. Slit-like headlights can also be seen, giving it that kind of supercar look that’ll gain notice immediately.
Rest assured; we’ll have updates about this new green supercar concept when more information becomes available.
To roll with the increasing popularity of hybrid vehicles, Audi is all set to unveil a plug-in electric hybrid at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
According to reports, the hybrid will be based on the newly announced A3 Sportback, a 4-door version of the standard A3.
The aspect we’re interested in is the hybrid setup. The powertrain will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine coupled with an electric motor and an 8 kWh lithium-ion battery. This setup could enable the hybrid to produce a combined output of nearly 237-horsepower. Furthermore, the car is expected to average 117.6 mpge and to have an Audi-claimed 50 km (31-mile) range in electric-only mode, which is on-par with current hybrid standards, maybe better.
Audi is not setting the hybrid segment on fire, so such a model would help their quest for a cleaner footprint. However, given the expected price tag of $47,000, which is quite baffling considering the base gasoline-powered twin costs around $29,000, things aren’t looking so bright for the tree-hugging Audis.
We’ll update you once Audi officially announces the A3 Plug-in Hybrid.
Currently, prices for the Tesla Model S range from $57,400 to $77,400 — $49,900 to $69,900, if you add the $7,500 federal tax credit. However, we are all well aware of the fact that the Model S is being sold at, or even possibly well below, the cost to build it. This means that it is only a matter of time before a price hike is in order.
Tesla has now lifted the veil of silence on this topic and announced that there will be a price increase in the near future. Surprise! Well, not really, since the rumors have been floating around about a price increase for a while. There is no information on just how much of an increase we are looking at, but we would guess that it will be significant. It may even push the upper end of the Model S toward the base price of the Fisker Karma. One bit of information that Tesla let us in on is that some features that are now standard equipment will later become option packages, which means that we will not only see a price hike, but also a decrease in standard features.
This price increase will not apply to the existing reservations. Those customers who have placed a reservation will receive an email from Tesla where they will be advice to finish their configuration and order within a "fair, predefined time frame."
For those of you who do not remember, the Model S has a variety of battery and motor choices. Depending on the version, the Model S can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in in 4.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 126 mph.
Full details on the price increase will be announced in the next two to three weeks.
The 911 is one of the most popular models in Porsche’s lineup and was always highly appreciated for its top notch performances and the classy design language.
The vehicle was also constantly attacked by various tuners who spent a lot of time developing various body kits or engine tweaks to raise its performances even more.
However, not many tuners have dared to make any radical changes under the hood and most of them were limited to ECU upgrades. Though, one of the tuners was bold enough to come up with a hybrid version of the Porsche 911 and name it the Genevart Celsius.
For the moment, we didn’t have the chance to see it in flesh and bones, as the Celsius will make its big debut next year at the 2013 Geneva Auto Salon. On the other hand, Genevart released a lot of specs and pictures, so we can make a pretty clear image about their new beast.
The most important modification is represented by the addition of two electric motors mounted to each of the rear wheels. These motors are combined with a flat six engine, the entire hybrid system offering a total power output of 900 horsepower.
Ah, the Fisker Karma. It is likely one of the most well designed and heavily debated cars available today. Some people love it and cannot get enough of it and others can’t stand it. It’s truly one of the most polarizing cars on the market and a lot of that is because of some of the issues it has run into and the massive DOE loan that Fisker took out to help produce it.
We pretty much sit right in the middle. We’ve loved its looks from the day we saw the concept model that no one believed would ever be produced. Its issues and some of the sub-par reviews, on the other hand, pushed us back toward the middle..
Well, the only way we can really find out if we truly love it or hate it is to test drive it. And that is exactly what we did, as we took a road trip to Fisker of Tampa Bay at 320 East Fletcher Ave. in Tampa, and met up with Fisker brand manager Jackie Daly and general manager Bryan Mobley for an exclusive viewing and test drive.
So, did we walk away impressed or did the Karma underwhelm?