Fisker To "Elux"; Karma Will Be Relaunched In 2016
Tesla is making headlines left and right these days, but a few years ago, when Tesla was first born, there was a second budding American car company that also wanted to make its mark on the electric car market, Fisker.
Born from the brain of the legendary automotive designer Henrik Fisker, the man that helped bring us the Aston Martin DB9, Fisker Automotive was created to meld the sex and excitement of the automobile with building materials and drivetrains that were far more ecologically conscious. The result was a stunning machine named the Karma, which used an EV drivetrain with a gasoline range extender, similar to the Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3. Sadly in 2013, just two years after production started, the company filed for bankruptcy.
Since the bankruptcy, a Chinese parts company called the Wanxiang Group snapped up Fisker, and now Reuters is reporting that the automaker will be reborn under the name Elux.
Continue reading to learn more about Fisker’s future plans.
Why it matters
The report at Reuters is full of interesting information, but as is the case with such things, not very many quoted sources. But even taking it with a grain of salt, there is a lot here that sounds plausible. First and foremost, the Karma will live on, but it will drop the Fisker name and be rebadged as the Elux Karma.
Adding more fuel to that rumor fire is Motor Trend, who just two weeks ago posted a photo to their Instagram page of a Karma wearing current manufacturer plates, and quoted the driver of the car as saying “they’re back.”
The report continues with information saying that the original plans to build the Karma in Finland have been scrapped, but there is no solid information on what facility will be used. The design should look very similar to the original Karma, and it will still use a gasoline-electric, range-extended EV (or series hybrid) drivetrain, but with several updates. One source is claiming that Wanxiang is spending millions to bring the car up to date and more competitive with current models, now that the original Karma is seven years old.
In a bold move, the report says that Wanxiang will increase the cost of the car to more than $135,000. That is a jump of almost 20 percent over the original MSRP of the Karma. With a price like that, there needs to be some major improvements in interior quality, performance and electric range. With cars apparently already out in the wild testing, I don’t expect it to be too long before we find more solid information.
The Karma was the first production car from American automaker Fikser. It was an EV with a range-extending gasoline engine, that mated a powerful battery pack, two electric motors, and a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine from GM. Each electric motor was good for nearly 200 horsepower, and combined they produced 960 pound-feet of torque. The car would hit a top speed of 125 mph, with a 60 mph sprint taking a hair over six seconds. The car was positioned as a luxury sports sedan with a price tag over $100,000 and a cabin full of luxury goodies and technology. To keep the cabin as eco-friendly as possible, Fisker took extra steps like sourcing reclaimed lumber for interior trim wood pieces. On the optional leather interior package Fisker used hides with scratch marks and blemishes to ensure that more of the cowhide was consumed with less going to waste.