With gas prices heading well above $3.00 per gallon in most states, economical cars and trucks have made a resurgence in the American automotive consumer’s mind. One can hardly drive down a road without seeing one of the first and most popular hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius. Most major manufacturers have since produced these types of vehicles and there are more new models in the works, even from upstart luxury manufacturers.
One of the premier automotive designers in the industry felt hybrid cars were lacking in both excitement and luxury, and decided to take it upon himself to create a new segment. Henrik Fisker previously designed such memorable cars as the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9. His company originally made several re-bodied versions of the Mercedes SL and the BMW 6-series, but in very limited production and a high price tag. Fisker Automotive became a true manufacturer in 2007 with the simple idea of creating an inspired, beautiful, and exciting luxury hybrid vehicles. Shortly after, the Fisker Karma was introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. It’s easy to see why it turned more than a few heads with its voluptuous flowing lines and promised 50-mile full electric range.
As if drop-dead good looks were not enough to distinguish this car from other eco-friendly vehicles, the performance numbers help the Karma truly pull away from the crowd. Its 0-60 mph performance is said to be in the neighborhood of 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. The Karma may not be able to keep up with your neighbor’s Porsche Panamera, but while you’re getting 67 miles per gallon, he will be sitting at a gas station.
UPDATE 03/23/2011: Three years after the Karman first debuted at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the first unit has finally rolled out of the Valmet Automotive’s plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. US and European customers will receive their first units by next month.
UPDATE 07/13/11: Finally, the Fisker Karma is set to be delivered to its first customers. It took a long time, but the wait is now over. The luxury plug-in hybrid sedan is scheduled to be delivered later this month with the first person expected to get his hands on it being no other than Hollywood A-lister and eco-guy Leonardo di Caprio. According to Fisker, there are already 3,000 pre-orders for the car with the wait list expected to hit until early 2012.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Fisker Karma.
Fisker Automotive founder Henrik Fisker is no dummy. Before he was in the hybrid car game he was supplying the world with sleek coupes and convertibles like the Tramonto and Latigo. So when his company put out the production Karma sedan at the Detroit Auto Show, Fisker also lobbed off two doors and the roof to create the Karma S concept car.
The Karma S shares its aluminum spaceframe architecture and Q-Drive powertrain with the Fisker Karma sedan. So just like the sedan, the convertible can run up to 50 miles on using its lithium-ion battery pack to power the combined 403 hp of the two electric motors. Beyond the battery-packs range a 260 hp 2.0-liter GM Ecotec engine will generate the electricity.
The design provides for a compact folding hardtop that doesn’t interfere too much with the car’s design lines. No word yet on how much added wright comes with losing the Karma’s top, but that will become clear when/if this car makes its planned 2011 production deadline.
Press release after the jump.
Fisker is not only going to unveil the Karma sedan at the North American International Auto Show, but it also will show off a convertible version in Detroit. There was an official teaser image of the Karma S Sunset Concept released by Fisker, and the team from KORS Design decided to fill in the gaps.
The Fisker Karma S will be powered by the Karma’s Q-Drive gas/electric powertrain. The Q-Drive should use a similar setup to the Chevrolet Volt. The car can be plugged to give a range of 50 miles on a full charge, and then a gas engine can recharge the batteries to extend the range. The Karma line will run off of a Lithium-Ion battery pack and should provide about 408hp from two electric motors.
Fisker is feeling a real kinship to The U.S. The Karma may be produced in Finland, but it premiered at last January’s North American International Auto Show and it plans to use a General Motors engine. Now Fisker is showing its American fever again by returning to the Detroit Auto Show next month.
"We are very excited to be bringing the Fisker Karma back to NAIAS," said Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker. "In the year since we debuted the Karma, the reception we’ve received has been tremendous." Tremendous indeed - according to Henrik Fisker, the Karma’s premier doesn’t need to drum up sales considering the car is sold out until mid-2010.
The Karma is out to give itself a performance image with GM’s 2.0 direct injection, turbo 4-cylinder Ecotec gasoline engine that will deliver 260 hp. The Karma should post 0-60 mph times in about 5.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 125mph. Powertrain organization will supply the gasoline engine that generates electricity when the driver has exceeded the 50 mile electric-only range.
The company will start deliveries of the Karma in the 4th quarter of 2009 in North America with planned delivery to Europe in 2010.
Press release after the jump.
Fisker Automotive, Inc., a green American premium sports car company, today unveiled its first production car, the Fisker Karma, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The first of its kind four-door plug-in hybrid premium sports sedan will have a starting price of $80,000. Initial deliveries of the Karma will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009 with annual production projected to reach 15,000 cars. The first 99 cars off the assembly line will be individually numbered and signed by Henrik Fisker and will be produced in the color and trim of the show car seen at NAIAS.
The 2009 Fisker Hybrid Sports Sedan will make its world debut next year in January at the Detroit Motor Show. But until then, Fisker released the first official image of the hybrid sports sedan. The Hybrid Sports Sedan will have a starting price of $80,000. Initial deliveries will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009 with annual production projected to reach 15,000 cars.
Fisker Coachbuild, LLC, the company that makes premium cars of its own design employing Mercedes-Benz and BMW chassis and
drivetrains to produce luxury premium sports and GT cars, is embarking on a “plug-in” hybrid program, in conjunction with Quantum Technologies, a company organized to develop alternative fuel propulsion systems.
The two are entering into a joint venture, under the name “Fisker Automotive.”
Fisker claims it will show the car at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show next fall. It’s (...)