Imagine the confusion when we discovered that a Fisker Karma was making its way to the Detroit Auto Show. Mind all of you, that’s not what really confused us; what did the trick was that this car isn’t actually a Karma, but it surelooked like one.
On top of that, it isn’t an electric car like the mustachioed Fisker; it’s a gasoline-powered sports car that comes with a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 powertrain. This, dear friends, is the Destino four-door performance sedan that’s being built as a collaboration between industrialist Gilbert Villereal and former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz. Yep, that Bob Lutz.
Not a whole lot is being made out of the Destino, presumably because it’s still in its relative infancy, although it is based on the electric Karma and will be built in Detroit under the auspices of VL Automotive with a retail date scheduled for the latter part of the year.
Find out more about the VL Automotive Destino after the jump
We’re used to seeing tuning projects that provide a nice little exterior upgrade and a killer engine upgrade to satisfy our need for speed. With regulations getting stricter and electric and hybrid vehicles gaining momentum, we’re going to have to get used to seeing projects with zero engine upgrades and plenty of exterior mods to make up for it. Case in point, the Fisker Karma lineup headed to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show with a variety of paint finishes.
Fisker teamed up with 3M to present four different paint schemes, each introduced for every 24 hours span of the SEMA Auto Show. Four days, four cars, and four colors, all with deep meaning, according to Fisker. The first paint finish for the Karma is a combination of Gloss Burnt Orange and Brushed Black Metallic "October Sun" to commemorate Fall. Next, there’s a Karma "Riverside" painted in Matte White with Gloss Blue Metallic racing stripes - a tribute to American racing heritage.
The third Fisker to be presented will feature a "Classic" Hot Rod Red combined with a bold, brushed aluminum-trimmed Gloss Black stripe honoring the great American custom car scene, while the fourth version - "Onward" - combines a very cool Satin Black and Gloss Burnt Orange to reflect Fisker’s new brand look and feel. This version will also have 3M’s Crystalline Automotive Film applied to its windows.
More details on these painted up Fisker Karmas will be unveiled during the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, so stay tuned.
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 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.