Karma

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2019 Karma SC2 Concept

2019 Karma SC2 Concept

Karma wants the world to know it means business with a sleek and potent electric hypercar concept

Karma is entertaining us with quite the stand at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which is also home for the SC2 Concept. The Karma SC2 previews the startup’s future design direction - those are Karma’s words, by the way - which means we’re not necessarily going to see a road-going car inspired by the prototype. Instead, this is Karma showing us what its design and engineering departments are capable of churning out.

We’re sorry to trash your expectations this early, but there’s more to the SC2 Concept than the probability of it spawning a road-ready car. For example, Karma says that the all-electric powertrain is powerful enough to propel the rig from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 1.9 seconds. Is this a poke at the Tesla Roadster, which “coincidentally” (and theoretically) can dispatch the same interval in 1.9 seconds, too?

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2020 Karma Revero GT

2020 Karma Revero GT

A new sport hybrid, now with BMW power

The Karma nameplate has a long and less-than-glittering history. First appearing as a hybrid-powered GT sedan from Fisker Automotive in the late 2000s, the original Karma only lasted for about a year before biting the dust. Fisker Automotive produced less than 2,700 examples before it went bankrupt in 2013, after which the Wanxiang Group Corporation bought up the remaining assets. Recently renamed to Karma Automotive, the company charges headlong into the premium hybrid GT segment with the Revero. The Revero first appeared in 2016 for the 2017 model year, and now it is getting a refresh with a new look, updated interior, and powertrain parts sourced from the BMW i8.

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2019 Karma Pininfarina GT Coupe

2019 Karma Pininfarina GT Coupe

Does everything that Pininfarina touches turn to gold?

Karma Automotive, the company that emerged after the bankruptcy of Henrik Fisker’s first automotive venture, came to the 2019 Shanghai with its own "Big Three": A flamboyant open-top concept, the revised Revero GT and this lavish and elegant two-door sports car penned by Pininfarina which could be produced in limited quantities by Pininfarina if enough buyers get together. As it’s based on the Revero’s underpinnings, it should be at least as quick and agile if not more so.

Karma has been around for a few years already, but it was seen as a stagnant company. After all, its only product has been the Revero, essentially an exercise in rebadging the Fisker Karma. In a way, it makes sense as Chinese company Wanxiang who bought Fisker’s assets (as well as a production plant and other things) paid over $149 million for them and, anyway, the Karma’s bad rep was never due to its design since it’s arguably one of the prettiest four-door GTs of the 21st century (just look at the curvaceous rear fenders).

Last year, Karma introduced the Aliso, a limited-edition version of the Revero and the company announced that only 15 will be made with a base price of $145,000, some $15,000 on top of the Revero’s base MSRP of $130,000. This luscious coupe we see here should be at least as expensive if it will be put into production. If not, just look at it in concept form and think that it’s a source of inspiration for Karma products to roll out in the near future.

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2019 Karma SC1 Vision Concept

2019 Karma SC1 Vision Concept

If this is the future of Karma’s performance car plans, then sign us up for that future

Karma Automotive was built from the ashes of Fisker Automotive, and with the latter no longer around, the new automaker — it’s owned by Chinese auto supply company Wanxiang Group — made a bold statement at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show with the introduction of the SC1 Vision Concept. As you might expect, the SC1 Vision is Karma’s slightly fleshed out interpretation of its future electric supercar. It’s unlikely to hit production anytime soon, but there’s no better time than today to let the world know of your plans, right? Among other things, the SC1 Vision is a showcase of Karma’s ideas and a platform to promote high-tech systems like 5G connectivity and a humanized communication system, both of which, Karma says, are big parts of its future as a purveyor of high-performance electric vehicles. Whether that future materializes remains to be seen, so, for now, we at least get an idea on what that future could look like.

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2018 Karma Aliso Edition

2018 Karma Aliso Edition

Taking cues from the Golden State

If you’re looking for a unique, handsome, tech-savvy hybrid sports sedan, the Karma Revero is a pretty decent choice. Now, Karma is offering an extremely limited special edition dubbed the Aliso, which takes its name from a town in Southern California, and offers customers a slew of additional California-style customization options that could hint at what’s to come from the boutique automaker. And no, that doesn’t mean it just comes with avocado.

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2017 Karma Revero

2017 Karma Revero

The Fisker Karma returns under a new name

Karma Automotive, previously known as Fisker Automotive, unveiled the preliminary details about the Revero, essentially an updated version of the hybrid sedan that Fisker built between 2011 to 2012. The exact details for the four-door are still under wraps for the most part, but the California-based company release a few pictures of the car, as well as a bit of information about the drivetrain.

But, before we dive into that, let’s have a quick look at the history of this hybrid sedan that is about to return to the market after nearly four years.

Launched as the Karma in 2011, it was built by Fisker Automotive and designed by the company’s founder, Henrik Fisker, the same man who penned the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9. Power was provided by two electric motors, while a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder acted as a range extender.

Production was suspended in November 2012 due to financial difficulties after sales of around 1,800 units in North America and Europe. Fisker Automotive filed for bankruptcy in November 2013, after the United States Department of Energy auctioned its debt and sold it to Hybrid Technology LLC for US$25 million. Later on, Fisker’s assets were sold to Chinese company Wanxiang, which announced plans to relaunch the Karma back in April 2015.

Meanwhile, the Fisker Karma was used as a starting point for the Destino, a V-8-powered sedan built by VLF Automotive. The company was founded by Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villarreal as VL Automotive and renamed when Henrik Fisker himself joined the automaker.

The new Karma Revero will be sold for the 2017 model year. The company says that existing Fisker Karma owners will gain exclusive access to a website that gives them the ability to reserve a Revero before the general public.

Updated 09/09/2016: Karma Automotive announced prices for its new Revero and also revealed that the company is now accepting orders for it. Full details on the "Prices" section. The announcement also comes with a series of new images and a new video. Check them out in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Karma Revero.

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