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.

2020 Karma Revero GT Exterior Styling

  • new headlight design
  • new grill design
  • duckbill-style spoiler on the trunk
  • rich chrome decoration
2020 Karma Revero GT
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From the off, the 2020 Karma Revero GT should look pretty familiar.

The overarching styling cues come from the original Fisker Karma, which was penned by Danish-born, California-based auto designer Henrik Fisker.

In case you were unaware, Fisker is responsible for a long list of tasty-looking automobiles, including the Aston Martin DB9, BMW Z8, and the VLF Rocket. More recently, Fisker created the design for the EMotion, the first model from his new car company, Fisker Inc. All told, Fisker knows how to make a snazzy-looking piece of design, and Karma Automotive was smart enough not to mess with it too much. We think the style stays fresh by today’s standards.

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That said, there are a few small differences to point out compared to the original Karma, and the original Revero for that matter.

For starters, the front end now comes with reshaped headlight housings, which appear to be more rounded and teardrop-shaped compared to the parallelogram headlights of the outgoing model.

The front grille also looks different, with a solid, singular intake that stretches from corner to corner, rather than the bisected “mustache” or the original. Reimagined lower intake now sports a single section versus the shapely rounded sections of the original. Chrome trim bits are still prominent throughout but have been relocated to enhance the car’s visual width even further. Overall, we think the new updates give the 2020 Revero GT a more “Aston Martin-esque” appearance than before. I have to remind you that Aston Martin actually sued Fisker in 2015 for the Thunderbolt. With it, Aston Martin supported its claim about the Fisker similarity to previous designs. However, this latest update is direct from Karma Automotive, so we doubt Aston will have any problem with it.

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Moving on, the profile looks more or less identical to the outgoing model, but with a few minor changes.

For example, the rear end now gets a duckbill-style spoiler on the trunk, while the exhaust pipe just behind the front wheels gets a reshape. Shame about that latter bit - we’re not fans of spent gasses wafting in through the window. The rest of it is as it was with the outgoing model. The proportions are in a classic GT style, with a cab-back position and a long hoodline. The window line rises towards massively flared rear fenders, giving it a rakish stance. Up top, there’s still a photovoltaic roof to soak up more electricity on sunny days.

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Viewed from behind, the Karma Revero’s ultra-wide hips look even more massive.

The latest 2020 model year also brings reshaped taillights, which help to bookend the car’s new front end with slinkier, slimmer housings. The lower character line also looks different thanks to extra chrome trim that runs the width of the tail section, as opposed to the chrome “dimples” seen on the original Revero. The rear buttresses are also more pronounced on the 2020 model year, emphasizing the trunk section and new spoiler lip. As previously mentioned, we think it’s a great piece of design, and it definitely deserves to stick around for at least a few more years. All told, we’re hopeful for the future, especially when you consider Karma Automotive has partnered with Pininfarina in the past for concepts. That means we could see some pretty spectacular designs from the boutique automaker for any following model updates.

2020 Karma Revero GT exterior dimensions
Overall Length: 196.8 inches
Overall Width: 84 inches
Height: 52.4 inches
Wheelbase: 124.4 inches

2020 Karma Revero GT Interior Design

  • New steering wheel
  • New center console
  • Headliner, sun visors
  • New seats
  • Four-passenger interior
  • Haptic touch controls in the cabin
2020 Karma Revero GT
- image 841138

2020 Karma Revero GT features a slightly redesigned interior compared to the Fisker Karma. Modernization backed by Karma owners included installation of:

  • A new steering wheel with haptic touch controls
  • A digital instrument cluster
  • An all-new, sleek, and smooth infotainment system with an all-new screen
  • New personalization options

While the changes to the interior mostly seem to be superficial, the truth is that the Karma Revero interior inherited a sexy and alluring styling imagined back in the 2000s when Fisker showed the Karma S.

Although imagined a decade ago, the styling of the cabin seems to be relevant to this day.

It is the same story with the exterior of the Revero. If this were, say, a Maserati, everyone would be lining up to buy one.

Nevertheless, Karma officials praise the Revero GT’s cabin for the high-end craftsmanship and attention to details matched only by the best in the business. Yet, find any of 2,700 produced Fisker Karmas, and you will see poor quality inside. Even though it looks quite nice, mind you.

Hopefully, the Karma Revero GT handled obvious quality issues. Quite an extensive list of equipment gives me some hope that that is the case.

Among a multitude of standard equipment featured, the Revero GT has:

  • Palisades Sports leather
  • Luxury floor mats
  • Special trunk mat
  • Three-tone interior
  • Bluetooth
  • Wifi
  • Stylishly integrated four cup holders (two up front and two at the back)
  • Privacy glass
  • The central console between the seats that stretches from front to the back
  • Heated seats front and back
  • Eight speakers and a subwoofer

I’ve listed the 2020 Karma Revero GT’s equipment to show you that this is a reasonably modern vehicle. One with the ISOFIX preparation at that.

However, don't hold any hopes that people in the back will appreciate its design.

There’s not much space there. I don’t know the exact number of inches for the legroom, but I do know it is less than in the Aston Martin Rapide, which has 28.5 inches of leg room.

2020 Karma Revero GT Drivetrain And Performance

  • 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder engine from BMW
  • Range extender for a dual electric motor powertrain
  • The same three-cylinder engine as in the BMW i8
  • New 28-kWh battery pack
  • Single-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 535 horsepower
  • 550 pound-feet of torque
  • 0-to-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
  • Top speed electronically limited at 125 mph
2020 Karma Revero GT
- image 841137

Karma turned to the professionals at BMW to equip its Revero S with a proper, modern propulsion system.

GM's 2.0-liter is out, and the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder from the BMW i8 found its place under the Revero's metal as the range-extender.

Karma managed to save a bit of weight by installing a smaller engine. The other significant change is the integration of the lighter battery pack. Remember, we have made some advancements with battery technology since Fisker revealed the first Karma.

The new 2020 Karma Revero GT weighs in at 5,050 pounds. That’s 350 pounds below the 2018 Karma Revero.

Such a significant change had a massive impact on the driving characteristics and performance. With less weight to handle, the 22-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 tires will hold the road better and, with 535 electric horsepower, the Revero GT will get to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That’s about a second quicker than before. Maybe even more. The ride is nicer too. After all, thick leather pieces on virtually all surfaces cocoon the occupants. It’s quite a beautiful place to be.

Moreover, you will spend more time inside. In complete silence might I add. If driven lightly, the Revero GT could hit as much as 80 miles of all-electric range.

After that, the range extender will kick in.

So, the Revero GT is lighter, quicker, can cover more miles on electricity alone, and it rides better. Also, it will be easier on fuel. You can expect as much as 50 mpg in the real world. Quite a performer then.

2020 Karma Revero GT drivetrain specifications
Engine 1.5-liter BMW engine + electric motors
Battery Pack 28-kWh
Horsepower 535 HP
Torque 550 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 4.5 seconds
Top Speed 125 mph

2020 Karma Revero GT Prices

2020 Karma Revero GT
- image 835690

The 2020 Karma Revero GT’s price will sit in the neighborhood of $140,000. And this is a generous estimation.

I’ll tell you why!

The last Karma Revero set you back around $130,000. The new Karma Revero GT has some notable improvements over it. First of all, it has a propulsion system developed with BMW, not GM; the interior quality is far better, the car is faster, quicker, and can cover more ground on electricity. Plus, it has an extensive list of standard equipment that includes a contemporary infotainment system and connectivity options.

All of this cost money! Now I feel that the $140,000 price estimation is too generous. The 2020 Karma Revero GT could touch $150,000.

Following its introduction in the U.S., the Revero GT will reach Europe, and finally Asian markets. The company promised quite high production numbers too - 12,000-13,000 units annually. I don’t buy it, but let’s see how it develops.

2020 Karma Revero GT Competition

Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S Exterior
- image 672486

Yes, the Tesla Model S is all-electric, but still competitor here. For the price of the 2020 Karma Revero GT, you can get the best possible 2020 Tesla Model S P100D. Yes, that ludicrous model. That makes the Revero GT somewhat obsolete. See, the Karma Revero GT will never have that X-factor of the Model S, even though it is a thousand times better-looking car. Apart from incredible straight-line performance, the Model S is roomier inside, can fit a whole lot of things in its frunk and trunk (Revero GT has 78+ cubic feet cargo capacity which is dismal), and you can be a part of the Elon Musk sect with it. Can’t do that with the Revero GT. Does that make the Karma Revero GT a better car then?

Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model S

Aston Martin Rapide S

2014 - 2015 Aston Martin Rapide S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 563390

The real competition the 2020 Karma Revero GT has to fight is the astonishingly gorgeous Aston Martin Rapide S. With a price of well over $200,000, the Aston Martin Rapide S takes the luxury four-door touring to a whole nother level. It is sophisticated, powered by a V-12, and it can cruise at 200 mph (203 mph actually). That’s what kills miles on the autobahns. Yes, you can say that it is an old car - after all, Aston Martin revealed its first version back in 2009. Much the same time when Fisker uveiled the Karma. See the problem. The Karma Revero GT is an old car too. Only nicely refreshed.

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Rapide S

Porsche Panamera 4E Hybrid

2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
- image 687693

Now we come to the big boy - the Porsche Panamera 4E Hybrid. It starts at just over $100,000 (its cheaper than the Karma Revero GT), it has a hybrid system with an output of 457 horsepower (close enough), it will reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds (quicker than the Revero GT), and it has Porsche quality. Honestly, if you want to achieve a balance between price, quality, performance, looks, reason, and emotion, this is the best four-door grand tourer imaginable.

Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche Panamera 4E Hybrid

Final Thoughts

2020 Karma Revero GT
- image 835691

Located in Moreno Valley, a city in Southern California, Karma Automotive definitely has some California flair. Coupled with Wanxiang Group Corporation money from China, the 2020 Karma Revero GT may have more success than the Fisker Karma ever had. Nevertheless, I feel that this is still just a curiosity on the market. In fact, I’d like to see this design somewhere else; say under the plaque of Aston Martin or Maserati.

It is not going to happen though.

  • Leave it
    • Dismal luggage space
    • Based on an old architecture
    • Still only a curiosity

Further Reading

2017 Karma Revero High Resolution Exterior
- image 687725

Read our full review on the 2017 Karma Revero.

Fisker Karma: TopSpeed Test Drive Exterior
- image 481945

Read our full driven review on the 2011 Fisker Karma.

2019 Fisker EMotion
- image 757234

Read our full review on the 2019 Fisker EMotion.

Southern California-based Karma Automotive chose Auto Shanghai 2019, the world’s largest automotive show, to usher in a new era for the company and launch its New Dawn product showcase illustrating its immediate, mid-term and long-term future.

“This is the first major auto presence for Karma in China, and marks a significant moment by ushering in a new era for the company,” said Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou. “Today, Karma is ready to move forward with bold steps, a chapter we call our New Dawn.”

Karma’s New Dawn Features “Shanghai Big Three”

The luxury electric vehicle automaker punctuated its design, customization and high-tech engineering capabilities by presenting three new products, a trio Karma calls its Shanghai Big Three:

A new 2020 Karma Revero GTluxury electric vehicle: it’s fast, smart, stunning in design, and will be available for sale during the second half of this year. The new car offers improved technology, performance, interior and exterior options and customization capability. It features a TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder in-line engine supplied by BMW AG to power an on-board electric generator and enhance overall vehicle performance. Karma engineers created a world-class electric drive system that alongside a series of other technological advancements enables the new 2020 Revero to be as fast as it looks.
The Karma Pininfarina GTcoupe: the first result of a partnership with Pininfarina, the iconic Italian design and engineering house. The Pininfarina team took a new 2020 Revero GT, retained the fundamental engineering parameters and then crafted a new body style, panels and interior, offering an alternative design interpretation. Typically, Pininfarina reserves the GT (Gran Turismo) designation for only in most exceptional in-house creations; this is the first time in its history that Pininfarina graced a collaborative project with its GT.
The Karma SC1 Vision Concept: a signpost to Karma’s future – one that recognizes and embraces full electrification. The roadster reimagines Karma design language for tomorrow and soon-to-come customization options, and shows the brand’s future direction based on full BEV offerings at the company’s core. The Karma SC1 Vision Concept features the best of some of tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies with Karma’s distinctive take on integration. At the core of SC1 Vision Concept’s technological suite is a new infotainment architecture with 5G connectivity as well as a humanized communication system, which integrates touch, voice, eye, and graphical interfaces to enable seamless interaction with the roadster.
“Taken together, our Shanghai Big Three shows what Karma is today, what Karma can be tomorrow, and where Karma is heading in the future,” Zhou said.

Karma Is More than Just a Car Company

As part of its Value Forward business strategy, Karma is pursuing an “open-platform” philosophy to attract partners, technology and know-how, create efficiency and enhance long-term brand value. Karma’s luxury electric vehicle niche and in-house engineering resources offer innovators an excellent test bed to incubate, grow and prove their emerging technologies, creating opportunities for the company to generate new revenue streams for its customization and technology expertise.

“We are agile, nimble, and can move fast with a deep sense of urgency; that’s Karma’s big advantage,” he explained. “We will use partnerships with like-minded collaborators to accelerate our progress by acquiring and developing key technologies important to connectivity, performance, artificial intelligence, shared mobility platforms and electrification.”

Zhou’s plan is fueled in part by partners like Pininfarina whose design expertise helps the company accelerate product development, differentiation, and personalized customization that allows every Karma to be special.Pininfarina is attracted to Karma, Zhou added, because its luxury electric vehicle platform can help advance their growth strategy in North America, especially after opening a new design center in Los Angeles.

“This kind of collaboration illustrates Karma’s open-platform philosophy,” Zhou said. “Partners can use our product platform as an incubator to test and prove their new innovations, and likewise, our engineering and design resources can be offered to help other partners advance their needs.So, yes, Karma is a car company but Karma is not just a car company.”

Growing Good Karma

The Karma Automotive story started in 2014 when The Wanxiang Group, a multinational automotive components manufacturing company with headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, founded the business. Today, Karma employs nearly 1,000 people across four sites:

Global Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
Karma Innovation & Customization Center: Moreno Valley, Calif.
Detroit Technical Center: Troy, Mich.
Karma China Design & Engineering Center: Hangzhou, China
“We have the advantage of private equity backing from extremely supportive owners who are allowing us to grow the business progressively and smartly,” Zhou said. “We are focused on a gradual, but progressive rollout strategy aimed at putting the building blocks of a car company in place – a growing dealer network, committed supply chain, craft center and a talented workforce.”

By establishing Karma in the U.S. first – the world’s most demanding luxury market – Zhou said he believes the company can succeed anywhere. “Karma will be live in Europe and the Middle East next year and then Asia,” he added. “We will be in China by 2021. By gradually expanding our presence this way I am confident our company – and our products – will be well prepared for the discerning Chinese luxury buyer of the future.”

The Karma Innovation and Customization Center (KICC)

Karma chose to headquarter and build a craft production facility just 60 miles from its global headquarters in Irvine, Calif., to purposely and meticulously build one-of-a-kind cars.

Representing a total investment of more than $100 million, Karma’s innovation and customization hub first came to life in 2015 and now comprises the very latest in automotive technology and tooling over a sprawling 556,000 square feet under one roof in Moreno Valley, Calif.

“The name, Karma Innovation and Customization Center, reflects our future focus and growing skillset centered on innovation, customization and technology integration,” Zhou said. “KICC’s skilled workforce take great pride in delivering distinctive luxury electric vehicles with world-class design, technology and personalization.”

Karma’s exclusive design and craftsmanship allows it to take customization to a new level enabling every Revero to be special, and supports a fundamental commitment to unrivaled customer treatment. KICC will also house a VIP Customer Experience Center offering every Karma owner a personalized look into the company’s focus on luxury, high technology, customization and special treatment.

California’s Shining Star

With the Shanghai Big Three, especially the new 2020 Revero GT, Karma seeks to firmly establish itself as an authentic and credible player in the luxury electric vehicle segment – the only automaker, Zhou notes, who is actually designing, engineering, marketing and handcrafting vehicles in Southern California.

“While many other business have left our region in search of less regulation and easier paths, Karma chose to do business in California for the long term,” Zhou said. “Karma and California are united in spirit. This is home to innovators, entrepreneurs and big thinkers; a land where anything is possible and where the next generation of luxury will come from. That’s why I want Karma to become California’s shining star.”

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