Fisker Karma (2012)

CARBARN | Fisker Karma (2012) | Three years and a billion dollars of investment after the Fisker Karma rolled forth as a stunning plug-in hybrid concept, it's finally ready to rock as a stunning production car. The Karma's recipe calls for sexy design stirred with a heap of sustainability. We had faith in the styling part of the concoction: While growing up in Denmark, Henrik Fisker Inherited from his father a deep appreciation for American cars of the Sixties.

As for sustainability, in the Karma it means consuming no petroleum for the first 50 miles and interior trim That bows to Mother Nature. On the heels of the low-volume, $ 100,000 Karma, there will be a more affordable car, the Nina, also built around earth-friendly technology.

The Karma lays a good foundation. Up front there's a 260-hp, GM-supplied four-cylinder engine spinning a mighty generator. Next in line is a 20-kWh, American-made lithium-ion battery pack. Straddling the twin AC motors deliver 402 horsepower rear axle to the differential. The propulsion system, the Brembo brakes, the 22-inch cast aluminum wheels, aluminum suspension components and the are supported by an aluminum space frame stitched together with 260 feet of welds and a thousand or so rivets. The Karma's aluminum skin is finished with a solar-cell roof, a composite decklid, and plastic bumpers. Like the Nissan Leaf, the Karma is always electrically driven; the gasoline engine only powers the generator.

The Karma's initial surge is sufficiently potent to avoid Damnation as a slug. Until the EPA weighs in on that subject, we can only guess That the Karma will land slightly below the Volt's ratings of 93 mpg equivalent (MPGe) in electric driving and 35 mpg city and 40 highway with the engine running.

The Karma's steering is endowed with real road feel and linear turn-in response. The ride is supple, and there's minimal body roll when you Fling the wheel; the low-mounted, 600-pound battery pack makes for an effective keel. Even though the rear wheels carry 53 percent of the Karma's mass, there's understeer Awaiting Those WHO visit the Borderlands of grip. A 10.2-inch screen replaces the usual forest of tiny buttons infotainment with audible, visual, and tactile responses to touch commands. The top EcoChic edition is an animal-free showcase of high-end Textiles, faux suede, and rescued California Wildfire hardwood.
Fisker claims to have 3000 deposits in the bank.

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