Fisker Automotive is less than a year away from launching its new
Karma plug-in hybrid luxury saloon
, arguably one of the most stylish looking cars on the auto show circuit, not to mention one of the cleanest too. While big name carmakers like General Motors and Toyota struggle to launch mass-market plug-in hybrid vehicles by the end of the decade, Fisker will have its Karma on the roads this November and a sexy convertible version
Never one to rest on its laurels, Fisker is already looking towards developing a third variant of the Karma, as well as a new low cost model. Fisker has already convinced investors to pump another $85 million into its operations, with the money to be used for the development and manufacture of the Karma, as well as the new models. The funding has been sourced from investors all around the globe and includes New York-based 'Eco-Drive Partners', a European-American investment consortium, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, an early investor in Fisker.
Fisker is also in the process of seeking an undisclosed loan amount
from the Department of Energy (DOE), which it hopes to use for the low-cost model as well as the refurbishment of an existing U.S. factory to build the cars.
Speaking with the Oakland Press
, Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said this model will be on the roads within the next three years if the loans are approved. The car might not be a strict plug-in hybrid for the masses as the Chevrolet Volt and the Tesla Model S are being marketed as, but rather a more premium plug-in hybrid to round out Fisker’s model lineup and pull in more buyers.
However, before the low-cost model, Fisker will launch a more practical and family-oriented version of the Karma. No other details have been released about this car but expect a detuned version of the Karma’s ‘Q-Drive’ powertrain feature in it.
The Karma will go on sale in the U.S. this November with a starting price of $87,900 and will hit European showrooms
in the second quarter of next year priced from €78,780. Fisker, together with independent vehicle manufacturer Valmet
, plans to build up to 15,000 Karmas per year, half of which will be sold in the U.S. and the other half in Europe.
2009 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid
Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid convertible