Henrik Fisker’s promise to build the world’s first gasoline/electric hybrid luxury/performance car has been fulfilled. Fisker Automotive unveiled the first factory-built production model Karma at the Paris Auto Show last week.
Followers of the development of the Karma may know Mr. Fisker to be responsible for designing some of the most desirable luxury sports cars of the modern era. His past successes include Aston Martin's V8 Vantage and DB9, as well as BMW Z8.
Perhaps then it’s no surprise Karma made it into production with all of its concept car good looks intact. In fact, the production car actually improves upon the original concept’s design.
“Too often, concept cars are just that – concepts,” says Henrik Fisker. “As car enthusiasts we wanted to see all that excitement and imagination make it to production. It’s what keeps us in love with cars. I feel our team has succeeded in every way.”
The rear-wheel drive Fisker Karma’s powertrain is reputed to provide the equivalent of 403 horsepower and delivers 981 pound-feet of torque from a standing start. A range of up to 50 miles in electric-only mode is predicted. Once the battery is depleted, the Fisker’s turbocharged 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine activates a generator that continues to route power to the pair of rear differential mounted electric motors.
Employing the hybrid system in this manner is said to give the car a range of 300 miles. The lithium-ion battery can be completely recharged in as little as six hours from a 240-volt outlet.
Karma combines style with high efficiency and low emissions in a premium high-performance automobile. Additionally, it could well be the world’s first (relatively) guilt-free performance car. Karma’s interior wood accents are sourced from certified fallen, sunken and rescued wood. Further, a 100% sustainable manufacturing strategy is used to process the leather for the interior. This—along with the low emissions and fuel usage—could well make Karma the next darling of Hollywood’s "Green Elite."
Of course, it’s all speculation until we actually get behind the wheel, which we will do, very soon.