Fisker Automotive has confirmed today that Finnish independent vehicle manufacturer Valmet will build the upcoming Karma plug-in hybrid saloon, having first announced the deal back in July. Known for producing high quality cars like the Porsche Boxster and Cayman and with more than 40 years of experience in the business, Valmet should ensure the new Karma will meet the demands of its luxury positioning.
The first cars will begin rolling off the Valmet assembly line in the fourth quarter of 2009, and production numbers are expected to top 15,000 units in the first year alone. Half the cars will be sold in North America and the rest will remain in Europe. Back in April Fisker appointed its first European importer, Fisker Italia, and earlier this month it named a second importer to handle sales in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
Speaking at the signing of the new deal today, Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker confirmed there were plans in place to utilize an American manufacturing site for future models of the Fisker Karma.
The new Karma is expected to cost around $80,000 in the U.S. but will likely cost more in Europe. If it proves successful Fisker eventually hopes to launch a new model costing about half as much but such a car is still several years away.
With 50 miles of electric range and more than 350 miles of total range, the Fisker Karma with its proprietary Q-Drive powertrain developed by Quantum Technologies, will have the potential fuel economy rating of over 100mpg (2.35L/100km). Acceleration from 0-60mph will take less than six seconds and top speed will be limited to 125mph. Like Chevrolet’s upcoming Volt plug-in, the new Karma is driven purely by an electric motor and uses the internal combustion engine solely for charging the batteries.