One of the highlights of this year’s Detroit Auto Show is a new plug-in hybrid four-door coupe from California’s Fisker Coachbuild. The new car is called the Karma and it sports advanced technologies such as a lithium-ion battery array, aluminum construction and varying driving modes dubbed ‘Stealth’ and ‘Sport’ modes.

Developed exclusively for Fisker by Quantum Technologies, is a new Q-DRIVE plug-in hybrid powertrain that features in the Karma. The set-up features a small petrol engine turning a generator to power the car’s lithium-ion battery pack. The technology will be used to power future derivatives under the Fisker brand. Regenerative braking will be employed to regain power otherwise lost from braking, while an optional solar roof will charge the battery and maintain partly self-contained climate control when parked.

The new Karma offers up to 50 miles of electric-only driving and a claimed top speed of more than 125mph. The 0-60mph takes just six seconds. Its sleek body, the result of an all-new chassis built specifically for the development of the new powertrain, places the battery pack in the centre of the vehicle - improving weight distribution and dynamics.

The Karma will be going into full production unchanged, with first deliveries starting in the last quarter of 2009.

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