BBC Top Gear names Fisker Karma as ‘Luxury Car of the Year’

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 28, 2011

The Fisker Karma has been heralded as the 'Luxury Car of the Year' by BBC Top Gear magazine. It was the personal pick of BBC Top Gear James May and was recognized by Editor Charlie Turner as the vehicle that best illustrates that the "automotive world order is changing, and fast" and that "the future is nothing to be afraid of". The bulk of the premium interior material on the EcoStandard and EcoSport models of this world's first range-extended, luxury electric vehicle comes from Bridge of Weir.

The car has the steering, seats, door-casings, centre-console trim and dash wrapped in the Scottish company's locally produced Low Carbon Leather(TM).

The magazine is not known for supporting products that are environmentally friendly and have low carbon emissions.

In fact, Gavin Conway, a leading green motoring commentator, stated in his TheChargingPoint.com article that Top Gear is all about beautiful, powerful, aspirational, fun-to-drive and exotic vehicles. He further said that the Karma has all of these features but it just so happens to drive its wheels with electricity.

Bridge of Weir Leather Company Chairman Jonathan Muirhead congratulates Fisker on the success of the electric car in the Top Gear Awards.

He added that they are proud that the automaker chose them to be its leather supplier, adding that they "like to think" that their Low Carbon Leather(TM) interior in the Karma aided "in some way" in securing the 2011 Luxury Car of the Year title.

In adherence to Fisker’s signature styling, the new Fisker Karma comes with an exterior marked by dramatic proportions and continuous curves. Its front end is defined by raised front fenders and low, wide stance for a more dynamic fascia as well as an improved upper grille and larger lower intake for better airflow.

Karma is also provided with a new aerodynamic diffuser beneath the rear bumper, which provides cooling air for the electric drivetrain. Another distinguishing feature of the new Fisker Karma is its continuously formed glass solar panel roof, which is considered as the largest in the world.

This solar panel roof comes as standard on all Fisker Karma sedans. Fisker Automotive chief executive Henrik Fisker quipped that from initial concept to final production, Fisker strived to maintain a singular design language while keeping the integrity of the original design. He noted that the new Karma stands out from other vehicles thanks to its extreme yet elegant proportions, stylish sculpture, the use of eco-friendly materials and its ability to deliver an inspiring drive.

Fisker’s CEO remarked that they expect the Karma to create a new segment of eco-friendly transportation and become the most desirable plug-in hybrid sports sedan. Central to the Karma’s desirability is its driver-focused cockpit underpinned by its Sustainable and Accountable Design. The interior of the new Fisker Karma is inspired by nature's timeless beauty and the quality of classic design.

This Sustainable and Accountable Design is evident on the employment of reusable materials augmented by modern technology. For instance, Fisker sourced the Karma’s wood trim from: 'Fallen Trees' that have fallen because of age; 'Sunken Trees' found in the bottom of American lakes; and 'Rescued Trees' that have been burned in forest fires. In addition, the new Fisker Karma is specified with easy-to-use instrumentation and controls.

Its layered EcoGlass center console features a 10.2-inch touch sensitive screen that allows users to control audio, HVAC and other vehicle functions. Meanwhile, LCD gauges can be found behind the steering wheel, displaying critical info like vehicle speed and battery charge.

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