You may already know that Leonardo DiCaprio is the first person to receive the all-new 2012 Fisker Karma, a $100,000 hybrid car, and it appears that photographers already caught him driving his new toy. What we know about this car?
Well, we do know from Fisker, that the Karma is a four-door, four passenger sedan featuring a lightweight extruded aluminum spaceframe, lightweight aluminum and composite body panels, and a modular chassis subassembly.
Regarding the powertrain, the car is powered by dual electric rear motors, delivering a total output of 403 hp. The car is rear wheel drive and has a mid-mounted battery pack. What is really interesting is that it also has a front/mid mounted Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)/Generator combination.
The turbocharged 2.0-liter direct injection engine delivers a total output of 260 hp and it is mated to a single speed fixed gear. Powered only by the lithium-ion battery (Stealth Mode), the vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 96 km/h (60 mph) in just 7.9 seconds and has a top speed of 95 mph or 153 km/h.
In the Sport Mode (Lithium-ion power/ Internal Combustion Engine) the vehicle accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph or 200 km/h. The vehicle has an electric range of 50 miles or 80 km (or the equivalent of 100 mpg – 2.4 l/100 km). The total combined range is 300 miles or 483 km.
The exteriors on the Fisker Karma have that signature Fisker style using flowing line and intricate sculpture. It has a wide and low stance while the front fenders are raised, which not only guarantees beautiful aesthetics but also gives the driver a one-of-a-kind view of its beauty.
The Karma features some minor redesigns based on the original Fisker Karma prototype. The redesigns include an improved upper grill and a bigger lower intake that allows for better airflow. You can also find a new aerodynamic diffuser beneath the rear bumper to help cool the drivetrain. You would also find the Fisker Karma’s solar panel on the roof. Incidentally, this is the biggest continuously formed solar panel that is made of glass in the world. It also marks the first time that a glass solar panel has been used by carmakers anywhere, giving the Fisker Karma a very recognizable look.
Fisker Automotive CEO Henrik Fisker comments that the Fisker stuck to a single design language from the early days of the concept car to the final production states. It was imperative that they keep faithful to the original design both in the interior and the exterior. And that means keeping to the beautiful sculpture, the extreme proportions and the use of environmentally friendly materials, all of which set the Karma a cut above the rest.
Henrik Fisker adds that apart from the aesthetics, an inspiring driving experience is also an important element. The company hopes that its cars would bring in a new market for eco-friendly vehicles, while also becoming the most sought-after plug-in hybrid sports car available.
The company puts a premium into making a beautiful cockpit. The interior design team at Fisker took their inspiration from the nature’s beauty as well as classic designs to create the eye-catching and sustainable aesthetics. The car’s sustainable and accountable design makes use of reusable and recyclable materials that are made even durable and improved by modern technology. The wood trim, for instance, come from dead wood including fallen trees that fell from old, rescued trees from burned forests and sunken trees that you find in lake bottoms all across the country.
The instruments and controls you find on board are all designed for ease of use. You would find a 10.2-inch touchscreen that controls the car’s climate setting, audio systems and other vehicle systems embedded in the EcoGlass. The LCD gauges that give you important information like vehicle speed and battery charge are found just behind the steering wheel.
Henrik Fisker explains that the materials used in the car follow the same philosophy of sensuality and accountability. The company, he says, has gone out of its way to utilize environmentally safe yet classic materials, hoping to “inspire change for the better.”
Buyers will have the choice among three trims: EcoBase, EcoChic, and EcoSport. With the EcoChic, you can have the most advanced and sustainable materials that does not make use of any material coming from animals. Instead of leather, EcoChic cars have pure bamboo viscose. EcoGlass cars use fossilized leaves, while the EcoSport series makes use of premium leather. Even so, the carmaker made use of sustainable manufacturing strategies to ensure that less hides are used in the process of making these leather coverings.